What's New

Welcome to the newly updated Oxford Art Online! The OAO database hosts the Grove® Dictionary of Art, the Benezit® Dictionary of Artists, and other Oxford art reference works. The site updates throughout the year, with new and updated articles, tools for navigating content, and improved functionality.

Visitors familiar with Oxford Art Online will notice the recent update to the design of our website, the product of a multi-year project to enhance the design and functionality of this resource. Changes include improvements to the search engine, media capabilities, linking, and page design, as well as back-end enrichment to metadata and article taxonomy. These updates reflected feedback and advice from users, librarians, and advisors, and we will continue to refine and enhance Oxford Art Online in the years to come. Have questions about how to use the redesigned website? Check out our Help page for a video demonstration and detailed instructions or read through our FAQs.

William Trost Richards: Near Land's End, Cornwall, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 23 1/4 x 44 1/4 in., 1879
William Trost Richards: Near Land's End, Cornwall, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 23 1/4 x 44 1/4 in., 1879

Changes to Browse Options

We’ve adjusted our Browse options at the top of each page to provide better clarity of which categories are within each browse option. The changes are:

  • “Art History” is now labeled “Field.” Browsing in this menu allows you to see articles in fields of art history which correspond to common specializations and course areas, such as Latin American Art or Contemporary Art.
  • “Art Form” is now labeled “Medium.” Browsing in this menu allows you to see articles relevant to artworks of a particular medium, such as Painting or Ceramics.  Historically, this category was known as “Art Forms and Practices,” and thus a few non-medium outliers still remain in the menu.  They will move in future to Field.
  • “Time period” is now labeled “Era.”  Though similar in meaning, “Era” is shorter and thus preferable in this browse menu where space is limited.
  • “Geography” is now labeled “Region.” Browsing by region allows you to see all articles in categories such as Africa or Asia.  Each of these regions includes sub-categories for individual countries.
  • “Places” is now labeled “Place Type.” This change allows you to see articles matching categories such as City or Site.
  • “People” is now labeled “Occupation.” This menu allows you to browse biographies by the occupation of the subject.  This category can work together with Medium; for example, a search that selects both Artist (occupation) and Sculpture (medium) will yield the biographies of sculptors.

In addition, these same changes to browse options have been made on the search results list page as a way to further filter down search results.

Grove Art

In this update, Grove Art publishes over 100 new articles, from biographies of contemporary artists such as Marilyn Minter, Hito Steyerl, Joel Sternfeld, Tabaimo, Renata Lucas, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul to collectors and dealers such as Alain Blondel, Maurice Rheims, and Sigismond Mannheim. New entries commissioned as part of our continuing project on art markets include Sponsorship and Art Market Bubbles and Crashes, and in the year ahead, we will gather these entries into a print guide for use in teaching in this growing area. The April update also includes new articles on Latin American art, particularly in the colonial period, as part of our ongoing initiative related to the forthcoming print work, the Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art, and new articles include Latin American Art Academies, Viceroyalty of New Granada, Pinturas de Castas, and Art in the Philippines under Spanish Colonial Rule. Other new entries in this update consider the world of popular art, with new biographies of cultural icons Bob Ross and Thomas Kinkade.

Grove’s Editor in Chief, Dr. Judith Rodenbeck, leads Grove’s ongoing commissioning work on modern and contemporary art and oversees the UpdateGAO program, through which existing articles from all specialties are updated in collaboration with their original authors. In addition to these initiatives, extensive commissioning work is underway for projects on art conservation and Asian art. Explore the menu at left for more information on these and other major areas of editorial development.


Under the guidance of our Editor in Chief, Dr. Kathy Battista, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists has been improving the quality and breadth of our contemporary artist biographies. New biographies on contemporary artists increase coverage of historically neglected groups such as Middle Eastern artists Diana Al-Hadid and Abdulnasser Gharem and African-American artists Stanley Whitney and Mickalene Thomas. Particular attention has been paid to increasing gender parity as we add biographies of women artists, including Suzanne Lacy, Yto Barrada, and Ultra Violet. This emphasis is echoed and amplified in our 2018 commissioning, which focuses exclusively on women and gender queer artists, as discussed by Dr. Battista in an essay on the OUP Blog.

Benezit regularly updates entries to reflect artist sales and recent exhibitions and publications. Our current updating program is bringing more complete and up-to-date supplemental information to the biographies of global artists who are the highest grossing and most frequently sold in the contemporary art market. Browse the menu at left for more information on major commissioning projects in Benezit.

Keep in touch

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All users are welcome to email the editors to suggest corrections, revisions, and new topics for articles and subject guides. We look forward to hearing your feedback. To offer your thoughts and comments regarding general site enhancements, you may use the Contact Us form.