Online Resources

This page offers a varied selection of the most relevant web sites, indexes and databases (including a bibliography and a dictionary), and one online article.

Web Sites

abcd art brut,
This is a fabulously designed site with a detailed introduction, chronology, bibliography and exploration of several themes within or relating to art brut. This site provides a clear, concise yet solid survey of the ideas, origins and key players (both artists and art historians) of this genre.

American Visionary Art Museum,
The first of its kind, AVAM focuses exclusively on visionary art: "art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself." (from the site's FAQ). North Carolina residents should note that a massive whirligig created by Lucama, NC's Vollis Simpson graces the front grounds..

Art Brut Museum in Lausanne Switzerland,
This is the museum that houses Jean Dubuffet's Collection de l'Art Brut. Except for the definition of Art Brut (in English), the site is in French, but as the online home of the genre's central collection, the site warrants a mention.

Folk Art Society of America,
This is the leading society in the United States for folk art enthusiasts and professionals. It promotes the study, preservation and exhibition of all folk arts, but much of its focus is outsider art. Members also receive Folk Art Messenger magazine.

Getty Research Institute: Research Tools

The Getty Research Institute is possibly the largest collection of scholars and resources available on art research, collections and librarianship. This section provides information about the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a structured vocabulary of more than 125,000 art-related terms, and the Union List of Artist Names, which contains more than 220,000 names and bibliographic references. The main site ( is an excellent resource for a wide range of art-related topics.

Raw Vision,
Though officially a magazine, Raw Vision functions more as a professional journal (albeit one of interest to the general public). Begun and edited by the foremost scholars in the field (John Maizels, Roger Cardinal and Roger Manley, among others), the magazine covers the range of folk / outsider / visionary art and art brut. It includes several in depth essays and interviews with beautiful photography, upcoming events and exhibitions, book reviews and many high quality resources and contacts in the back. Most of the authors are scholars in the field. This web site has several introductory and specialized essays - some from the print version and some written for this site.



Articles and Databases / Indexes


Low, David. "For the Love of Creativity: The Passionate Pursuit of Self-Taught Artists: A Conversation with Barry M. Cohen, Collector." National Endowment for the Arts.

David Low, of the National Endowment for the Arts, interviews Barry M. Cohen, a renowned collector and researcher of outsider art and psychiatry for more than 30 years, a board certified art therapist and a painter. This article is a well-written, broad introduction to the definitions of outsider art and its synonyms, the major figures and their motivations for creating or studying this art, and its current status in the art world.

For more articles and journals, see the Journals page.


Databases and Indexes

For a list of keywords to use, see the Search Terms page. All indexes are available through UNC's Electronic Indexes and Databases,

Art Index
Art Index is a database that contains bibliographic information and summaries of more than 300 art journals, dating back to 1984.

ARTbibliographies Modern
This database contains bibliographic information and summaries from Impressionism (late 1800s) through the modern era, focusing on lesser known artists and newer movements.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index
This database does not have as many articles as the indexes above, but it is the main humanities index.

Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
This database allows you to search through 4,360 journals by artist, author, title, journal, keyword and more. The index includes summaries and detailed information on each article. It also contains several entries pointing to reviews of books and summaries of essays within books. Raw Vision is indexed here, so this is a good place to find a particular article.

Grove Dictionary of Art Online
An extremely broad resource (45,000 articles from more than 6,800 scholars) with full-text articles, this is the online version of the Grove Dictionary of Art published in 1996 (34 vols. edited by Jane Turner). New material is added quarterly.


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This site created by Kristin Fiore on March 3, 2003.