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Project Overview

This research guide supports a project in FF161, Drawing: Tradition & Innovation in which students:

  • discover an art tradition that can be interpreted through drawing
  • research and create a 10 minute presentation on the tradition
  • create artwork/s to explore this tradition in the context of their own artistic practice and interest

Resources for the project

How to Discover a Tradition is a highly visual website that is useful for browsing multiple artists and artworks from many time periods. It includes the Art Genome Project, which maps characteristics (called “genes”) common to art makers and to art and design works over time.

Screenshot from

Browse all categories here. Here are some selected categories:

Google Arts and Culture presents gigapixel versions of artworks from many times and places.
One can browse by media, movement, place, and more.

Three Noblemen and a Dog (late 18th century). India, Rajasthan, Jaipur.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; view on Google Arts & Culture.

How to Research a Tradition

1. Search the Library Catalog for books to explore your subject.

2. Remember that eBooks can be read online!

3. Investigate your book and write down keywords pertaining to your subject, searching in Wikipedia or Grove Art Online.

4. Watch this short video on how to find images for your presentation. Register as a user in ARTstor by using this link on our A-Z Database page ( Find & download images for your presentation.

5. Document your text and image sources.

6. How did you do? Contact us at the Library for help with your research. Email:

Use the Decker Library catalog to find:

  • Books
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Journal articles
  • and many other resources!

Some Examples from Library Collections

Survey Books

The Natural World | Flora & Fauna | Real & Imaginary

Letters | Words | Books

Page from Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Enrique Chagoya, and Felicia Rice
N7433.4 .G68 C64 1998 Special Collections - Access by request at Research Help Desk

Special Collections at the Decker Library
Eadward Muybridge animated GIF
Animated GIF made from Animal Locomotion (1872-1885) by Eadweard Muybridge
TR140 .M79 A48 1887 Special Collections. Access by request at Research Help Desk.

Browse or search the Book Arts Catalog for over 800 artists' books in our collection.

Follow Decker Library Tumblr for selections from the Library's special collections.

All materials are available to view in the Library by request at the Research Help Desk.

Decker Library at the Maryland Institute College of Art | Location: 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 | Mailing: 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

Research Help: 410-225-2273 / | General Questions: 410-225-2272 /

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