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Researching Art Sales : Where to Start

Research to find background information about your object

Monograms and Illegible Signatures

Kohler Art Library has reference books that reproduce hard-to-read signatures.  Look in the N45 call number range in the reference room. For example:

Marks

Kohler Art Library has reference books on ceramic and metalsmith marks.  Look in the NK call number range in the reference room.  Other sources may be available online.  

Identification Guides

Kohler Art Library has a variety of guides that might assist in identification of decorative art objects.  Look in the NK call number range in the reference room or search the Library Catalog.    

For example:

Artist Name and Spelling

Check artist biographical sources to help match uncertain spelling guesses to known artists' names. Some of these sources are located in the Kohler Art Library; others can be accessed online. Below are a few examples.  Ask the reference librarian for help finding others.

NOTE:  No source includes every artist.  Even if you do not find your artist name, the spelling may be correct.  It could be your artist is simply not included in the source.  

More Biography and Additional Information

If your artist is well-represented in artist biographical sources, you may be able to find more extensive information that could help place your work within the career output of the artist.  Knowing more about the piece can help in estimating value.

The Kohler Art Library provides other art research databases for articles and images and more.  See the research guide for Art History or ask the art librarian.

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Kohler Art Library
160b Elvehjem Building
800 University Ave.
608-263-2257
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