Art History Now and Then

By Walkup, Nancy | School Arts, February 2005 | Go to article overview
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Art History Now and Then

Walkup, Nancy, School Arts

Back when I was in college (the first time), art history was taught as art in the dark. We looked at slides and memorized dates and artists' names. Most of the artwork represented male artists from the Western World and few connections were made to culture and history. Thankfully, how times have changed! With the increasing presence of museum collections online, your students now can easily access countless images from cultures and times around the world. Your students can investigate artworks in great detail, research both historical and contemporary artists and art movements, create timelines and chronologies, and make cross-cultural comparisons.

For Teachers

The best art timeline online is the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History. It is a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world, as illustrated especially by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's vast collection. Each timeline page includes images of representative art from the museum's collection, a chart of time periods, a map of the region, an overview, and a list of key events. Users can explore through an index or specific topics or search the entire timeline.

At History Through Timelines, you can explore historical timelines for the last two thousand years, search by topic or year, and create your own timeline using the database.

Pigments through the Ages is a web exhibit that offers insights into the history of colors and pigments.

This great resource, Art Images for College Teaching, is a nonprofit project by art historian and curator Allan T. Kohl. It is intended to make images of art and architectural works available in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis. The images displayed on this site have been photographed on location by the author, who consents to their use in any application that is both educational and noncommercial in nature.

For contemporary art, Art:21--Art in the Twenty-First Century is a fantastic site that correlates with an eight-part television series broadcast by PBS.

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