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ART 270/ASIA 270: Making Sacred: Religious Images and Spaces in Asia

Starting Your Research

Art history not surprisingly is an interesting intersection of both visual art and cultural history and experience, and often the resources you draw from fit into an intersection of both. 

  • an image showing an earthenware horse from a Chinese burial site, dated to 180 BCE to demonstrate that one would need to look for information in many places to discuss this object: figures/horses in Chinese art, Chinese earthenware, and/or burial practices.Write down key words, phrases, names, and dates that might relate to your topic.
  • Consider variant spellings of names, particularly those transliterated from non-Roman alphabets like Hebrew, Arabic, or Chinese. 
  • Often you have to think more broadly than your specific artist, artwork, or architectural example in order to find relevant sources. Think more about the type of work or the sort of artist you are engaging with rather than the exact example. It is unlikely that there are many (any?) articles written about the specific figure to the right, but it is very likely that there are articles about Chinese burial objects, or how horses and other animals were depicted in ancient art.

Bear in mind that in the case of what we now regard as ancient or medieval art, the people creating it did not consider it to be art per se, but something created with another purpose in mind, such as ensuring a safe transition to the next world, or communicating a theology to a public audience.

Unknown Artist. Horse and Rider. Earthenware with traces of pigment. 31-1/2 x 29-3/4 x 11-1/2 in. (80.0 x 75.6 x 29.2 cm). Minneapolis Institute of Art. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Accessed 6 Oct. 2023.

Primary Sources

By searching relevant topics in the library catalog and adding the keyword <<sources>>  to your search, you can find materials that contain primary sources. Hint: you can further limit your search by language by selecting languages in the left-hand navigation of your search results.

Below are some other places to find primary sources online.

Search for Images

Selected Web Resources