Tips for Searching the Collection
The Museum’s collections are now at your fingertips! Use the online collection database to browse through artworks, plan what to see on your next visit, or do more extensive research. This searchable site is constantly being updated by Museum staff to ensure that our encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 objects is available online. Have questions about anything you see here? Contact us.
The quick search bar lets you quickly find works of art by using keywords. This is the search bar that you see on the collection’s main page and results page.
- A keyword search pulls up a match in any artwork that has that word or words listed anywhere within the artwork’s information. For example, “Picasso” brings up both works of art by Pablo Picasso and portraits of Picasso by other artists.
- You are less likely to get accurate results with more general terms such as art movements (e.g., Impressionism, Contemporary) or with more complex strings of words or sentences.
- Tip: Keep your quick search simple and search with a word or words that will show up in a field such as artist name, culture, title, or medium.
- Tip: See more details and larger images of the artworks by clicking on the result’s image or title.
- Tip: If you want to narrow down your results, filter your search results or perform an advanced search.
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL QUICK SEARCHES
- Oil on wood
- Portrait of a Young Woman
EXAMPLES OF UNSUCCESSFUL QUICK SEARCHES
- Paintings by Rembrandt
- Baroque paintings
- Who painted Portrait of a Young Woman
Select filters to refine your quick search results without having to start over or use an advanced search. You may check as many or as few boxes as will help you narrow your results to find what you are looking for.
The default for how results are sorted is by relevance to the search term. You may select Artist Name to sort alphabetically by the artist’s or maker’s first name at any time.
On view checkbox
Check to show artworks that are currently on view at the Museum, the Cullen Sculpture Garden, Bayou Bend, or Rienzi.
Image available checkbox
Check to show only artworks that have images available online. While we are in the process of ensuring our collection is photographed, some artworks may be displayed with gray boxes that say “Image not available.” Those artworks are filtered out if you check this box.
- Browse by categories
Artist name | Maker
The name of the artist, workshop, or company who designed and/or created the artwork. A work of art may have multiple artists or makers. In the category display, artists/makers are sorted first by the greatest number of their artworks that are showing in the results, then alphabetically.
The culture of the artist or maker.
Categorization of artworks: For example, paintings, photographs, sculpture.
The primary nationality of an artist or maker.
Tip: Once you have selected a filter, look above the gray filters menu box to see the number of results within your filter as well as labels to show which filters are selected. If you wish to remove a filter you’ve selected, hit the X on the label.
- Tip: If the list of options’ checkboxes gets too long to easily see, hit to go to a dedicated page where you can browse a larger list of filter options, which you can also search within.
- Advanced searches start your search over to include exact search terms.
- Like quick search, advanced search finds artworks by a word or words that appear in a field such as artist name, date, etc. However, advanced search lets you be more specific, and you can combine multiple search terms to find something even more exact.
- Tip: None of the text boxes or drop-downs are required to include in an advanced search, so fill in as much or as little information as you wish.
Advanced search categories & options
Field drop-down box
Select which field, or type of information, you want your word to match. The default is the broadest selection—Any Field—but you may also choose from:
- Title The title of the artwork
- Artist Maker A work of art may have multiple artists or makers, so keep in mind that while one artist or maker name displays on the results page, there may be more artists/makers listed as the artist when you see the artwork’s full details. Search any part of an artist’s or maker’s name.
- Medium The materials used in the creation of the artwork, such as oil on canvas.
- Artist nationality The primary nationality of an artist or maker.
- Collection Collections of artworks given to the Museum.
- Classification Categorization of artworks: For example, paintings, photographs, sculpture.
Search operator drop-down box
Specify how you want your search term to be related to the field you have selected.
- Contains The default, since it is the broadest possible selection. It means that you will see search results based on your search term appearing anywhere in the field you chose from the field drop-down box.
- Does not contain Omits search results that contain your search term in the field that you have specified.
- Equals Looks for an exact match for what you type in for search terms.
- Does not equal Omits results that contain exactly the search term as you type it in.
- Starts with Looks for an exact match for your search term at the beginning of the field you have specified, including incomplete words.
- Does not start with Looks at the beginning of the field you have specified for records that do not match your search term, including incomplete words.
- Ends with Looks for an exact match for your search term at the end of the field you have specified, including incomplete words.
- Does not end with Looks at the end of the field you have specified for records that do not match your search term, including incomplete words.
Type in the word or words that will help you complete your search, just as with a basic, quick keyword search.
If you want to search by when an artwork was made but don’t have a specific year in mind, set your date range in advanced search. The two text boxes are for years, and the accompanying drop-down boxes let you select B.C. or A.D.
Start over button
Don’t like what you’ve selected so far? Hit “Start over” to clear all the selections and search terms you’ve entered.
Combining search parameters
Once you have specified fields and/or dates you want to search, you may add sets of different search parameters, or sets of criteria. This allows you to get very specific. The more search criteria you add, the narrower your results will be.
Add search parameters
Hit the plus button to add a new set of search parameters. A new set of search options will appear. You may add as many search parameters as you wish.
Advanced search operator drop-down box
Once you have added a new set of search parameters, this drop-down box appears. This allows you to define the relationship between the two sets of criteria by “and” or “or.”
And means your results will only be artworks that meet both sets of criteria. This is a narrow, specific search.
EXAMPLE: You want to see only oil paintings by Frederic Remington.
Selecting and as the advanced search operator means that an artwork has to be both an oil painting and by Frederic Remington. If you selected “or,” you would get all oil paintings in the collection as well as all artworks by Frederic Remington.
Or means your results will be artworks that meet either sets of criteria. This is a broader search than “and,” but still narrower than a single quick keyword search.
EXAMPLE: You only want to see artworks that are by Claude Monet OR Edgar Degas.
Note that selecting “and” as the advanced search operator would mean you are looking for an artwork created by both Monet and Degas, but or returns all artworks by Monet as well as all artworks by Degas.
- And means your results will only be artworks that meet both sets of criteria. This is a narrow, specific search.
Subtract search parameters
If you have added search parameters but no longer wish for them to apply to your search, hit the subtract button.
- Tip: If you do not get any results after adding several advanced search parameters, try broadening your search by using less specific search terms or using fewer “and” searches. Combining three or more sets of criteria that are a combination of “and” and “or” searches may be too complex.