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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

ARTH 331 - Contemporary Art - Artist and Artwork Research

Overview

Assignment 1.4—Look for the exhibition website (links to assignment in Canvas)

This tutorial demonstrates tips and tricks for searching for the official website of the exhibition you identified in the previous assignments (see 1.2 and 1.3). If an official website does not seem to exist or be available, the tutorial will demonstrate how to find and evaluate an equivalent relevant website that includes content about the exhibition.

Emphasis in the tutorial is on how to determine if a website is from an official and reliable source, such as the museum or gallery that organized the exhibition. 

LINK TO VIDEO TUTORIAL

 

What Kind of Information Can You Find Online About an Exhibition?

An official exhibition website -- available on the website of the museum or gallery that hosted the exhibition -- can range from extensive information and additional resources about the exhibition and artist(s), to as little as just the exhibition name, date(s) and venue.  Sometimes no exhibition website exists at all.

An extensive exhibition website may include installation images, links to recordings of programs featuring the artist(s), copies of the exhibition label text, or a copy of the essays written to accompany the exhibition.  See this example from MOMA:  https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1154.

Step 4.1 - Search for and Locate Official Exhibition Website

Ideally you will be able to search and find the official exhibition website on a museum or gallery website.  For this part of the tutorial, the examples used are the following:

  • Museum exhibition:  Cindy Sherman (exh. cat. by E. Resini with J. Burton, New York, MOMA, 2012)
  • Gallery exhibition:  Cindy Sherman: A Play of Selves (exh. cat., New York, Metro Pictures, 2006)

 

LINK TO VIDEO DEMONSTRATING SEARCH AND EVALUATION PROCESS - Start at 3:49

 

If you can't find the official exhibition website, go to Step 4.2 to search and locate another credible and relevant online resource for information about your exhibition.

Step 4.2 - Search for and Locate Credible and Relevant Exhibition Information

Use this step if you can't locate an official exhibition website.  The example used in the video demonstration uses this exhibition as an example:  Cindy Sherman (exh. cat. by P. Schjeldahl and L. Phillips, New York, Whitney, 1987).

LINK TO VIDEO DEMONSTRATING SEARCH AND EVALUATION PROCESS - Start at 13:11

 

Suggested Reliable Sources of Information about Exhibitions

  • Museum and gallery websites
  • Artist and collective websites
  • Exhibition reviews (may need to access using a newspaper database such as Newsbank [update])

Use the website's “About” page as a source for evaluating the quality of the website and its creators (who created the site? what are their credentials? what are their aims/purposes for the site?)

 

Use the "Evaluating Sources" suggestions below to evaluate your source for quality and relevance.

 

Evaluating Sources

Objective:  Apply sound criteria (i.e., credibility, accuracy, and currency) to render an educated judgement about the quality of information and an educated judgement about the relevance of the information.

 

LINK TO VIDEO DEMONSTRATING SOURCE EVALUATION - Start at 25:21

 

Evaluating Quality of Sources

  • Authority (expertise and reliability) of creator
    • Does the creator have experience/expertise in the topic?
      • Experience (personal; cultural)
      • Academic expertise
      • Curatorial expertise
      • Topic expertise/experience (Is the creator expert in the topic of the resource or in an unrelated topic?)
    • Is the creator trustworthy, credible, and/or reliable?
      • What are the creator's motivations for creating the content? (make money, sell a product, etc.)
  • Accuracy
    • Does the information seem accurate compared to other sources of information on your topic?
  • Currency
    • Does the creator use sources of information that are current or are they older?
    • Do you need to have the most current information on your topic or not?

Assessing Relevance

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Does the source meet the requirements of your assignment? (ie, what types of sources can you use? How current should they be?)
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

(adapted from Nancy Fawley, "Determining the Relevance and Reliability of Information Sources," in Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, edited by Patricia Bravender, Hazel McClure, and Gayle Schaub, Chapter 3, p. 72, https://sandbox.acrl.org/library-collection/determining-relevance-and-reliability-information-sources, accessed 1 April 2021)

 

Additional Resources