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Canadian Art

This guide provides resources on topics related to art history and visual and material culture in Canada.

New Art Books

Here is a small selection of recently acquired titles for Canadian art. 

Click on an image to be redirected to the item record in the UBC Library Catalogue.


Out North: An Archive of        Carol Sawyer: The Natalie    Àbadakone                                Companies Act: 
Queer Activism and                Brettschneider Archive          / Continuous Fire                      N.E. Thing Company
Kinship in Canada


Kapwani Kiwanga                 Modern in the Making:      Meryl McMaster: As Immense           Sonny Assu and
                                              Post-war Craft and           as the Sky                                          Brendan Tang:
                                              Design in                                                                                     Ready Player Two
                                              British Columbia


Future Possible: An Art          Gu Xiong: The Unknown           Magnetic North: Imagining      Everything is Relevant:
History of Newfoundland        Remains                                   Canada in Painting                  Writings on Art and Life
and Labrador                                                                           1910-40                                   1991-2018, Ken Lum

Cosmic Underground
Northside: An Incantation of
Black Canadian Speculative
Discourse & Innerstandings

Find Art Books

Search Summon and the Library Catalogue to find print and e-books.

Books in the call number ranges listed below are located on Levels 3 & 4 of the Music, Art & Architecture Library:

Core Art books are classed in the N-call number range.

  • N - visual arts
  • NB - sculpture
  • NC - drawing, design, illustration
  • ND - painting
  • NE - print media
  • NK - decorative arts
  • NX - arts in general

     Photography books are classed in the T-call number range. ​

  • TR - photography
  • TT - handicrafts, arts and crafts





Additional call numbers to consider:

  • E-F - History of the Americas.
    • Materials related to Indigenous art can be found within this call number
  • GN - Anthropology.
    • Additional materials related to Indigenous art can be found here. 
  • GV - Recreation, Leisure.
    • Materials related to dance and performance.
  • LC - Special aspects of education.
    • Materials related to art and social justice, and/or activism.
  • QA - Mathematics.
    • Materials related digital art and new media art. 
  • SB - Plant Culture.
    • Materials related to ecological art and installation art.

Note: some topics are interdisciplinary and may not be limited to the call numbers above. 

For more information on how these call numbers are organized by the Library of Congress, see: 

New Art Books

To browse new art books recently acquired by the Music, Art & Architecture Library, see: New Books & Materials. Search by using: 

(1) the "Restrict to subject" option and selecting "Fine Arts" in the drop down menu.

(2) the "Call number range(s)" option and identifying a specific call number to search (eg., AM, N-NX, ND249, TR).

(3) "More Options" and selecting "Music, Art & Architecture Library." Note: this retrieves new books from all three disciplines.

Subject Headings & Keywords

Listed below is a selection of art subject headings that can be used for keyword searching in the UBC Library Catalogue.
Click on the links to browse books on specific subjects.

By general Canadian art and artists:

By form / style:

By topic:

By artist / group:

Note: Artists' results may be divided into sub-categories:

  • bibliography
  • catalogs
  • correspondence
  • criticism and interpretation​
  • diaries
  • exhibitions
  • interviews

Click on the links above or browse the UBC Catalogue for other subject headings. A visual example of how to get started is shown below.

Expanding your Search

To find more keywords / search terms, try using the following links to get more suggestions. Type a keyword into the search box and see what alternate or related terms they return to you. Then, try searching these new terms in Summon or the UBC Library Catalogue.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias



Ebook Collections

Image result for art canada institute

Select Resources on Canadian Art

Books from Other Libraries

If UBC Library doesn't have the book you need, try ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan Service.

Visiting another university library?  Reciprocal Borrowing agreements may allow you to sign out books at that library.

These databases will expand your search beyond UBC Library: