Search the Library Catalog (SpartaCat) to find both print and electronic books. Materials on Art and Graphic Design are located in the N call number range. Books about Photography are in the TR call number area.
Art is a visual means of communicating feelings, opinions, memories, beliefs, values, and aspirations. It is the artist's way of sharing these messages, and their talent, with all who view their work. But art is also a commodity which can be bought, sold, inherited, owned, loaned -- and stolen. In recent years, countries that lost national treasures and antiquities during times of war and colonization have made some progress in having these items returned from foreign museums and collectors. In August 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice returned 30 objects of "extraordinary cultural value" to Cambodia, which had been looted and sold illegally during their civil war. But the phenomenon is not a modern problem; in ancient times, the Romans stole statutes and other artifacts from the Greeks -- just one of many empires that plundered cultural objects from a conquered civilization.
Another ethical concern among museums involves donations of art -- or money -- that were financed by illegal or morally questionable activities. In 2019, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and many other major art institutions announced they would no longer accept funding from the Sackler family, whose vast wealth was generated in part by production and sale of the prescription opioid drug OxyContin.
Listed below are some books that discuss the history of stolen antiquities and art, and the efforts to return them. For more information, go to the Databases & Periodicals tab to search for magazine and journal articles.