If you are beginning research on a new project, useful overviews and bibliographies can be found in Oxford Art Online and the Met Museum's Timeline of Art History. For art specific questions, use the Oxford Art Online, which includes the Grove Dictionary of Art. For contextual information, including timelines, consult the Oxford Reference database.
Use these databases to find journal articles on art and design topics.
Newspaper articles can be useful for locating reviews of exhibitions, artist interviews, and biographical information on artists. You will need to use a variety of databases for complete coverage of newspaper articles.
For access to the San Jose Mercury News, please use the San Jose Public Library's subscription via http://www.sjpl.org/research