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THTR 313 | Directing

Visual Research

Part of your Production History and Context Research should include visual images, and this page will help you get started on finding images from previous productions of the play you are studying. However, the majority of your visual research for this assignment will be finding images that will reflect your unique and original vision for the production you are planning.  


ARTstor is a large collection of digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences from museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates.  Click on the ARTstor logo to begin your search.

Sample Searches:


  • Edvard Munch
  • Harriet Backer
  • Vilhelm Hammershøi
  • William Hogarth

Name of Play:

  • Hedda Gabler
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Misanthrope


ARTstor Search Tips

Use quotes for phrases, ex. "living room"

Search the name of an artist, Hammershoi

Do an advanced search and limit by geography and classification (decorative objects or paintings or photographs). Leave the keyword search box blank or use the word interior.

Capturing ARTstor Images

There are several ways to capture an image.

To download an Artstor Image:

  1. Log in to your Artstor account. (You must be logged in with a registered Artstor account to download content).
  2. Search for items or open a collection or group.
  3. Click an item thumbnail to launch the Detail page.
  4. Click the Download button then click to Accept our Terms and Conditions of Use. If you have opened an audio file or a video file with an image as the thumbnail, only the jpg image/placeholder will download.
  5. Your file will download into whichever folder you have designated for downloads from your web browser.

To copy or save a thumbnail of an Artstor Image:

  1. Thumbnail images display when you perform a search.
  2. Right click on the image to copy or save the thumbnail.

To copy or save an Artstor Image:

  1. Click an item thumbnail to launch the Detail page.
  2. Use the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Office. See the box on the right for detailed directions.

Image Search Engines & Collections

Search Engines

Begin your search with one of the major search engines, like Google.

See also Google's Art & Culture site for images from cultural institutions.

Image Collections

Searching ARTstor

There are two main methods of finding images in ARTstor: searching or browsing.

Browsing by Geography

On the front page of the Digital Library, go to Browse area in the lower left corner and click Geography.


Go to the ARTstor navigation menu and click Find > Browse ARTstor by > Geography.

  1. The Browse page will open, displaying a list of country names. The number in parenthesis next to each country name indicates the number of images with that country term applied to the data record.
  2. You may browse by classification within a country:
    • To expand a country name, click the plus sign (+). A list of classification sub-categories will be displayed.
    • To collapse an expanded country, click the minus sign (-).
  3. To view the images associated with a country or classification within it, double-click on the country name or the classification.

Keyword Searching

Use the keyword search to run a basic search for images. If you retrieve too many images, you can refine your search.

  1. Enter another search term and from the drop-down options choose Within this search result. Click Go.
  2. Or you can filter by selecting classifications, geographic locations, or dates, when applicable.

Advanced Searching

The advanced search option allows you to narrow your results by:

  • words and phrases
  • date
  • geography
  • classification

ARTstor Groups

You can save groups of images in ARTstor related to a particular project and then export them in Powerpoint, as a zip file, or as a link to be shared within the insitution. The following is a group related to Blood Wedding:  Blood Wedding image group.

Image Databases

In addition to searching the open web, try these licensed databases  to find images.