General Areas for Comps Part I

This list supplements what we assume of students entering their Comprehensive exams, namely knowledge of key canonical works gained from undergraduate-level studies and of the more specialized areas presented by their graduate coursework and interests.  The following books have been placed on 24-hour reserve under ARTH 291 and in some cases are available through King Library as e-books. 


Comprehensive Exams, Part I: Recommended Reading List

General Reading List

(General survey textbooks for survey-level information and memorization of images):

  • Arnason, H. Harvard.  History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2004.

  • Gardner, Helen (d. 1946), Fred S. Kleiner and Christin J. Mamiya.  Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Concise History.  Australia; United States: Thomson/Wadsworth, c2006.

  • Honour, Hugh and John Fleming.  The Visual Arts: A History.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, [2002].

  • Stokstad, Marilyn in collaboration with David Cateforis.  Art History.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, c2005.

On-Line Resources: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


General Bibliography by Area:


  • O'Riley, Michael Kampen.  Art Beyond the West: The Arts of Africa, India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea, the Pacific, and the Americas.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2006.


  • Pollitt, Jerome Jordan.  Art and Experience in Classical Greece.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972).

  • Pedley, John Griffiths.  Greek Art and Archaelogy, 3rd ed.  Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1998.


  • Henderson, John and Mary Beard. Hellenistic and Early Roman Art.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • Kleiner, Fred S.  A History of Roman Art.  Belmont, CA: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2007.


  • Luttikhuizen, Henry and Dorothy Verkerk. Snyder's Medieval Art, rev. 2nd ed.  2005.  (Ordered 11/27/06.)  NOTE: 1st ed. is not an acceptable resource.

Suggested for thematic approach: 

  • Elsner, Jas.  Imperial Rome and Christian Triumph: The Art of the Roman Empire AD 100-450. Oxford History of Art.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 

+ other books listed below under “European Middle Ages”

Northern Renaissance:

  • Snyder, James, Larry Silver and Henry Luttikhuizen. Northern Renaissance Art, rev. 2nd ed.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 2004.  NOTE: 1st ed. is not up to date.

Suggested for thematic approach: 

  • Harbison, Craig.  The Mirror of the Artist: Northern Renaissance Art.  New York, N.Y.: H. N. Abrams: Prentice Hall, 1995, 2003.

Renaissance in Italy; Baroque

  • Welch, Evelyn.  Art and society in Italy, 1350-1500.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).

  • Harris, Ann Sutherland.  Seventeenth-Century Art and Architecture.  Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.

Suggested for thematic approach: 

  • Minor, Vernon Hyde.  Baroque and Rococo: Art and Culture.  Prentice Hall, 2003.

Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism:

  • Craske, Matthew.  Art in Europe, 1700-1830: A History of the Visual Arts in an Era of Unprecedented Urban Economic Growth.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Impressionism through Modern Art:

  • Brettell, Richard R.  Modern Art, 1851-1929: Capitalism and Representation.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

  • Harrison, Charles and Paul Wood, eds.  Art in Theory, 1900-1990: An Anthology of Changing Ideas.  Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell, 1993.

  • Joachimides, Christos M. and Norman Rosenthal, eds., The Age of Modernism: Art in the 20th Century.  Berlin: Zeitgeist-Gesellschaft e.V.; Ostfildern-Ruit [Germany]: G. Hatje; New York, N.Y.: Distributed in the US by Distributed Art Publishers, 1997.

American Art:

  • Bjelajac, David.  American Art: A Cultural History.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005); heavily focused on social theory


  • Pohl, Francis K.  Framing America: A Social History of American Art.  New York, N.Y.: Thames & Hudson, 2002.

  • Upton, Dell.  Architecture in the United States.  World of Art Series.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). 


  • Jones, Amelia, ed.  A Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945.  Blackwell Press, 2006.  (Ordered 11/27/06).

  • Kocur, Zoya and Simon Leung.  Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985.  Ed..  Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005.

  • Stiles, Kristine and Peter Selz, eds.  Theories and Documents in Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Theory and Methodology:

  • Hatt, Michael and Charlotte Klonk.  Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods.  Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2006.  (Ordered 11/27/06.)

  • Nelson, Robert S. and Richard Shiff, eds.  Critical Terms for Art History.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

  • Preziosi, Donald.  The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology.  Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.  Also available as an e-book.


Additional Basic Bibliography:

Reference Resources:

  • Marmor, Max and Alex Ross.  Guide To The Literature Of Art History 2.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2005.

  • Jones, Lois Swan.  Art Information and the Internet: How to Find It, How to Use It.  Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1999. Also available as an e-book.

Style Manuals for Additional Basic Bibliography:

  • Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Art Bulletin style guide (useful for caption formatting)