SmARThistory: A (Free) Multimedia Resource for Art History

One new idea for every day in 2011. We're talking big, small, local, international, in action and on the drawing board. Here's today's -- what's yours?

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker weren't big fans of large and expensive art history textbooks, so they decided to write their own -- online.

Harris is the Director of Digital Learning at the Museum of Modern Art and Zucker is a specialist in 20th-century art and theory and is chair of History of Art and Design at Pratt Institute.

Together, they started with a blog in 2005 that aimed to provide an informal (read: quirky and non-stuffy) voice to art history with tons of multimedia that's often hidden behind pay walls and textbook websites.

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As the blog grew, they brought along a team of editors, and created SmARThistory, a tool that can be used to complement courses, or to guide "informal learners" through text, visual, audio, and video content about classic and contemporary work.

And they're totally open to collaboration.

The free, not-for-profit web-book covers art from the ancient cultures and Medieval era through the Industrial Revolution and Post-Colonialism.

Their goal is to include the second half of the Western survey as well as pre-Renaissance and non-Western art with the help of art historians, professionals, and institutions looking to enhance an arts education that's open to the public.

SmARThistory initially raised funds through Kickstarter (you can check out the video below), and they're still accepting donations and sponsorship.

See how you can get involved, and read/watch up on a few art movements on the SmARThistory website.


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