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Fine Art: Works of art that are created specifically for their aesthetic value, such as painting and sculpture.

Decorative Art: Arts traditionally defined as ornamental or functional such as furniture and ceramics.

Mid-Century and Contemporary Design: Functional and ornamental pieces specifically from the middle 
of the 20th century to date, such as furniture and ceramics - typically designer signed.

The practice of applying pigment combined with a binding agent to a surface such as paper, canvas, wood, glass or other.

Acrylic: Water-based plastic paint consisting of pigments bound in an acrylic resin mixture. Can be thinned 
with water while wet, but becomes tough and water resistant once dry.

Alkyd: Synthetic resin used in the manufacturing of paints and varnishes. An alkyd is a mixture of alcohol 
and acid and must be thinned with solvent or paint thinner. Alykds dry faster than oils but not as fast as 
acrylic paints.

Encaustic: The process of painting by mixing dry pigments with molten wax and varying amounts of Damar 
varnish. Hot wax painting is easily manipulated, resulting in a variety of textures and color combinations.

Fresco: A painting technique, perfected at the time of the Renaissance, in which pigments suspended in water 
are applied to a damp plaster surface. As the pigments dry, they become a part of the plaster or wall surface.

Gouache: Painting medium similar to watercolor characterized by pigments suspended in water. However, due 
to the presence of chalk, gouache produces a heavier and more opaque image than watercolor.

Ink/Wash: Also known as East Asian brush painting, ink/wash painting was developed in China during 
the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Artists typically grind their own ink by combining water with densely packed 
ink sticks on a grinding stone. Ink and wash paintings require a highly skilled artist since brushstrokes 
cannot be erased.

Mixed Media Painting: A mixed media painting employs multiple media to create a final piece. For 
example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage is considered a mixed media painting.

Oil Paint: Technique developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in which slow-drying paint is made by 
mixing color pigments with an oil base.

Pastel: Pastels are sticks of color, typically made from oil or chalk. Artists use pastels to create a soft and 
delicate image. The medium can often be unforgiving, as it is difficult for the artist to fix a mistake.

Chalk pastels: The most widely used form of pastel, soft chalk pastels are brightly-colored and easily 

Oil pastels: Oil pastels have similar characteristics to chalk, or soft, pastels. However, they are difficult to 
blend and have a more buttery consistency.

Sumi-e: Literally meaning “ink painting,” Sumi-e paintings are monochromatic and typically associated with 
the practice of Zen Buddhism. This elegant form of painting was developed in China during the Song Dynasty 

Tempera: A medium that was prevalent in Orthodox paintings during Southern Europe’s Middle Ages. The 
artist combines egg yolk, egg white, and oil to bind a range of pigments on a rigid support such as wood 

Watercolor: Painting that is characterized by colorful pigments dissolved in water to produce a translucent 

Style refers to both unique visual elements or techniques that characterize an individual artist's work, as well as the particular movement 
or school of which the artist is associated. 

19th C. European and British (1800-1900): all media. 19th Century European and British art consists of 
various artistic movements in Europe including Rococo, Classicism, Revolutionary art, Spanish art, 
Romanticism, the Barbizon School, Realism, Orientalism, Idealism, Victorian, Impressionism, 
Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Naturalism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism. The 19th century 
was a time of changing ideas revolving around the purpose of art, the appropriate choice of subject matter, 
the attitude between the artist and the public, the artist's relationship with nature and new technology's 
influence on art.

19th C./Early 20th C. American (1800-1900): all media. 19th Century American art consists of various 
artistic movements in America including Rococo, Classicism, Revolutionary art, Romanticism, Realism, 
Idealism, Impressionism, Neo-impressionism, Post Impressionism, Naturalism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism. 

Abstract Art (1900-1950): all media. Any form of art that does not represent reality convincingly, but 
instead distorts it. In this movement, artists began with a known visible object and abstracted it to produce 
a more simplified form. Pioneers of the Abstract Art movement include Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian. 

Abstract Expressionism (1940-1960): all media. The Abstract Expressionists were based in New York City 
and were often referred to as the New York School. They were influenced by the ideas of Surrealism and 
aimed to make abstract art that also possessed expressive and emotional qualities.

Academic art (18th century): painting, works on paper, prints and sculpture. This term refers to art 
created according to the official academies of traditional painting and sculpture which flourished in Europe 
from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

Action Painting (1945-1960s): painting, works on paper. Closely associated with abstract expressionism, 
action painting focused on the spontaneity of applying paint to the canvas. Instead of focusing on the final 
image, this style of painting was much more interested in the act of painting itself. Jackson Pollock is one of 
the most well known action painters.

Aesthetic Movement (1870s-1880s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement emphasized the 
beauty of all objects for everyone to take pleasure in, not just the elite.

African American Artists: all media. An African-American artist, is an artist who is American born, but 
whose ancestors were of African descent.  Their art during the 18th and 19th centuries reflected early African 
artistic traditions, but progressed and merged with western fine art styles during the 20th century.

American Impressionism (1890s-1920s): painting, prints, works on paper. Not only did Impressionism 
flourish in Europe, but it also influenced American artists. They employed the same techniques and subject 
matter. Notable American impressionists include William Morris Hunt, John La Farge, Joseph Foxcroft Cole, 
George Inness, Alexander Wyant, and Dennis Miller Bunker.

American Regionalism (c. 1930s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement was primarily 
composed of Midwestern rural artists who appeared around the 1930s.

Ancient Art & Antiquities: paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Ancient Art and Antiquities refers 
to art from the beginning of civilization through the Dark Ages, ranging from Western Europe to the Caspian 
Sea including the cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Near East.

Antebellum Era (1820-1850): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to American art 
created before and leading up to the Civil War.

Art Brut (c. 1950): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Invented by Jean Dubuffet, Art Brut was 
created as "raw" art by individuals who existed completely outside of society and the world of art schools, 
galleries and museums.

Art Deco (1920-1939): all media. This term refers to the movement characterized by the use of bold 
materials, patterns and designs. Art Deco took characteristics from many previous movements and influenced 
a wide variety of media.

Art Nouveau (1880-1914): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This movement pervaded a variety 
of mediums, but was most prominent in architecture and design. Distinctive by an organic, asymmetrical, 
decorative style, Art Nouveau can be characterized by flowing lines, shapes and forms.

Arte Povera (1960s-1970s): painting, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the Italian art 
movement in which artists worked outside of the traditional art-making mediums. Instead, they used 
materials which could be acquired for free or very inexpensively. It literally means "poor art" but, in actuality, 
it does not denote an impoverished art, but an art made without boundaries.

Ashcan School (1910s): painting, works on paper. This movement is characterized by depicting scenes of 
daily life in poor neighborhoods. It became prominent in the early 20th century in the United States. Notable 
artists associated with this movement include Robert Henri, Arthur B. Davies, Maurice Prendergast, Ernest 
Lawson, William Glackens, Everett Shinn, John French Sloan, and George Luks.

Barbizon School (1830s-1870s): painting, prints, works on paper. The Barbizon School included a group 
of French painters who believed in realism in art as opposed to the Romantic Movement during the mid-19th 

Baroque (1620-1715): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. In the visual arts, Baroque was a 
period dominated by exaggeration and detail. Artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Caravaggio, and Cortona 
are known for their dramatic works associated with this movement.

Bauhaus (1919-1933): all media. This term refers to the art and architecture school in Germany that 
operated in the early 1900s, and had a profound influence on art, architecture, graphic design, interior 
design, industrial design and typography. The Bauhaus style, pioneered by modern architect Walter Gropius, 
became one of the most well-known currents in Modernist architecture.

Bay Area Figuration (1950s-present): painting. This mid-20th century movement embodied a group of 
artists from the San Francisco Bay Area who deserted Abstract Expressionism and instead turned to 
figuration in art.

BritArt (1992-present): all media. BritArt refers to the group of young artists based in the United Kingdom. 
They received their name from the Saatchi Gallery exhibitions starting in 1992 which originally brought them 
to fame.

Byzantine (867-1453): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Byzantine refers to the art from the 
Eastern Roman Empire. The majority of these works have a religious context and are characterized by strong 
colors and figures.

California Style (1920s-1950s): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the artistic movement in 
California. Artists of the California style were impacted by earlier modern movements and adapted those 
influences into their own style.

Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints,
and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Ming Dynasty. 

Chinese Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, 
and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Qing Dynasty. 

Chinese Modern Period (1911-1945): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, 
prints, and works on paper created at the time of the Chinese Modern Period. 

Chinoiserie: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. A term which refers to the western interpretations 
of Chinese fine and decorative, art in a variety of media.

Civil War/Reconstruction (1850-1877): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to the 
group of artists who depicted the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods in their work. Notable 
artists include Conrad Wise Chapman, Winslow Homer, James Hope, Thomas Nast, and William Aiken Walker.

COBRA (1948-1951): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the European avant-garde movement 
active from 1948-1951. The name was created from the initials of the members’ home cities of 
Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br), and Amsterdam (A). They had an expressive style which focused on 
social and political issues. 

Colonial Period (1600-1763): painting, prints, works on paper. Art during the Colonial Period in 
North America did not possess the high quality of other arts at this time. The 17th century painters were 
naive and unknown, but often created charming landscapes and portraits. 

Color Field Painting (Late 1950s-1960s): painting. This term refers to an off-shoot style of 
Abstract Expressionism distinguished by areas of flat single colors. They differed from the Abstract 
Expressionists in that they eliminated the personal subject matter and gestural paint application associated 
with the previous movement. Some of the color field painters included Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and
Clyfford Still. 

Conceptual Art (1960s-1970s): all media. Conceptual art refers to art created primarily for the ideas and 
concepts involved instead of aesthetic pleasure.

Constructivism (1913-1930): all media. This term refers to the branch of abstract art founded in Russia. 
The constructivist members believed that art should directly reflect the industrial world. Therefore, the 
movement dismissed "pure" art in favor of art as an instrument for socialist society.

Contemporary (1945-Present): all media. Contemporary art, or works created post-World War II, is 
recognized as one of the most creative periods in art history. Media includes paintings, works on paper, 
photographs, sculptures, video & sound art and installation.

Contemporary Realism (1960s): painting, photography, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the 
post-abstract movement which focused on a straightforward and realistic approach to art. Notable artists of 
this period include William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein.

Cubism (1908-1920): all media. This term refers to the movement dominated by the geometric 
reconstruction of object utilizing flat surfaces and blocks of color. It was one of the most popular movements 
of the 20th century founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1907. The birth of Cubism was 
influenced by the later works of Cezanne.

Dada (1916-1924): all media. This term refers to the cultural movement that began in Switzerland during 
World War I. Encompassing all of the arts and concentrating on anti-war statements, the Dada movement 
aimed to destroy the traditional values in art. Its leading artists included Duchamp, Picabia and Schwitters, 
and it formed the base for Surrealism.

Der Blaue Reiter (1911-1914): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the movement organized 
by Vasily Kandinsky in Munich, Germany. Der Blaue Reiter, "The Blue Rider," consisted of a group of nine 
artists who shared an interest in the power of color.

Die Brucke (1905-1913): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the German Expressionist 
counterpart of Fauvism. Die Brucke artists believed in the bridge between modernity and barbarism and 
depicted this irony with bright, raw colors.

Dutch School (1600-1670): painting, prints, works on paper. Artists of the Dutch School focused on 
portraying their national pride through genre scenes, portraits, still life, landscapes, town-scape, and 
seascapes. Unlike the other movements of the 17th century, the Dutch school artists had more freedom 
and flexibility in what they created. 

Early Republic (1790-1820): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to art created during the 
Early Republic in North America. The majority of these works were landscapes and genre scenes. 

Ecole de Paris (1910-1950): painting, prints, sculpture, works on paper. The Ecole de Paris was a group 
unified in their rebelliousness against academism. Unlike the majority of schools at the time, they did not 
adhere to a specific style and technique. 

Earthworks / Land Art (1960s-1980s): sculpture and installation. In the late 1960s and 1970s, sculptors 
began to take art back to nature. They worked outdoors using what they found to fashion earthworks and 
land art. Leading artists in the Land Art movement include Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Michael Heizer 
and Dennis Oppenheim.

Emerging Artists: all media. Emerging artists are young artists with specialized training in his or her field. 
They are at an early stage in his or her career with a modest independent body of work, but lack the 
exposure of an artist with a more mature career.

Expressionism (1905-1925): all media. This term refers to the movement which manipulates the visual 
elements of an image to convey intense subjective feelings. In expressionist art, color is highly intense, 
brushwork is free and application of paint is heavy and textured. 

Fashion Photography: photography. This term refers to the genre of photography entirely devoted to 
recording clothing and other fashion objects.

Fauvism (1905-1908): painting. This term refers to the movement identified by its high energy and 
brilliant colors which conveyed an intense visual experience. Originating in France, around 1905, Henri 
Mattise and his followers combined bold primary colors with dynamic brushwork, winning the label of 
Fauves, or "Wild Beasts." Fauvism is often seen as a combination of the Post-Impressionism of Van Gogh 
and the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat. 

Fluxus (1960s): all media. Fluxus, literally meaning “to flow,” refers to the movement during the 1960s 
which combined a variety of techniques and media in the visual arts, music, literature, and design.

Folk Art: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture.Folk art refers to regional handicrafts, ornamental 
works and fine art produced by people with no formal art training.

Found Object: sculpture, installation. This term refers to objects found by an artist in his or her environment 
and presented as a work of art completely unaltered or combined and/or modified to create a final piece.

Futurism (1909-1918): all media. This term refers to the Italian movement influenced by Cubism in the 
early 1900s. Futurism attacked everything that was old and promoted the modern world of industry and 
technology. The leading artists of this movement included Balla, Boccioni and Severini.

Geometric Abstract Art (20th Century): all media. Geometric Abstract Art refers to the form of abstract 
art based on the use of simple geometric forms. Kandinsky was the forerunner of this non-objective painting 
style. Other followers include Kasimir, Malevish, and Piet Mondrian.

German Expressionism (Early 20th century): painting, prints, works on paper. German Expressionism 
encompasses the Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter movements in Germany.

Gilded Age (1877-1900): painting, prints, works on paper. The Gilded Age took place during the post-
Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras in the United States. During this period, Americans saw extraordinary
growth. Artists such as John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and 
Albert Pinkham Ryder created some of the most celebrated works of this time.

Gothic (1100-1600): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Gothic art refers to the medieval 
movement found in a variety of mediums ranging from architecture, sculpture, panel painting, stained glass 
and manuscripts. Often, gothic works told both Christian and secular narratives through imagery. 

Graffiti (1980s-present): painting, works on paper. This term refers to the movement founded during the 
1980s where graffiti art, or images and letters usually spray-painted on property, became an art form worthy 
of display in galleries and exhibitions. 

Hard-edge Painting (Late 1950s): painting. Hard-edge painting refers to the movement consisting of 
rough, straight edges that were geometrically consistent. It is characterized by rich solid colors, neat surfaces 
and a collection of multiple forms on the canvas. It is often associated with Geometric Abstraction, 
Post-Painterly Abstraction and Color Field Painting.

Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s): all media. The Harlem Renaissance was a time of flourishing art, 
literature and drama during the 1920s and 1930s, in which African American novelists, poets and painters 
produced works focusing on their own culture instead of European and white American society. While the 
movement was centered in Harlem, New York City, it affected many urban centers throughout the United 

Hudson River School (1825-1875): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to a group of 
American painters during the mid-19th century who demonstrated a common belief and outlook on life. 
Their inspiration was rooted in aesthetics and romanticism as seen through their depiction of landscapes 
in the Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, Adirondack Mountains and White Mountains of New York and 
New England. 

Impressionism (1874-1876): paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Impressionism is the term 
applied to an art movement in France during the late 19th century that focused on landscapes and scenes 
of everyday life. The movement was very anti-academic in style, and often disobeyed the traditional rules 
of the Salon. It can be identified by their treatment of light, color, and brushwork. Leading artists of this 
movement included Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Manet, among others. 

Indian and Southeast Asian Mughal Period (16th-19th centuries): painting, works on paper. This term 
refers to paintings and works on paper created during the Mughal Period in India and Southeast Asia.

Indian and Southeast Asian Rajput Painting (16th century): painting, works on paper. This term refers 
to paintings and works on paper created during the Rajput Period in India and Southeast Asia.

Islamic Art: all media. Islamic art includes arts produced from the 7th century to present time by people 
who have lived in territories inhabited by culturally Islamic populations. It encompasses a variety of media 
including architecture, calligraphy, painting, ceramics, metalwork, woodwork, glass and jewelry from all 
over the Islamic world.

Japanese Muromachi Period (1392-1568): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, 
prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Muromachi Period.

Japanese Momoyama Period (1568-1603): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, 
prints, and works on paper created during the Japanese Momoyama Period.

Japanese Edo Period (1603-1868): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, 
and works on paper created during the Japanese Edo Period.

Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1945): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to paintings, prints, 
and works on paper created during the Japanese Meiji Period.

Kinetic Art (1960s): sculpture. Kinetic art refers to artworks that contain parts that can be moved by hand, 
air or motion. Artists known for kinetic art include Naum Gabo and Alexander Calder.

Latin-American Artists: all media. Latin-American art covers nearly 500 years of artwork ranging from the 
Colonial period through the 21st century. Some prominent Latin-American artists include Frida Kahlo, Diego 
Rivera, Matta, Wifredo Lam, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Fernando Botero, Claudio Bravo, Joaquin Torres-Garcia
and Rufino Tamayo.

Les Nabis (1891-1899): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the group formed as an 
offshoot of Symbolism. The artists saw themselves as initiators of art as found in the soul of the artist. They 
believed that a painting should be balanced and, as a result, single colors and patterns were separated by 
strong contours. Members of this movement included Paul Serusier, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard.

Lyrical Abstraction (1960s-1970s): painting. After World War II, artists in Europe believed that it was their 
duty to develop a new concept of humankind. This distinctive approach to painting became known as Lyrical 
Abstraction, or "art informel," and returned to the origins of art expressed through a simplistic manner. 

Magic Realism (1943-1950s): painting. This term refers to the genre in which artists depicted extreme 
realism in the most ordinary subject matter. Also, magic realism is often associated with the post-expressionist 

Mannerism (1520-1600): painting, prints, works on paper. Mannerism refers to the style developed 
during the 16th century, characterized by its focus on space and light, dramatic use of color and distorted 
space and perspective. It began around the end of the High Renaissance and lasted until the arrival of 
Baroque in 1600. 

Medieval (476-1453): painting, works on paper, sculpture. Medieval art covers over 1000 years of art 
history through Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It covered a variety of media and included many 
major art movements such as Early Christian Art, Celtic Art, Pre-Romanesque art and Carolingian art, 
among others. 

Metaphysical (1917-1920): painting, works on paper. Metaphysical refers to the art movement created 
by Italian artists Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carra. Painters focused on a realist approach to dream-like 
views of Italian cityscapes. It also helped paved the way for the development of Dada and Surrealism.

Militaria: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Militaria refers to artifacts or replicas of military items 
which are collected for their historical significance such as helmets, uniforms, armour, coins or awards.

Military Art: all media.  This term refers to art documenting military scenes and is of personal interest.

Minimalism (1960s-1970s): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the simplicity 
found in the use of basic shapes to create an image of great beauty. Minimalism was mostly three-dimensional, 
but Frank Stella’s paintings were a hallmark of this movement. Other important minimalists include Andre, 
Flavin, Judd, Lewitt, Morris and Serra.

Modern (1880-1945): all media. The term modernism generally refers to new forms of art that are more 
appropriate to the present time. Modern art has been identified as the succession of art movements by critics 
since Realism and culminating in abstract art up to 1945. By that time, modernism had become a dominant 
idea of art and the modernist viewpoint was theorized by the American art critic Clement Greenberg.

Mono-Ha (1960s-1970s): sculpture. Mono-ha refers to the Japanese group of artists working in the 1960s 
and 1970s, who used both natural and man-made materials in their work. They are best known for actually 
rearranged materials to achieve a final product instead of creating works from scratch. 

Native American: all media. Native American art covers a vast time period and a variety of media created 
by artists of Native American descent. 

Naturalism (1870s-1890s): painting, works on paper. Naturalism refers to the realistic portrayal of objects 
in a natural setting. Some of the best known Naturalist artworks were of beautiful landscapes created after 
the Renaissance.

Neo-Classicism (1750-1880): all media. This movement, founded as a reaction against the Baroque and 
Rococo styles of the early 18th century, desired to return to the purity of the ancient arts of the Roman and 
Grecian cultures.

Neo-Dada (1950s): all media. Neo-Dada refers to art work created during the 1950s resembling the original 
Dada movement in its methods. Neo-Dadaists used modern materials and popular imagery to deny the 
traditional and accepted ideas of aesthetics. Notable artists during this movement include Jasper Johns, Yves 
Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine. They also helped pave the way for the Pop Art 
and Fluxus movement.

Neo-Expressionism (Late 1970s-1980s): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the revival
of expressionism in the 1980s. Neo-Expressionism took place in many countries and cultures, but the leading 
artists in the United States were Philip Guston and Julian Schnabel.

Neo-Figurative Art (1960s): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the revival 
expressionist movement in the form of figurative art that emerged in the 1960s in Mexico.

Neo-Impressionism (1886-1906): painting, prints, works on paper. Neo-Impressionism refers to the 
late 19th century movement led by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Their works were innovative for their 
time and altered the use of color and line, compared to their Impressionist ancestors. 

Neo-Romanticism (1880-1910): painting, prints, works on paper. Neo-romanticism refers to the movement 
based on the revival of romanticism in art and literature.

Neue Sachlichkeit (1910s): painting, prints, works on paper. Neue Sachlichkeit, the German art 
movement, was formed out of defiance against expressionism. It ended with the rise of the Nazis and 
covered a wide variety of media including the visual arts, literature, music and architecture. 

New Realism (1950-1960s): all media. This term refers to the movement founded by art critic Pierre 
Restany and painter Yves Klein which is often compared to the New York Pop Art movement for its critique 
of commercialized objects. Leading artists of this movement included Arman, Cesar, Christo, Tinguely and 
Daniel Spoerri. 

Old Masters (14th to Early 19th Centuries): painting, prints, works on paper. Masterpieces by the most 
famous Western artists from the 14th to the early 19th centuries including Raphael, Cranach, Titian, 
Velazquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Hals, Reynolds, Canaletto, Gainsborough and Fragonard. Subject matter 
usually included still lifes, landscapes, genre paintings, portraits, religious and historical themes.

Op Art (Late 1950s-1960s): all media. Op Art contrasted its Abstract Expressionist ancestor by creating 
a nonobjective art based entirely upon patterns of lines and colors which affected the viewer’s perception. 
Leading artists of this movement included Bridget Riley, Jesus Raphael, Soto and Victor Vasarely.

Orientalism (1838-1890s): painting, prints, works on paper. Orientalism can be characterized by work 
influenced by the artistic styles and motifs of the Far East. 

Outsider Art: all media. Outsider art refers to art created outside the boundaries of traditional culture. 
Broadly, it includes folk and primitive art as well as works created by the mentally ill, disturbed individuals 
or prisoners. 

Photojournalism / Documentary: photography. Photojournalism refers to the use of the photography to 
tell a story. Often, photojournalists are in the presence of war, rioting or other risks while documenting events.

Photo-Realism (1960-1970): painting. This phrase refers to the genre of painting which resembles 
photography. It became a dominant movement during the late 1960s and 1970s.

Photo-Secession (1902-1917): photography. To raise the standards of photography as an art form, a 
group of photographers started the Photo-Secession movement led by Alfred Stieglitz. The members of this 
group believed in showing a pure image, ultimately leaving the photographs unaltered with the exception of 

Pop Art (Late 1950s-1960s): all media. This term refers to the art movement which took its style and 
subject matter from popular culture. Its sources were movies, television, comic books and advertisements. 
Pop art is epitomized in the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg.

Portraiture: paintings, photography, works on paper, sculpture. Any work representing a person.

Post-Impressionism (1880-1900): painting, prints, works on paper. This term refers to the movement 
branching off of Impressionism in 1910. Post-Impressionist artists came to reject Impressionism's emphasis 
on the strong depiction of light and color and instead developed more abstract styles. Artists such as Paul 
Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were highly influential 
post-impressionists who paved the way for many of the early 20th century’s modern painters.

Post-Minimalism (Late 1960s): all media. This term refers to a varied approach to Minimalism which 
challenged the idea of art as static and durable. Eva Hesse is known for her malleable enabling the pieces 
to take on different dimensions.

Postmodern: all media. The postmodern art movement was formed as a contradiction to typical 
modernism. It encompassed movements such as Installation art, Conceptual Art and Multimedia. It also 
branched out into diverse and unknown media such as bricolage, collage, simplification, depictions of popular 
culture and performance art.

Post-War European Figuration (Post World War II): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Postwar 
European Figuration included artists such as Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Rene Iche, 
Marino Marini and Henry Moore.

Pre-Raphaelite (1848-1860s): painting, prints, works on paper. Considered to be one of the first 
avant-garde movements in art, the Pre-Raphaelites sought to reject the traditional and academic styles 
of Raphael and Michelangelo. Some notable Pre-Raphaelite artists include James Collison, William Holman 
Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Primitivism: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Many modern European artists became fascinated 
with the tribal arts from Africa, the South Pacific, Indonesia and early European folk art.  These artists were 
interested in primitive art as a way to search for a simpler and more basic way of life, differing from that of 
the west.  Notable artists such as Picasso and Gauguin, as well as artists in the Expressionist movements, 
were prominent in this movement.

Propaganda: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture.  Propaganda, or political art, refers to artworks 
created for the purpose of political awareness often focusing on themes relating to socialism, World War I, 
and World War II.

Purism (c. 1918): painting, works on paper. Purism refers to the art movement established around 1918 
in France by Amedee Ozenfant and Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who believed in the power of art to change 
the world.

Rayism (1909-1913): painting, works on paper. Rayism refers to the abstract style of painting developed 
by the Russian artist Mikhail Larionov. 

Realism (Mid-19th Century): painting, prints, sculpture, works on paper. This term refers to a group 
of painters in France, known as the Barbizon School, who pioneered a naturalist philosophy that art should 
reflect ordinary life. Images of peaceful and contented country life grew out of this movement. However, the 
defining moment for Realism came after the Revolution of 1848 in France when artists such as Gustave 
Courbet and Honore Daumier turned their attention to the working-class and poor.

Renaissance (1400-1600): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. The Renaissance was a time of 
rebirth spanning from the 15th through the 17th century. In the visual arts, it was best known for its 
development of linear perspective as seen through the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. 

Rococo (1715-1754): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Rococo refers to the style of 18th 
century France characterized by elegant and ornate furniture, sculptures, mirrors, tapestries, paintings and 

Romanesque (1000-1200): painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. Romanesque refers to the art of 
Western Europe beginning 1000 and lasting for nearly 200 years. This style is characterized by its return 
to Roman construction techniques, not necessarily a revival of all Roman ideas. The Northern European 
and Byzantine styles were also highly influential in the Romanesque movement. 

Romanticism (Late 18th- Mid-19th century): paintings, prints, sculpture, works on paper. This term 
refers to the movement beginning in 1830 featuring loose, fluid brushstrokes, strong colors, complex
compositions, dramatic contrasts of light and dark and expressive gestures. Artists often drew upon literary 
sources and social criticism for their subject matter. Romanticism later became identified with social 
commentary which was intended to stir public emotions especially in the works of Theodore Gericault and 
Eugene Delacroix.

Russian-Avant Garde (1890-1930): all media. This term refers to the wave of modern art that flourished 
in Russia from 1890-1930. It encompassed a variety of movements including Symbolism, Neo-Primitivism, 
Suprematism, Constructivism and Futurism. 

Scottish Colourists (1920-1930s): paintings. This term refers to the group of Scottish painters whose work 
was highly regarded in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Socrealism / Socialist Realism (1930-1980): painting, works on paper. Socrealism refers to the new role 
of literature and art in the Soviet society. The purpose of these works was to educate the population on the 
importance of socialism. 

Southwest Art: painting, prints, works on paper, sculpture. This term refers to the group of artists from the 
Southwestern area of the United States. 

Soviet Art (1917-1932): all media. This term refers to visual art produced in the former Soviet Union. 
The movement was led by Kazimir Malevich, initiated to put all arts in the service of the dictatorship and 
strived to eliminate the conventions of bourgeois art. However, it still held on to many decadent bourgeois
art forms such as impressionism and cubism.

Soviet Impressionism (1930-1980): painting, prints, works on paper. Soviet Impressionism began in 
the late 19th century when artists executed impressionistic techniques in defiance to Petersburg academism. 
It was similar to European impressionism in that their works remained colorful and dynamic. 

Spatialism (ca. 1946): all media. Spatialism refers to the art movement founded by Lucio Fontana in 
New York City around the time of Abstract Expressionism. It combined ideas from Dada, Tachism and 
Concrete Art. One of the most notable works of the Spatialism period was Fontana’s slashed canvases. 

Surrealism (1924-1940s): all media. This term refers to the movement founded by French writer Andre 
Breton. The aim of the surrealists was to discover the larger reality, or "surreality," that lay beyond tradition. 
Artists such as Dali and Magritte were known for their surrealist paintings dominated by biomorphic forms.

Symbolism (1860s-1890s): painting, prints, works on paper. This movement refers to the late 19th-century 
movement in literature and art which focused on the world of ideas. The symbolists believed that art was the 
highest form of expression and knowledge. The movement rejected materialism and realism, emphasizing 
spirituality and imagination. Artists associated with this movement include Paul Gaugin, Gustave Moreau 
and Odilon Redon.

Tonalism (1880s-1900s): painting, prints, works on paper. Tonalism refers to the movement beginning in 
the 1880s, where artists painted landscapes with a tone of mist or atmosphere. George Inness and James 
McNeill Whistler were two of the well known tonal artists whose compositions featured dark, neutral colors 
such as gray, brown and blue.

Vintage Print: photography. Vintage photographs are typically printed by the photographer at the same time 
as the negative.  A vintage print is usually higher in value than photographs printed later from the same 

Western Art: all media. Western art refers to all art depicting American Western life, such as cowboys, 
rodeos or country scenes. 

WPA Artists (1935-1943): all media. WPA stands for the Works Progress Administration, a government 
funded arts program with a section for artists. The artists in this group encompassed a wide variety of styles 
from figurative to academic to abstraction, and included almost every type of media. Artists included Milton 
Avery, Stuart Davis, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The WPA was prominent until it 
was disbanded in the mid-1940s.

Process in which a work can be (re)created from a single image through the transfer of ink from a surface.

Intaglio Methods: Intaglio includes the engraving, etching and drypoint methods of printmaking, and is 
produced via cuts made in a metal surface. These incised areas are then filled with ink and rolled through a 
press, thus transferring an image to paper. All intaglio prints have platemarks.

Aquatint: In this intaglio method of printmaking, a porous ground coats a metal plate, which is then 
immersed in acid allowing an even biting of the plate. The resulting image has a grainy and textural effect. 

Chine Colle: A chine colle print is created by affixing layers of thinner sheets of paper to a heavier sheet, 
and then making an intaglio impression. The thinner top sheets take the impression much more easily than a 
heavier paper, creating a sense of depth in the printed image, both physically and visually.

Drypoint: Often used in combination with engraving or etching techniques, lines are scratched or gouged 
onto a metal plate creating a burr. The raised burr is quite pronounced and is not eliminated when printing, 
resulting in a heavier line than with engraving alone. 

Engraving: The most popular of the intaglio methods of printmaking, an engraved print is created by 
scratching or cross-hatching into the surface of a polished metal plate. The plate is then inked, covered with 
a sheet of paper and run through a press. The areas of the plate which are incised print, transferring the final 
image to paper.

Etching: Etching refers to the process of using acid to cut into a metal plate. After the plate has “etched,” it 
is covered with ink and run through the press revealing the etched image on paper.

Mezzotint: In this method of printmaking the artist creates a dark base on a metal plate using a cutting 
instrument called a "rocker." Then, using a scraper, the artist burnishes the plate in the areas in which he 
desires to achieve a lighter color. Finally, the artist inks the plate and rolls it through a press topped with a 
piece of paper to create the final image. 

Mixed Method Engraving: This is a method of intaglio printmaking which combines two or more methods.

Photogravure: Developed in the 1830s by Henry Fox Talbot, photogravure is an intaglio printmaking 
process in which an image is transferred to a flat, etched copper plate, hand-inked and printed. 

Steel Engraving: Steel engravings utilize plates composed of a harder metal, as opposed to the traditional 
copper plate. This method is preferable when creating designs intended for large editions as the plate will 
not degrade as rapidly.

Stipple Engraving: Rather than etching lines, the design in this method of printmaking is created by 
applying large numbers of incised dots to the plate’s surface, similar to pointillism in painting.

Planographic Methods: Planographic methods include all types of prints which are drawn on a flat 
surface and run through a press.

Lithography: Lithography is a method of printmaking based on the concept of the repulsion of oil and 
water. In this process, the artist uses a grease-based chalk to draw an image on stone. An oil-based ink is 
then applied to the stones surface allowing the ink to stick to the greased areas of the stone. The stone is 
then inked, and the image is transferred to paper, after being run through a press. 

Chromolithography: This term refers to any lithograph which is printed in color. A chromolithograph 
requires a separate printing for each color. 

Relief Methods: A relief print is one when material such as part of a wood block, a piece of linoleum, a 
metal plate or other carvable material left in relief to be printed black and the remainder is cut away. 

Embossing: Embossing is the process of creating an impression of an image that results in a raised surface. 
This can be done alone (blind embossing) or over an already printed image.

Linocut: The linocut is a 20th century variation on the woodcut. It is created in the same manner, except 
that a piece of linoleum, which is soft and pliable, is used instead of wood.

Ukiyo-e: Literally translated, this means "pictures of the floating world."  A Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese 
woodblock print dating from the Edo period (1603-1867).

Woodcut: Woodcut is a printmaking method in which the artist works on a plank of wood, cutting away the 
parts of the design which are not to be printed. The wooden surface is then inked, covered with a sheet of 
paper and run through a press. 

Wood Engraving: A wood engraving is a variation on the woodcut. Differing from a woodcut, it is done 
using the cut end of a piece of wood, as opposed to the plank side. Harder wood is typically employed to 
create a finer line in comparison to the soft, heavy lines associated with woodcuts. 

Stenciling Methods: This printmaking method refers to the principle of cutting or creating a hole in a 
protected surface and applying color through the hole to the surface beneath. 

Serigraph or Silk-Screen: Serigraphs, also known as silk-screens, are created from a special type of 
stencil. A screen is made of porous fabric and stretched over a wood or aluminum frame. Parts of the 
screen are covered with non-permeable material forming a stencil.  The areas which allow ink to pass freely 
create the final image, which can be printed on a number of different grounds, including fabric and paper. 

Pochoir: Defined as "stencil" in French, a pochoir print is hand-colored and created with a series of 
carefully cut stencils. This method of printmaking was most prevalent during the early part of the 20th 
century in Paris and frequently used for fashion plates during the Art Deco period.

Monotype or Monoprint: The monotype/monoprint incorporates both printmaking and painting, producing 
a single impression by using pressure to transfer a painted image to paper.