Topics in American Art
with content focusing on representational art
Excellent art is food for the soul.
Enjoy art's many flavors
at a museum near you.
Topics in American Art, a catalogue published by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) since 2003, covers over 200 topics. Each topic focuses on an aspect of American representational art. Most topics include links to Resource Library articles and essays, often accompanied by museum exhibition materials such as checklists, gallery guide texts, wall panel and extended label texts (see definitions), in-house magazine articles, and more. These materials often are unavailable elsewhere online.
Topics entries may also include links to other online materials from museums and other sources, online video and audio recordings, plus references to videos in DVD format, paper-printed books, articles, and more. For convenience of researchers, topics also include TFAO indexes and catalogues, other directories, projects, reports and studies.
As of 2016, new topics focus on expanding knowledge less thoroughly represented in the catalogue. TFAO is further guided by the selection process presented in What is included in the National Calendar of Exhibitions.
Who benefits from Topics in American Art?
Contents are used by educators designing course content, scholars, curators, docents, students, librarians, collectors, potential donors to museums, plus art lovers everywhere seeking greater understanding of American art. Enjoy!
(above: James Wells Champney, Returning from Harvesting, 1874, oil on board, 17 x 13 inches. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
What topics are available?
Here is an alphabetical listing of topics: A - C / D - G / H - L / M - P / Q - Z
(above: Colin Campbell Cooper, Summer, 1918, oil on canvas, 50 x 60.25 inches. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
Why are some exhibit references colored gray?
Besides what we publish, a wide variety of materials are posted by museums for their exhibitions. Contents on a museum's own page for an exhibition may include narrative paragraphs about the exhibition, photos of art objects, plus links to: a press release for the exhibition, newspaper and magazine articles, promotional PSA videos, lecture videos, gallery guides, brochures and checklists.
We sweep references to museum exhibits within individual topics for discontinued links on an irregular basis as time permits
Many museums hosting exhibits eventually remove public access to their previously posted URLs for them. Upon discovery, rather than remove our reference in its entirety, we now only remove the discontinued URL, retain the link to the museum plus our informative text, then color our reference gray. By keeping the exhibit name and our link to the hosting museum, you may easily contact the museum to inquire about its previously posted exhibit information. You can also copy exhibit and museum names as keywords for a Google search. This approach often works when a museum has changed the URL for an exhibit without providing a new pathway to it.
In times past we, unfortunately in hindsight, erased a
whole citation when we found a dead link to it. Since iterations of our
pages have been permanently saved by other archives -- often yearly -- since
1997, you may be able to look back through time to find information we long
ago deleted from our pages because outside links became dead. If you come
across a dead link, see Durability and protection
of content for hints on how to access lost material through online archives.
An invitation to museums
We advocate for museums to permanently make available materials about special exhibitions on their website. Most museum websites now have a "past exhibitions" section. Often, when information about an exhibition is first posted, a permanent URL is created that is carried forward in website sections for future, current and past exhibitions. A common format is: http//museum name.org/exhibitions/name of exhibit.
A wide variety of materials are posted by museums for an individual exhibition. Contents on a page for an exhibition may include narrative paragraphs about the exhibition, photos of art objects, plus links to: a press release for the exhibition, newspaper and magazine articles, promotional PSA videos, lecture videos, gallery guides, brochures and checklists.
Once a museum has decided upon a URL format for presenting online exhibition information, it is important that the format be maintained permanently. This is to prevent dead links in articles, research papers and other materials published by outside persons and organizations.
An effect of Covid temporary museum closures in 2020-21 was that scores of art museums greatly enhanced the quality and quantity of online exhibit presentations.
Our catalogues providing useful resources:
American Representational Art provides links to dozens of topics in American representational art.
Distinguished Artists is our national registry of historic artists.
Exhibition Catalogues, Brochures, Gallery Guides and Related Materials
Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History is our catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.
Articles and Essays Online contains substantive texts published outside of Resource Library.
How to find content on our site using search engines
Conduct keyword searches within TFAO's website and Resource Library, a collection of articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art, using the advanced search feature of these search engines:
Or, before entering keywords in a basic search, enter site:tfaoi.org
Also see Indexes and information retrieval for more information.
Icons and legends
When an image is sourced from Wikimedia Commons, an icon tag is placed on the page containing it. The tags are:
*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:
**Tag for some rights reserved:
Image legend for multiple artists:
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists. Following are examples of artworks created by artists referenced in the above article or essay. Artworks and/or photographs shown may not be specific to this article or essay and are likely not cited in it. All images were obtained via Wikimedia Commons, which believes the images to be freely available for presentation here. Another source readers may find helpful is Google Images.
Image legend for a single artist:
For further biographical information on the artist cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists. Following is an example of artwork created by the artist referenced in the above article or essay. The image shown may not be specific to this article or essay and is likely not cited in it. The image was obtained via Wikimedia Commons, which believes the image to be freely available for presentation here. Another source readers may find helpful is Google Images.
For your further enjoyment and pleasure, shown below is
an artwork by the artist noted above that may not have been included in
the referenced exhibit. The imag was sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Another
source readers may find helpful is Google Images.
TFAO page directional icons are:
Return to Topics in American Art - Site Guide
About Resource Library
Resource Library is a freely available online publication containing a collection of articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art. Since 1997, Resource Library and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine have cumulatively published 1,300+ articles and essays written by hundreds of identified authors, thousands of other texts not attributable to named authors, plus 24,000+ images, all providing educational and informational content related to American representational art. Texts and related images are provided almost exclusively by nonprofit art museum, gallery and art center sources.
All published materials provide educational and informational content to students, scholars, teachers and others. Most published materials relate to exhibitions. Materials may include whole exhibition gallery guides, brochures or catalogues or texts from them, perviously published magazine or journal articles, wall panels and object labels, audio tour scripts, play scripts, interviews, blogs, checklists and news releases, plus related images.
Resource Library is published by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO).
What you won't find:
User-tracking cookies are not installed on our website. Privacy of users is very important to us. You won't find annoying banners and pop-ups either. Our pages are loaded blazingly fast. Resource Library contains no advertising and is 100% non-commercial. .
(left: JP Hazeltine, founding editor, Resource Library)
Links to sources of information outside our website are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other websites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. We neither recommend or endorses these referenced organizations. Although we include links to other websites, we take no responsibility for the content or information contained on other sites, nor exert any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see our General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.
*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:
Copyright 2023 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.