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Art on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus : Researching Campus Artwork and Events

research resources and venues

Art Group

Profile Photo
Anna Simon
Kohler Art Library
160b Elvehjem Building
800 University Ave.
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Using archives and unpublished materials

Search the UW-Madison Library Catalog for holdings of the UW and Wisconsin Historical Society archives.

Oral histories of campus administrators and faculty may provide useful insights into the history of art on campus.  Search the Library Catalog to identify recordings, such as
Printmaking (Oral History Program interviews)
Oral history Program interview with Russell Panczenko
Oral History Program interviews with James Watrous
Oral History Program interviews with Arthur Hove
Try searching for "oral history program" AND [your term]
where [your term] could be art or museum or architecture or gallery, etc. 

Using published sources

Information about UW-Madison art, artists and exhibitions could be published in books, exhibition catalogs, journal and newspaper articles, dissertations, and other publication types.  Search for these sources as you would any other research topic.

  • Search our Library Catalog for books and exhibit catalogs held in the UW or Historical Society libraries
    • Target publications created by or about campus art units  
      • watch for subject headings such as:
        "University of Wisconsin-Madison. Department of Art"
        "University of Wisconsin-Madison. Department of Art History"
        "University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wisconsin Union"
      • watch for name changes for campus departments and associations, for example
        "Chazen Museum of Art" AND "Elvehjem Museum of Art" AND "Elvehjem Art Center"
    • Search for names of known artists or faculty authors
  • Search the Library Catalog for local magazines and art-related newsletters
    • hint:  add "periodicals" to your chosen topical search term(s)
    • local art activities are most likely to be reported in campus, city, and state publications
    • the contents of smaller publications are less likely to be discoverable in major article databases so you may need to browse individual issues for relevant content
    • examples of local sources:  Arts Letter, Central Wisconsin Women's Caucus for Art
  • Search campus-licensed article databases such as "Art Full Text" for journal articles on artists with national reputations (database guide)
  • Search local or regional newspapers for exhibition reviews or art-related stories (newspapers guide)
  • Search for dissertations, especially those written at UW-Madison (hints on finding dissertations)

Examples of publications available (with research hints)

Digital Projects Relating to Art on Campus

Other Local Digital Collections