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Top 5 Reference Books

Reference Books at Earls Court Gallery Art

Books continue to be a valuable tool to what we do at Earls Court Gallery.  Like consignment art, our reference library is a collection of books that have come to us from various collections, as gifts, deaccession items from local libraries, while others have been sought out and purchased. 

On a weekly basis, the Gallery receives phone calls asking:

"Have you heard of [enter artist's name here]?"

We are not shy to answer when we have or politely point out that we have not, with the condition that there are hundreds of artists out there; both new and historical. 

However, we look at the void in knowledge as an opportunity to learn with our client.

Most of these calls come to us, after the client has scoured the internet with no results or only yielding minimal personal details. It is after this search, we hit the books to which often predate internet and can have the information we are looking for.

Though there are massive efforts to digitized many art publications, some references are used by such a niche group of academics that they are not deemed significant enough for the effort. 

Here are the top 5 references we use at the Gallery:

1.  Artists In Canada: A Union List Of Artists' Files/Artistes Au Canada: Une Liste Collective Des Dossiers D'artistes

By CAMPBELL, Cyndie; ROY, Sylvie

This hefty book lists almost every Canadian artist prior to 1999. It's format is index style with notations that reference where an artist might have more information at a library, collection, institution, ect. 

2.   By A Lady: Celebrating Three Centuries of Art by Canadian Women

By Maria Tippett

The profession of artist was not always welcoming as it is now to women. "By  A Lady" helps to fill the void of women artist biographies.

3.  Climbing the Cold White Peaks: A survey of artists in and from Hamilton 1910-1950 

By Stuart MacCuaig

The Gallery refers to this book as our "Bible" of Hamilton artists during 1910-1950. It has a superb selection of primary research on our local artists. Furthermore, the listings in the back of members belonging to various arts associations, helps us place the more unknown artists into a time period or association with more known artists.

Side note:  Building Cultural Legacies Hamilton is the virtual continuation of this book. AKA Vol. 2

4.   Women's Art Association of Hamilton: The First 100 Years

By Stuart MacCuaig

Did you know that the Women's Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) is actually older than the Art Gallery of Hamilton?

Many of the women artists documented in this book contributed to the significant collection at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Furthermore, many of the artists here make a significant role to the Hamilton Arts Community. 

5.  Impressionism in Canada: A journey of rediscovery 

By A. K. Prakash

Though a relatively new resource published in 2015, this catalogue establishes a cohesive collection of artist biographies and colour palates by impressionist Canadian artists that are finally being acknowledged as making a significant contribution to the cannon of Canadian art. Plus, it's beautiful to look at.

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