• Ruby Neri is a sculptor, painter, and former street artist from San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, known for her evocative portrayal of horses.

  • Otis in NYC
    October 27, 2016 
    6 - 8 pm 
    Franklin Parrasch Gallery
    53 East 64 Street
    New York, NY 10065

    Otis College President Bruce W. Ferguson is coming to NYC! 
    Please come say hello and visit with your fellow alumni and friends of Otis College of Art and Design.
    Drinks and hors d'oeuvres.


  • Lecture takes place at 356 S. Mission Rd., co-presented with Ben Maltz Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition Polly Apfelbaum: Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

    New York-based critic and independent curator Bob Nickas presents his musings on one hundred paintings, choosing one from each year from 1915-2015.

  • Bob Nickas

    Oct 31| Lectures

    Bob Nickas is a critic and independent curator based in New York, having organized more than ninety exhibitions since 1984.
    He was Curatorial Advisor at P.S.1/MoMA in New York between 2004-07, where his exhibitions include: 
    Lee Lozano: Drawn From Life; 
    William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night; 
    Stephen Shore: American Surfaces; 
    Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom From The Known. 

  • Looking at the recent works of Sebastian Stumpf one finds an interplay between performance and the recording of performance, between the execution of a physical act and the documentation of it by means of a camera. [He] operates in two distinct realms: in the empty spaces of contemporary art institutions and in urban settings with their preexisting orders. […] An inconspicuous architectural detail suddenly becomes the catalyst for a physical exploit…. The art gallery becomes a space for action.

  • Passionate Voices Expressed in Sound Bearing Plastic: An Evening with Collector Richard Shelton

  • Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, cultural producer, and trans woman who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality, and seeing. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals including the Whitney Biennial 2014, MoMA PS1, Hammer Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, MCA San Diego, and SF MoMA, among others. Drucker is an Emmy-nominated Producer for the docu-series This Is Me, as well as a Producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent.


Photo Documentary Culture

Review How to Do Research

Refresh your information literacy skills here: Information Literacy Tutorials.

Free Web vs. the Invisible or Deep Web

Although there is a great deal of good free information available on the free web, there is often better quality and more reliable information available through databases. Much of that information was first published in books and magazines, then sold and agregated into online databases. That information is not ususally free, no more than the original printed sources were free. Publishers often earn a great deal of money by selling the previously published content to information vendors who, in turn, resells the content to libraries who make it available for their patrons.

Note: Be especially cautious of Wikipedia. Read more here about why.

The following Steps will guide you in finding images and historical information for your project of analyzing an image from popular culture and its context.

Step 1: Find an Image

Pick from one on the following Library books:  

Life: 100 Events that Shook Our World   TR820 O546 2005
Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression, Suffering and Hope    REF D26 C46
Life: Our Century in Pictures    REF CB425 L44
Photos That Changed the World   TR820 P567 2000

Step 2: Find Background Information

One very easy way to start is search in online encyclopedias or dictionaries. For instance, Britannica Online has basic information on a huge range of topics. Click on the Library Databases button.

There are books which you can browse which will be extremely helpful to you in learning about the cultural, social, and historical context of a particular time or period. 

20th Century Day by Day: 100 years of News
REF D422 C53
Headlines and front pages of newspapers from 1900 through 1999. This should be your first stop to find out what else was going on for your time period.
This Fabulous Century - 7 volumes
REF E161 T55
One volume per decade beginning with 1900-1950. Overview of the popular culture of the period. Mostly images.
Ads That Put America on Wheels
HF6161 A9 D74
Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed.
Advertising and the Motorcar
HF6161 A8 F74
Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed. An essay is included.
American Century: Art & Culture 1900-1950
N6512 H335
Based on a Whitney exhibition, this is an in-depth overview of art of the period.
American Decades - 4 volumes
REF E169.12 A419
One volume per decade beginning with 1950s. Organized with chapters on world events, education, politics, lifestyles, media, the arts, etc.
Fashions of a Decade - 8 volumes
REF GT596 C837
Just fashion. We have the '20s through the '90s.

Hulton Getty Picture Collection - 6 volumes
D426 Y367 1998

One volume per decade. All pictures with captions. We have the '20s through the '70s.

Websites of Interest

Ad Access Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. 
AdFlip Archive of classic ads from 1940 to the present.
American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century The purpose of these pages is to present a series of web guides on the decades of the twentieth century. The pages are prepared by the Reference Librarians. Period pictures used.
American Memory Thematic access to images, sound recordings, web sites, and other documents on American cultural history. Provided by the Library of Congress.
Year by Year 1900-2001

This site describes historic events of the twentieth century by year and by decade. 

Step 3: Find an Article About Your Topic

Once you've browsed and become more familiar with the cultural context of your photo, you should be able to create a list of generalized subjects that you can search for in the Library's databases. You should be able to find one or two in-depth articles in ProQuest, eLibrary, and Wilson Omni. Remember: Each databases is much smaller than the entire web. If you put in a very specific term and get no hits, you will need to broaden your search. See also: How to Clarify Your Topic.

Step 4: The Bibliography

There's an excellent guide to Citing Sources and Citing Images online. The Art History Faculty use the MLA style.

The librarians and the library staff are available. Ask for reference/research assistance at any time. It's our job. You're not bothering us.


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