Faculty of Arts

Department of Art and Art History

Art and Art History

Archives of American Art: Smithsonian Institution

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, is an excellent image collection containing over 8,000 photographs, sketches, letters, and other documents that have been scanned and individually described. Please note that most of these resources are free to use but not licensed for reuse.

Art Canada 

The Canadian Online Art Book Project is a growing digital library of original books commissioned by the Art Canada Institute, on artists who have made a critical contribution to the evolution of the nation’s art history. Each year the ACI releases new titles in this program. Please note that while this resource is free to use, it is not licensed for reuse.

Art History I

This course is from Lumen Learning, and offered through SUNY.

Licence: Various CC licences

Art History Archive

The Art History Archive is a learning object repository and an Educational Database Library (EDL) providing educators and students with more comprehensive information about artistic movements, art groups, and specific artists. Please note that, though free, this resource is not licensed for reuse.

Art History Teaching Resources

AHTR is home to a constantly evolving and collectively authored online repository of art history teaching content including, but not limited to, lesson plans, video introductions to museums, book reviews, image clusters, and classroom and museum activities.

ArtxHistory

A space facilitated by institutions, historians, curators, artists, faculty, and students who are committed to delivering quality scholarship that is accessible, inclusive, and open.

Includes: Timeline, videos, and sound recordings

Boundless Art History

This textbook and associated course content offer an introduction to art history.

Includes: Lecture slides, quiz questions

The Bright Continent: African Art History

This textbook offers an introduction to African art history and provides tools for discussing and analysing African art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Further reading

Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)’s Open Access Project, launched Jan. 23, 2019, and provides everyone with free, Open Access to 30,000+ high definition images of artworks in CMA’s collection. In addition, CMA provides metadata behind 90,000+ artworks allowing for scholarly research.

Discover Art & Artists | Open Access at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has adopted an Open Access Policy on Oct. 23 2018 making 44,300+ public domain works in their collection assessible under a Creative Commons Public Domain Attribution (CCO) license, making these images freely accessible and available for use, sharing, and remixing without restriction by the general public worldwide. Note: Make sure available image has CCO Public Domain Designation.

Guide to Ancient Aegean Art

This book from Smarthistory covers Ancient Aegean art, including Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Ancient Egyptian Art

This book from Smarthistory covers ancient Egyptian art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Ancient Etruscan Art

This book from Smarthistory covers ancient Etruscan art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Ancient Greek Art

This book from Smarthistory covers ancient Greek art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Ancient Near Eastern Art

This book from Smarthistory covers Sumerian, Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian / Ur III, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian art.

Guide to Ancient Roman Art

This book from Smarthistory covers ancient Roman art. Reviews are available at the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Byzantine Art

This book from Smarthistory covers Byzantine art. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Guide to Italian Art in the 1300s

This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1300s.

Guide to Italian Art in the 1400s

This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1400s. Reviews are available at the Open Textbook Library.

Indianapolis Museum of Art: Image Collection

Many images of public domain artworks are available for free download from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields’ collection pages. Please note that most resources on this website are free to use but not licensed for reuse, so each must be checked individually.

Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning

This book is intended as a comprehensive introduction to art. Many reviews are available on the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Key terms, reflection questions

Making and Being

This hands-on guide includes activities, worksheets, and assignments and is a critical resource for artists and art educators today. Making and Being is a book, a series of videos, a deck of cards, and an interactive website with freely downloadable content (click on links below to download worksheets, activities, and chapters as PDFs and editable Google Docs).

Modernism and the Spiritual in Russian Art: New Perspectives

This edited volume introduces new and stimulating approaches to the ongoing debate as to how Russian artistic modernism engaged with questions of spirituality in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.

Moving Pictures: An Introduction to Cinema

This textbook is designed for an introductory film studies course. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Embedded videos

Obelisk Art History

Obelisk can be used as a textbook for art history or as a resource to support one. More than 100 universities and colleges around the world send students here to dig into the timeline of art and tackle basics like composition and history methodologies. Please note that while the website is free to use, it is not licensed for reuse.

Includes: Timeline, world map

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Art, Music, and Culture

An open textbook by The Ohio State University that discusses art and music in the context of popular culture. It is meant to work with the open course Art and Music Since 1945.

Includes: Assignments, supplementary course materials.

A World Perspective of Art Appreciation

Art appreciation is centered on the ability to view art throughout history, focusing on the cultures and the people, and how art developed in the specific periods. You cannot understand art without understanding the culture, their use of materials and sense of beauty. Art is also conveyed by the simple act of creating art for art’s sake. Every person is born with the innate desire to create art and similar to other professions, training is essential in honing skills to produce art. 

Includes: Glossary, images, and videos

Museum and Heritage Studies

No suggested OER at this time.

Visual Studies

Art Appreciation, East Tennessee State

From East Tennessee State University, this course explores the world’s visual arts, focusing on the development of visual awareness, assessment, and appreciation by examining a variety of styles from various periods and cultures while emphasizing the development of a common visual language. The materials are meant to foster a broader understanding of the role of visual art in human culture and experience from the prehistoric through the contemporary.

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

Art Appreciation, Lumen Learning

This course from Lumen Learning investigates how quality is determined and created by artists in order to evaluate and appreciate art on a deeper level, and emphasizes why each topic contributes to valuing a piece of art and provides the necessary knowledge to do so. Students are first introduced to the elements and principles of art and the importance of artists’ context and perspective. The course then covers different periods in art history, different techniques in art, and how to research and evaluate art.

Licence: Various CC licences

Art Appreciation, Saylor

This course, from Saylor, is an exploration of visual art forms and their cultural connections across historical periods, designed for the student with little experience in the visual arts. It includes brief studies in art history, and in-depth inquiry into the elements, media and methods used in a wide range of creative processes.

Licence: CC BY

Art History I

This course is from Lumen Learning, and offered through SUNY.

Licence: Various CC licences

Art History Teaching Resources

AHTR is a peer-populated platform for art history teachers and home to a constantly evolving and collectively authored online repository of art history teaching content including, but not limited to, lesson plans, video introductions to museums, book reviews, image clusters, and classroom and museum activities. The site promotes discussion and reflection around new ways of teaching and learning in the art history classroom through a peer-populated blog, and fosters a collaborative virtual community for art history instructors at all career stages.

Licence: CC BY-NC

ArtxHistory

An educational resource of commonly available images, videos, mini-lectures and scholarship of the decades which influenced or defined the mid-century through contemporary art. Most links are concise in content, of prevalent works of art in the early or mature stage of an artist’s career, sourced from museum, academic, journalistic and for profit institutions. The core intent is to offer an art history that replaces the dominant white, male, heteronormative, advantaged, celebrity narratives for a more inclusive history balanced with the work of women, artists of color, LGBTQIA+ persons, intersectional makers, and the self-taught.

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

The Bright Continent: African Art History

This book aims to act as your map through the world of African art. As such, it will help you define the competencies you need to develop–visual analysis, research, noting what information is critical, asking questions, and writing down your observations–and provide opportunities for you to practice these skills until you are proficient. It will also expose you to new art forms and the worlds that produced them, enriching your understanding and appreciation.

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA

WISC-Online Visual Arts Learning Objects

A collection of learning objects on topics related to visual arts.

Licence: CC BY-NC


Your Subject Librarian in the Department of Art and Art History is Alexandra Alisauskas.


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License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

OER by Discipline Guide: University of Calgary by editors Sarah Adams and Ramina Mukundan with Libraries and Cultural Resources is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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