I’m currently at a small university with no art programs so our databases are limited, but when I was at a research university that had many fine arts majors I remember a database in which you could type in the name of a painting and or the artist and would get a brief description, the work’s location, ownership, etc… Something like:
Does anybody know the name of this database? Or if there is a standard print work that has this type of info?
If you’re looking for info on a Vermeer or a DaVinci or Kandinsky it’s usually pretty easy to google up where it hangs and blip info or more, but the one I’m thinking of was useful for works by obscure artists which often don’t have wikis or web sites devoted to them, or even obscure works by famous artists/artworks of unknown or disputed origin/etc… It also had a keyword search so that if you didn’t know the title of the work you could type in ‘lighthouse storm mermaid’ and chances are it would bring it up.
Probably ARTstor. My current institution doesn’t have a subscription to it either (it costs an arm and a leg… a very LARGE arm and leg), so it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I recall that it does contain multiple fields of info for each artwork, including location, dimensions, and sometimes information about the patron and provenance history.
Another excellent online resource is the Grove Dictionary of Art, which also requires a subscription. It’s also available in hardcopy. However, it doesn’t have the kind of detail about individual artworks you’re looking for–it has entries for particular artists and styles, etc., but you’d have to dig into each entry’s bibliography to get a reference to a monograph or catalogue raisonne, and then hunt that source down to find your information.
I don’t think there’s anything like ARTstor available as print source, nothing that comprehensive, anyway. You’re pretty much reduced to looking up museum and collection catalogs, which of course is only helpful if you’re looking for a particular artwork, the ownership of which you already know.
btw, love your sample entry–it sounds just like museum catalog-speak. Now I want to learn more about Engelbert Wadsworth O’Hara’s oeuvre.