Top fashion designers in American history: Ideas for your fashion design paper

Throughout the years, the frequent changes of the fashion industry are what have made it so successful. (Courtesy of Stephoccitan)

Throughout the years, the frequent changes of the fashion industry are what have made it so successful. (Courtesy of Stephoccitan)

When you think about American history, the topics of fashion design and merchandising may not be top of your mind. Yet, top fashion designers have played an important part in building our unique American culture. If your assignment is to write a research paper on fashion design, then be sure to take the time to explore all the possible approaches that such a paper could take. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Ideas for your research paper

Clothing began as a necessity — a protection against a harsh environment and the elements. But humans also have a need for self-expression and for decoration. Read more

DIY book projects: Repurpose books into crafts and gifts!

Book Clock #1

Book Clock #1 (Photo credit: David Singleton)

Do you have piles of books lying around collecting dust? After you’re done reading them, why not repurpose books into something new and creative? Here are some Pinterest-inspired DIY book projects, crafts and gifts to help you get rid of those books you’ll never read again!

Re-gift them

Have a wedding shower or baby’s first birthday party to attend? Consider taking a favorite book of the guest-of-honor — for example a children’s book, which author Elaine McMillion of the Beans in a Can blog does in her July 24, 2011 post, “Repurposing Used Children’s Books,” — and slice your favorite pages and illustrations out with an X-Acto knife and placing them in antique frames. Read more

Art history books and articles on Questia for researching art history

Art history

Nebamun’s garden, fragment of a scene from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun (Around 1350 B.C.)

Back in March, we featured a post on how to research performing arts topics and we wanted to follow it up with a brief exploration into a few of the most well-received art history books and articles ever written. Art history majors might be intrigued to learn more about the recent contemporary art sale at Christie’s, which established 16 new world records with works by 20th century modern art painters Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat selling for a combined $638.6 million. Read more

Researching Performing Arts topics, from acting to dance to comedy to opera

Performing artsFor undergraduates studying the history of the performing arts, Questia offers a treasure trove of reference books, journals and articles that dive into all aspects of music, dance, acting, opera and comedy. Tracing the roots of performing arts takes one back thousands of years, covering both West and Eastern hemispheres. For the ancient Greeks, renowned playwrights Sophocles (496-406 B.C.) and Menander, (341/42– ca. 290 BC) ushered in the idea of dramatic and comedic theater. The Chinese performing arts date back to 1000 B.C. with singing and dancing being performed at the Chinese court as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 B.C.) Read more

America’s famous artists: Honoring American Artist Appreciation Month

American artist Andy Warhol

Artist Andy Warhol (© AP Images)

In honor of August’s American Artist Appreciation Month, we’ve released a list of the top five most researched American artists in our library. To celebrate, we’re opening up some of our best content to make reference works on these famous artists free for an entire month!

  1. Andy Warhol: Famous for his pop art paintings, prints, photography, film, music and much more, Andy Warhol is considered one of the most controversial artists of the century. Whether the opinion is positive or negative, it’s clear that Warhol’s art struck a nerve with many. “In more than one hundred books and in more than a thousand articles, writers have either adored or despised Andy Warhol, and no other artist has ever aroused such impassioned praise and vehement condemnation.” Read more

Honoring LGBT Pride Month with free reference works on notable LGBT painters

Artist Andy Warhol

Artist Andy Warhol (© AP Images)

Questia is honoring LGBT Pride Month by sharing a few interesting facts on the five most researched LGBT painters in our library. To celebrate, we’ve even opened up our library to make reference works on each of these artist free for a whole month. Continue the celebration by checking out the Huffington Post‘s slideshow of 15 LGBT art exhibits you can visit around the country this month. Enjoy!

  1. Andy WarholIn the visual art movement known as pop art, Warhol was a leading figure and created iconic masterpieces that are engrained within American pop culture, such as the infamous Campbell’s Soup Cans paintings.  While Warhol may be most well-known for his paintings, he expressed his art through many other mediums such as sculpture, fashion and theater. Read more

Guernica by Pablo Picasso: Restoration efforts began with infrared photography scan

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

Guernica by Pablo Picasso (© Paul White/AP Images)

Pablo Picasso’s historic painting, Guernica, has been undergoing examination using a new infrared photographic device that compiles detailed information about the masterpiece. The painting’s curator hopes to use the information to focus their restoration efforts and minimize disruption to the painting, as this year marks the 75th anniversary of its creation. Sadly, the history of art restoration is filled with stories of works that suffered due to restoration efforts. Read more

Honoring the ten most studied female painters this Women’s History Month

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (© Lola Alvarez Bravo, Vicente Wolf Photography Collection/AP Photo)

In honor of Women’s History Month, we at  Questia have released a list of our library’s top ten most studied female painters, and made the following reference works on each of them available for free this month! Visit our topic page on women artists for additional research.

  1. Frida KahloBorn in 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico, Frida Kahlo painted her first self-portrait Self-Portrait Wearing a Velvet Dress one year after sustaining serious injuries in a streetcar accident. Later in life, she was awarded the National Prize of Arts and Sciences by the Education Ministry. [Sánchez, Cynthia A. “2: Latin American Women Artists.” Women Artists of Color: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook to 20th Century Artists in the Americas. Ed. Phoebe Farris. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. 125-230. Questia. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.] Read more

Honoring African American Artists during Black History Month

Grace Allison McCurdy and Her Daughters, Mary Jane and Letitia Grace, ca. 1804 by Joshua Johnson.

Grace Allison McCurdy and Her Daughters, Mary Jane and Letitia Grace, ca. 1804 by Joshua Johnson.

To continue the celebration of Black History Month, we’re opening up the Questia library to share free content on our five favorite African American artists for a whole month. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to check them out at the references for each artist!

These five artists span African American art from the present back to the 18th century, and all are well-regarded for their specialty. Jean-Michel Basquiat is probably the most famous of the five, receiving the most visibility in the media.

  1. Joshua Johnson (1763-1824) – Joshua Johnson earned a notable name in the folk art community as one of the first African American portrait painters. The son of a slave mother, he became a blacksmith by trade until he gained his freedom, married and started his own family. Read more