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Writing - about art, luxury and business: Kinds of art writing

Resources and techniques for improving your writing and study skills


Detail of: Gerard Ter Borch, Woman Writing a Letter,
c.1655. Oil on panel ( 27.9 x 38.3 cm). Mauritshuis,
The Hague. Source: Mauritshuis.


To learn how to write for a particular context, reading published examples can be an excellent way to begin.  Here is where to find different kinds of art writing:


Academic journal articles
Search for your topic in Summon.  Then filter your results by Full Text Online, Scholarly & Peer-Review and Journal Article. Or use this search box to find a journal of your choice and browse online.


Physical copies of current journals are kept on the library's ground floor.


Book and exhibition reviews
Search for your topic in Summon, and then filter your result by Full Text Online and Book Review.  Confusingly, this may bring up a mix of book and exhibition reviews.  Searching for the name of an exhibition will bring up mostly exhibition reviews, and the same applies to books. You can also browse reviews of both kinds in your favourite journals: see above.


Catalogue entries for museum and gallery permanent collections
See the websites of major museums and galleries. In the library, see the COL section for MoMA, the Tate and the Wallace Collection.  Most catalogues are housed by subject, so for instance for catalogues of general collections of European fine art see FIA6.EUR.COL.


Catalogues raisonnés
The Catalogues Raisonnés Database lists relevant works, including examples available online. In the library, catalogues raisonnés are organised by artist, and most are listed here.  


Exhibition catalogue entries
See the websites of galleries and museums.  In the library, exhibition catalogues are housed by subject rather than all in one place. So catalogues of Picasso exhibitions are at FIA8.PICA.  


Literature reviews
A literature review is often needed in an MA dissertation. See examples of in-depth literature reviews in online doctoral dissertationsAdvice on literature reviews is provided here by the University of Toronto.


Sales catalogue entries
See the websites of the auction houses. Physical copies of recent sales catalogues are on the library's ground floor, with older examples in store.


Social media posts
See the guide to social media.