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Art Appreciation 1301 - Coyle, Michael: Analyze a Work from SAMA or McNay: Search

Assignment - select a work from the SAMA or McNay collection and write a 1000 word analysis

1. Apply art terminology as it specifically relates to works of art. 2 Demonstrate knowledge of art elements and principles of design. 3. Differentiate between the processes and materials used in the production of various works of art. 4. Critically interpret and evaluate works of art. 5. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of arts on culture.

Search Tools

Search example for books in the Library Discovery

No matter which topic you choose - a specific artist, a particular work or technique, a culture - you will need a BIG LIST of keywords describing that topic so you can build a flexible search strategy to find books and other sources.

For instance, if I'm looking for items about the murals of Diego Rivera, my list of keywords might include:

  • the artist's name: Diego Rivera
  • the genre: murals
  • techniques: fresco
  • country: Mexico, United States
  • themes: social inequality; the relationship of nature, industry, and technology; and the history of Mexico
  • symbolism used: religious, mythology, nature

So with a list like this, you can build keyword searches to locate books and other sources which address your topic:

  • rivera and murals
  • murals and fresco
  • murals and mexico
  • social inequality and art
  • mexico and religious and symbolism and art

Here's a sample search from the library Discovery. Note the use of the * to help you find any alternate endings for your keywords!

How Keyword Searching Works

Databases are only smart enough to play the matching game with your keywords!

Me: Match ONE keyword for me!

Research Tool: Here are items that contain that ONE keyword:



Me: Match TWO keywords for me!

Research Tool: Here are items that contain BOTH of those keywords:

Me: Match THREE keywords for me!

Research Tool: Here are items that contain ALL THREE keywords:

Me: Match THREE keywords for me and find alternate endings for "art" and "paint"!

Research Tool: Here are items that contain ALL THREE keywords with alternate endings on "art" and "paint":

Google plays the matching game, too! (more or less)


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Celita Ávila's picture
Celita Ávila
San Antonio College Library
1819 N. Main Ave
San Antonio, TX 78212

Sample Sources

The SAC Library houses thousands of books on a variety of art topics, the importance of art within specific cultures, and of terms. This is just a small sample. Click on the titles below to see the location and call number of these specific sources. Or search for your own topic, artists, or keywords in the Library Discovery!

San Antonio College Library, 1819 Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC) building, floors 2 - 5
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