Scholarly Text from Private Sources


(above, Gari Melchers, Joan of Arc, oil on canvas, 30 x 23 inches, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


Resource Library has amassed considerable information covering many artists and topics. In late 2016 Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO), publisher of Resource Library, changed focus away from adding additional articles and essays. TFAO is instead concentrating on furthering breadth and depth of information from other sources to place in Topics in American Art. In early 2017 TFAO added hundreds of additional museums to it's list for ongoing study. Find the covered museums here: A-C D-G H-L M-Q R-S T-Z.

For the indefinite future TFAO plans for Resource Library to remain inactive while accumulating data for Topics in American Art.


An emphasis of Resource Library, a publication of Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO), is making available to its online readers scholarly texts beneficial for the study of representational art in the United States covering numerous topics and artists throughout the nation's history. For a list of Resource Library's published authors and a count of their articles and essays please see the Author Study and Index.

Since 1996, hundreds of grantors of permissions to Resource Library have done so due to its editorial reputation, archival stability and a myriad of other benefits to them and the public.

While the majority of texts published by Resource Library are accepted from institutional sources, topical articles and essays from individuals and other private sources are also published. Texts with solid educational and historic value are welcomed from other sources including individual writers, artist organizations, commercial art gallery owners, independent curators, freelance writers, print magazine owners and others. Texts from galleries are often essays from exhibition catalogues.


(above: Joseph Rusling Meeker, Bayou Landscape, 1886, oil on canvas, 18 x 27 inches, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


Why is this publication valuable to the public?


Comprehensive source

Resource Library is the most comprehensive online source of information on American representational art. It is of value to scholars, teachers, students, individuals Shaping an Art Collection and the general public worldwide.

Information on authors

For each article or essay attributable to a named author, Resource Library welcomes a 100-150 word narrative biography of the author to enable readers to become familiar with the author's education and accomplishments. This knowledge helps readers judge scholarship quality and provides stimulation for seeking out more of an author's works.

Information on private copyright holders

As noted above, copyright holders are individual writers, artist organizations, commercial art gallery owners, independent curators, freelance writers, print magazine owners and others. Resource Library is pleased to provide these sources recognition and provide contact information for the benefit of readers, who in some cases, may become customers.

Information on catalogues

Where applicable, accompanying each essay Resource Library welcomes a 100-150 word description of the catalogue containing the essay, a photo of the front cover of the catalogue, plus guidance to readers on where to purchase the catalogue.

Freedom from economic constraints

Since Resource Library does not bear the cost burden of printing and distributing articles and essays on paper, whole texts can be economically published online instead of condensations. Also, there is no charge to readers.

More benefits to the public

For more benefits to the public, please click here


Why is this publication valuable to the copyright holder?


Increased visibility and stimulus for sales

Resource Library increases the visibility of copyright holders' texts, guides viewers to copyright owners' websites and provides stimulus for additional sales -- all at no cost to the owners of the texts -- to a large and diverse audience. Readers may include potential purchasers of catalogues and artworks, as well persons seeking advice of independent curators, membership in artist organizations, writing engagements and more.
TFAO's website is among the world's most visited sites devoted to American art. Sources and source documents are thoroughly identified and credited. Complimentary links are provided to copyright holders' websites and appropriate phone numbers are provided.
In the case texts excerpted from catalogues, texts are usually unaccompanied by images and their captions to encourage readers to purchase publications directly through the source's distribution channels. People who most want images accompanying texts are generally those seeking to purchase coffee table books and add them to their collections. Online texts without images, however, are very valuable to students and scholars conducting research -- and who are less likely to purchase books. [1]
To stimulate sales, university presses and commercial publishers have made available on their websites online essays from art-related titles. In addition, publishers have cooperated with Amazon and Google Books to allow online access to texts in their books. In the case of art books, often these texts are Introductions.
Michael Lesk, a professor at Rutgers University, provides related insight into consumer purchasing behavior. He says: "The National Academy Press has, for a few years, been putting all their new books on the Web for free access, and providing the complete text of each book. To the surprise of many, the result has been an increase in their print sales. Similarly the Brookings Institute has put 100 of its books online free, and the paper sales of those books have doubled. This result is perhaps similar to the experience of record companies, which found years ago that having their records played free on the radio increased disk sales."
Please see these Resource Library texts for examples:
Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, vol. one, East Bay Heritage Project, Oakland, 2012 by Robert W. Edwards (3/16/16)
The Pursuit of Form; essay by Peter Campion (11/6/08)
American Printmakers and the Federal Art Project; essay by Mary Francey (10/18/08)
The Art of Vermont; article by Mickey Myers (8/28/08)
Indiana Women Artists: Then and Now; essay by Rachel Berenson Perry (7/7/08)


No charges to sources

Resource Library does not charge for publication of articles and essays. Choice of content is not influenced by gifts or sponsorships. Also, Resource Library does not accept advertising.

Protection of copyright

Texts are usually republished from paper-printed exhibition catalogues and gallery brochures. Approval is given by the owner of a text for one-time republishing -- with no dilution of the owner's copyright. Resource Library dissuades individuals from copyright infringement and plagiarism in its User Agreement page. TFAO encourages students to thoroughly learn about plagiarism and encourages teachers to explain the meaning of plagiarism, how it may occur, the harm it causes and the legal penalties for its practice. TFAO discusses plagiarism and copyright infringement in the General Resources section of its Resources for Collectors, Life Long Learners, Students and Teachers of Art History.

Protection from unauthorized editing and posting

Unlike Wikipedia and similar web sites, texts published in Resource Library cannot be edited or directly posted by the public. To provide oversight of source authenticity, TFAO's director has personally approved all content for publication since Resource Library's inception. Material changes to content provided by a named author are not made without permission of the author. For further information please see errors and omissions, acquisition and deselection of content for the TFAO Digital Library and digitizing initiatives.

Other texts

Individuals are invited to submit by email information on artists mentioned in previously published Resource Library articles. This information may be intended to enhance or correct previously published information. Accepted text will be placed after the end of the article within a new editor's note. The source of the new information will be given credit for the submission. The name of the source will be accompanied by contact information such as a postal address, email address or phone number. For further information please see errors and omissions.


Next steps


For next steps, please see information on guidelines for submitting materials. Also please see Resource Library's complete content presentation guidelines.


Additional options


Resource Library also suggests that private sources of texts consider:



1. Although image captions are usually not included, captions for images included in paper-printed books may be appended to an essay at the request of the copyright holder, following a mutually agreed upon methodology. Also, as stated in Resource Library's Content Presentation Guidelines "In order to preserve the integrity of the original essay text, figure or catalogue image number references within the essay text are preserved. Examples are '...Western paintings (Cat. No. 4)' and '...classes at the Ferrer Center (figs. 23-27)'". 

If a source is in a position to grant to Resource Library permission for inclusion of agreed upon images of art objects with online texts, and wishes this done, the request may be accommodated. Since some images in the possession of a source may be held for the sole purpose of providing publicity for an exhibition or other restricted use, extra caution is in order to protect the usage licenses granted by copyright holders of images.

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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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