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Theatre 217: Technical Theatre: ARTstor & More

This guide is a starting point for a design and prop research assignment.


ARTstor is a large collection of digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences from museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates.  Click on the ARTstor logo to begin your search.

Sample Searches:


  • Edvard Munch
  • Harriet Backer
  • Vilhelm Hammershøi
  • William Hogarth

Name of Play:

  • Hedda Gabler
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Misanthrope

Searching ARTstor

There are two main methods of finding images in ARTstor: searching or browsing.

Browsing by Geography

On the front page of the Digital Library, go to Browse area in the lower left corner and click Geography.


Go to the ARTstor navigation menu and click Find > Browse ARTstor by > Geography.

  1. The Browse page will open, displaying a list of country names. The number in parenthesis next to each country name indicates the number of images with that country term applied to the data record.
  2. You may browse by classification within a country:
    • To expand a country name, click the plus sign (+). A list of classification sub-categories will be displayed.
    • To collapse an expanded country, click the minus sign (-).
  3. To view the images associated with a country or classification within it, double-click on the country name or the classification.

Keyword Searching

Use the keyword search to run a basic search for images. If you retrieve too many images, you can refine your search.

  1. Enter another search term and from the drop-down options choose Within this search result. Click Go.
  2. Or you can filter by selecting classifications, geographic locations, or dates, when applicable.

Advanced Searching

The advanced search option allows you to narrow your results by:

  • words and phrases
  • date
  • geography
  • classification

ARTstor Search Tips

Use quotes for phrases, ex. "living room"

Search the name of an artist, Hammershoi

Do an advanced search and limit by geography and classification (decorative objects or paintings or photographs). Leave the keyword search box blank or use the word interior.

Capturing ARTstor Images

There are several ways to capture an image.

To download an Artstor Image:

  1. Log in to your Artstor account. (You must be logged in with a registered Artstor account to download content).
  2. Search for items or open a collection or group.
  3. Click an item thumbnail to launch the Detail page.
  4. Click the Download button then click to Accept our Terms and Conditions of Use. If you have opened an audio file or a video file with an image as the thumbnail, only the jpg image/placeholder will download.
  5. Your file will download into whichever folder you have designated for downloads from your web browser.

To copy or save a thumbnail of an Artstor Image:

  1. Thumbnail images display when you perform a search.
  2. Right click on the image to copy or save the thumbnail.

To copy or save an Artstor Image:

  1. Click an item thumbnail to launch the Detail page.
  2. Use the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Office. See the box on the right for detailed directions.

Image Search Engines & Collections

Search Engines

Begin your search with one of the major search engines, like Google. See also Google's Art & Culture site for images from cultural institutions.

If you're searching for furniture from another country, use search terms both in English and the vernacular. For example, if you're searching the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection for French chairs, search both chair and chaise or both sofa and settee. The same goes for searching international resources where they have an English option and a vernacular option. Search both the English term and its vernacular counterpart. If you're searching the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum for chairs, search both stol (Norwegian) and chair, both bord and table. You may also want to use words that denote the inside of a house, like room or interior, for example.

Use Google Translate to find vernacular terms for English objects.

Image Collections

Image Databases

In addition to searching the open web, try these licensed databases  to find images.