At its heart this annual August issue of the magazine is a directory of galleries and museums. These are listed alphabetically first by state and then by city. There are abbreviations that distinguish whether a space is a gallery, university gallery, nonprofit exhibition space, corporate consultant, a private dealer, or a print dealer. Every entry provides contact information, hours of operation and the name of a director. This resource is made even more useful by an index of the names of artists that each gallery, dealer or museum represents. There is also an index for category of art space.
Near the beginning of the guide there is a small directory of auction houses. At the end there is an additional directory of art schools by region. Finally there is also page dedicated to obituaries of noted artists.
This resource opens with a section previewing museum shows all across the United States listed by month. This is followed by a section summarizing the most noteworthy auction sales of the preceding art season. The guide also functions as a visual reference since many galleries, dealers and art schools place color advertisements in the publication.
We keep the latest issue of the Guide at hand for ready reference. Back issues are incorporated in our bound run of Art in America housed in the Magazines and Newspaper Center on the Library’s Fifth floor. These back issues provide a chronology of the art scene in the United States and can provide a history of an artist’s exhibition and galleries.
Most of the information in this Guide can be found online. However, using the print directory allows one to browse the wider scope of the field of selling and exhibiting art that can be the stimulus to further online research.
One benefit of your San Francisco Public Library library card is that the Art in America Guide to Galleries, Museums and Artists is available to you for viewing or download through our collection of subscription databases. From the online catalog entry for Art in America there is one for Art in America online. From here, follow the link for “Full text options” where you can find full text of the magazine (including the annual Guide) in two databases: Academic Search Complete and MasterFILE premier. In these databases you can choose the year and month of the issue. The Guide to Galleries, Museums and Artists in the August issue.