There are many resources dealing with Canadian art. We have selected a few important titles and placed them in four categories. The first includes general works that provide an overview of Canadian art history. The second includes museum catalogues for browsing and discovering new artworks. The third includes specialized texts on particular periods of Canadian art. And the fourth includes works that offer new perspectives on the history of Canadian art.

For an overview 

Harper, John Russell. Painting in Canada: A History, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977, 463 p.

Hill, Charles C. Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890-1918, exhibition catalogue, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2013, 339 p.

Kunard, Andrea. Photography in Canada 1960-2000, exhibition catalogue, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2017, 175 p.

Mckay, Marylin J. Picturing the Land Narrating Territories in Canadian Landscape Art, 1500-1950, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011, 384 p.

Mars, Tanya and Johanna Householder. Caught in the Act: an Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women, Toronto: YYZ Books, 2004, 428 p.

Nasgaard, Roald. Abstract Painting in Canada, exhibition catalogue, Halifax: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2007, 432 p.

Newlands, Anne. Canadian Art: from its Beginnings to 2000, Willowdale (Ontario): Firefly Books, 2000, 355 p.

Prakash, A. K. Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women Artist, Richmond Hill (Ontario): Firefly Books, 2008, 409 p.

Reid, Dennis. A Concise History of Canadian Painting, 3rd edition, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2012, 418 p.

Whitelaw, Anne, Brian Foss and Sandra Paikowsky (ed.). The Visual Arts in Canada: the Twentieth Century, Oxford, New York and Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2010, 480 p.

 Whitelaw, Anne. Spaces and Places for Art: Making Art Institutions in Western Canada, 1912-1990, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, 352 p.

For browsing and discovering

Art Canadian Institute. “Canadian Online Art Book Project,” Art Canadian Institute (Toronto), online :

Art Gallery of Hamilton and Tobi Bruce (ed.). Lasting Impressions: Celebrated Works from the Art Gallery of Hamilton / Images inoubliables : œuvres célèbres de l’Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton: Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2005, 320 p.

Art Gallery of Ontario and Jim Shedden (ed.). AGO: Highlights from the Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2013, 356 p.

Canadian Woman Artist History Initiative. [Database], Concordia University (Montréal), 2012-, online:

Centre for contemporary Canadian Art. “CCCA Canadian Art Database,” The Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art (Winnipeg), 1997-, online :

Dalhousie Art Gallery and Susan Gibson Garvey (ed.). The Collection: Dalhousie Art Gallery Collection, Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2004, 184 p.

Musée d’art de Joliette and Gaëtane Verna (ed.). Le Musée d’art de Joliette : catalogue des collections, Joliette (Quebec): Musée d’art de Joliette, 2012, 360 p.

Confederation Center of the Arts and Kevin Rice (ed.). RE: collection, exhibition catalogue, Charlottetown: Confederation Center of the Arts, 2017, 176 p.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Jacques Des Rochers (ed.). Quebec and Canadian Art: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Collection, Montréal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2012, 400 p.

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Pierre B. Landry (ed.). 75 ans chrono : le Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 1933-2008, Québec: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2009, 359 p.

National Gallery of Canada and Marc Mayer (ed.). Art in Canada, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2017, 257 p.

Vancouver Art Gallery. “75 Years of Collecting,” Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), online:

Winnipeg Art Gallery and Stephen Borys (ed.). Winnipeg Art Gallery: Guide to the Collections, Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2010, 263 p.

For in-depth research

Arnold, Grant and Karen A. Henry (ed.). Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980, exhibition catalogue, Edmonton: Art Gallery of Alberta, Montréal: Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen, Halifax: Halifax INK, Toronto: Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, 2012, 176 p.

Alfody, Sandra. The Allied Arts: Architecture and Craft in Postwar Canada, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, Coll. “McGill-Queen’s/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History”, 2012, 227 p.

Couture, Francine (ed.). Les arts et les années 60 : architecture, arts visuels, chanson, cinéma, danse, design, littérature, musique, théâtre, Montréal: Triptyque, 1991, 168 p.

Galerie de l’UQAM. “The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada”, Galerie de l’UQAM (Montréal), 2013-2018, online :

Hill, Charles C. Canadian Painting in the Thirties, exhibition catalogue, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1975, 223 p.

Markonish, Denise (ed.). Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art from North North America, exhibition catalogue, Cambridge and Londres: The MIT Press, 2012, 399 p.

Nasgaard, Roald and Michel Martin. The Plasticiens and Beyond, exhibition catalogue, Québec: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Unionville (Ontario): Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 2013, 171 p.

Paikowsky, Sandra. “Constructing an Identity: the 1952 XXVI Biennale di Venezia and ‘The Projection of Canada Abroad’”, Journal of Canadian Art History / Annales d’histoire de l’art Canadien (Montréal), vol. XX, 1999, p. 130-181.

Ritter, Kathleen and Tania Willard. Beat nation: art, hip hop and Aboriginal culture, exhibition catalogue, Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery and Grunt Gallery, 2012, 95 p.

Shaw, Catherine Elliot. Behind the Lines: Canada’s Home Front During the First and Second World Wars, London (Ontario): McIntosh Gallery, 2017, 278 p.

Smart, Patricia. Les femmes du Refus global, Montréal: Boréal, 1998, 334 p.

Thom, Ian M. Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven, exhibition catalogue, London: Black Dog Publishing, Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 2015, 208 p.

Trépanier, Esther. Peinture et modernité au Québec 1919-1939, Montréal: Nota bene, 1998, 395 p.

For new perspectives

Boutilier, Alicia and Tobi Bruce. The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Woman Artists, exhibition catalogue, Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Hamilton: Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2015, 173 p.

Carney, Lora Senechal. Canadian Painters in a Modern World, 1925-1955: Writings and Reconsiderations, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, 322 p.

Cheetham, Mark A. and Linda Hutcheon (ed.). Remembering Postmodernism: Trends in Canadian Art, 1970-1990, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, 176 p.

Dawn, Leslie. National Visions, National Blindness: Canadian Art and Identities in the 1920s, Vancouver: University of British Colombia, 2008, 456 p.

Huneault, Kristina and Janice Anderson. Rethinking Professionalism: Women and Art in Canada, 1850-1970, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012, 472 p.

Jessup, Lynda, Erin Morton, and Kirsty Robertson (ed.). Negotiations in a Vacant Lot: Studying the Visual in Canada, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014, 312 p.

Mckay, Marylin J. A National Soul: Canadian Mural Painting, 1860s-1930s, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002, 320 p.

Nelson, Charmaine. Ebony Roots, Northern Soil: Perspectives on Blackness in Canada, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, 199 p.

Payne, Carole. The Official Picture: the National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division and the Image of Canada, 1941-1971, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013, 244 p.

Phillips, Ruth. Museum Pieces: toward the Indigenization of Canadian Museums, Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011, 400 p.

Vigneault, Louise. Espace artistique et modèle pionnier : Tom Thomson et Jean-Paul Riopelle, Montréal: Hurtubise, 2011, 487 p.

Whitelaw, Anne. “Placing Aboriginal Art at the National Gallery of Canada,” Canadian Journal of Communication (Vancouver), vol. 31, no 1, 2006, p. 197-214.