Art History: Why There's So Much You Can Do With This Top Learning Website

art history

Art enthusiasts, lifelong learners, travelers, and educators will love this art history website. Smarthistory started out as a blog by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker in 2005. It featured free audio guides for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Since then, it has become the leading open educational resource for art history. This multimedia website has received numerous awards and honors and is used by leading institutions, colleges, and universities. It's also the official provider of art history content for Khan Academy.

Smarthistory's mission is "to open museums and cultural sites up to the world, one video at a time." This is a free, world-class resource. Hundreds of art historians, archaeologists, curators, and scholars have contributed their knowledge about art and cultural objects. Conversational videos and essays take you through art history, from the Paleolithic Age to the present. From museums to stunning outdoor spaces, you'll learn about the images you see and how to better interpret and understand them.

Exploring the Website

If you're new to art history, an excellent way to start is by going to the Guided Learning section from the main menu. You can also explore the website by:

  • Scrolling through the front page gallery.
  • Using the search box.
  • Selecting the Histories of Art menu.

The search box and main menu are at the top of every page. Once you've selected a topic you like, choose essays to read and videos to watch. Navigational links are on the left side of each content page.

Things to Use and Love

Teachers and homeschooling parents and grandparents will be happy to know that Smarthistory's content is designed for use in schools, museums, and homes. Since Smarthistory uses a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, you're free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
  • Adapt — remix, transform and build upon the material.

All you have to do when you use the content is:

  • Give appropriate credit.
  • Agree not to use their materials for commercial use.
  • Sharealike -- If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

If you use Smarthistory's materials, read the terms of their Creative Commons license.

Smarthistory also offers many books and has a YouTube channel. Their art history books are free to download and read online or print out. Bound copies can be ordered for a fee. Smarthistory's YouTube channel has hundreds of videos to quench your thirst for knowledge and inspire your creativity. Subscribing to the Smarthistory channel is an excellent way to keep up with new video releases.

Keep Learning

There are so many resources to explore and use at Smarthistory. It's an ever-growing collection of expert knowledge. You'll want to bookmark this website and start enjoying it for a long time to come.