Art History of Each State within the United States of America

with an emphasis on representational art


Methods of research


recurring inquiries


Art History of Each State within the United States of America was initiated in 2008 by Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). Ongoing research for each state includes:

1. analysis of information provided through operations of Resource Library and updates of America's Distinguished Artists. For example, when a volunteer enters a state name in the search box on Resource Library's home page, all online Resource Library pages referencing the state are retrieved. For some states, the volume of available information published online in Resource Library is quite large. For instance, if you entered "California" in the search box in September, 2011, you would have retrieved links to about 2,000 Resource Library pages mentioning the state.. For "New York" you would have retrieved about 3.600 links.

2. search of the TFAO Author index plus Catalogues for relevant information

3. contact with libraries, museums, art history professors, historical societies and independent scholars. Where appropriate, TFAO requests that officials place inquiries to staff and other individuals with a passion for an individual state's art history.

4. Google searches using keyword phrases such as "historical (state name) artists," "historical (state name) painters," "historical (state name) sculptors," "biographies of historic (state name) artists," "gallery specializing in historic (state name) artist" and "early painters of (state name)" for online and paper-printed resources. Materials focusing on groups of historic artists, active prior to WWII within a state, are welcomed.

5. Google Books and book searches for paper-printed books. Google Books searches are made with the phrases such as "art in [state name]" When a book reference says "Original from..." followed by the name of a university, followed by "Digitized..." it means that Google Books has placed the entire contents of the book into its servers. When the term Full View" appears it means that the entire text of the book may be read free online or be downloaded for future reading. books searches were made with the phrases "[state name] artists" and "[state name] art"


non-recurring inquiries


1. review of books identified by TFAO via a Google books search project as having been published by art museums within the state. Please click here to view a list of these museums.

2. analysis of books listed in Smithsonian American Art Museum REGIONAL ARTIST BIBLIOGRAPHY and OUTDOOR SCULPTURE BIBLIOGRAPHY (Link found expired as of 4/24/09 audit. Source site may contain this content via a revised URL)

3. analysis of reference books listed in Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting, 1710-1920. by Gerdts, William H. Three Volumes: The East and the Mid-Atlantic, The South and the Midwest, The Plains States and the West. 1213 pages. Publisher: Abbeville Press (October 15, 1990). ISBN-10: 1558590331. ISBN-13: 978-1558590335. Library Journal says of these books: "...These volumes are not dictionaries, but rather geographically arranged, more selective, narratives. (The author specifically excludes artists chiefly active in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.) There are very brief introductions to regions and illuminating summaries about art institutions and art activities embedded in the various state-by-state essays; coverage varies according to material, from four pages (Nevada) to 120 (northern and southern California). Gerdts provides no overarching conclusions but rather vast amounts of distilled information on even the smallest art centers. The extensive bibliographies, also geographically arranged, will be an aid to further research. Some 900 of the 1000 artists discussed are illustrated." Quoted text is courtesy of Amazon Books. Color emphasis by TFAO. ["The East and the Mid-Atlantic" references have been reviewed by TFAO. The other two volumes will be reviewed at a later date.]

4. TFAO's Educational Progress Award Program, offered for a limited time a way for individuals to enable cash gifts to be provided to selected museums. Information on a related project is here.


All research is provided by volunteers.

Do you know of additional sources whether online or paper-printed? TFAO welcomes your suggestions. Please send them to:


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Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

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