It is a difficult time for students and for their instructors due to COVID-19. In response, we at Smarthistory wanted to make sure that art historians and others teaching in the Arts and Humanities are aware of the free resources that Smarthistory offers. We invite your comments and feedback, and will be updating this document.

All Smarthistory materials use an open, non-commercial Creative Commons license and so you can use them freely, and adapt them however you want for your own classroom.

We are adding new essays and videos all the time, so make sure to check our “Just Published” page regularly.

Have suggestions?

If you have any thoughts about how we can be more helpful, please drop us an email at, or, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or post a comment on Smarthistory Commons.

Smarthistory or Khan Academy?

Did you know that all the content on Smarthistory gets published on Khan Academy as well?

Pick and choose from the resources listed below...

Table of Contents

General Resources

  1. Making audios or videos
  2. Quizzes
  3. Smarthistory Books
  4. Links to other resources
  5. Virtual reality
  6. Images (close to 9000 of frequently taught objects and monuments, with details — licensed for teaching and learning)


  1. Art Appreciation
  2. Museum Studies
  3. Survey of Western Art (caves to cathedrals)
  4. Survey of Western Art (Renaissance to Revolution)
  5. Modern art in Europe and North America
  6. American Art (includes activities, quizzes, etc.)
  7. History of Global Architecture

Other Helpful OERs, Blogs, and Websites

  1. Smarthistory Commons (formerly the Smarthistory blog)
  2. ART 101 from John Jay College, created by Dr. Erin Thompson (prehistoric times through the twentieth century, includes syllabus, unit quiz questions, discussion post idas, class assignments/activities)
  3. Art History Teaching Resources


You might be finding yourself with the need to make audios and videos for your classes. Some of these Smarthistory resources about making audios and videos might be useful. 


Smarthistory has quizzes available on Khan Academy. These are listed within specific topics, for example, Baroque art. These are meant as self-diagnostics for students. Our recent project, Seeing America, has short quizzes for 80+ videos.

The following works on Khan Academy have quizzes:

First things first

Venus of Willendorf

Jade Cong

Prehistoric art

Standard of Ur

Victory Stele of Naram Sin

Law Code of Hammurabi

Ishtar Gate

Ashurbanipal Hunting Lions

Ancient Near Eastern Art

Palette of Narmer

Pyramids of Gizeh

Akhenaton, Nefertiti and their Three Daughters

Bust of Nefertiti

Last Judgment of Hunefer

Mask of Agamemnon

Lion gate

Ancient Aegean art

The Classical orders

Dipylon Amphora

Exekias, Amphora with Achilles and Agamemnon

Niobid Krater

NY Kouros

Anavysos Kouros

Peplos Kore

Kritios Boy



Grave Stele of Hegeso

Dying Gaul

Nike of Samothrace

Altar of Pergamon

Seated Boxer

Alexander Mosaic


Etruscan art

Veristic male portrait
Ara Pacis


Arch of Constantine

Colossus of Constantine

Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus

Column of Trajan

Ancient Rome

Beginners guide to medieval art

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Early Christian art

Santa Sabina

Hagia Sophia

San Vitale

Byzantine art


Sutton Hoo Ship Burial

Lindisfarne Gospels

Early Medieval art

Lindau Gospels

Carolingian art

Hildesheim Doors

Ottonian art

Tympanum, Autun

Romanesque art

St Denis ambulatory


Wilton Diptych

Berlinghieri St Francis

Gothic art

Giotto, Ognissanti Madonna

Giotto, Arena Chapel

Florence in the 1300s

Duccio Maesta

Duccio, Rucellai Madonna

Lorenzetti, Allegory of Good and Bad Government

Simone Martini, Annunciation

Siena in the 1300s

Sluter, Well of Moses

Van Eyck,Ghent Altarpiece

Workshop of Campin, Merode Altarpiece

Van Eyck, Arnolfini portrait

van der Weyden, Deposition

Art in Burgundy

Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, Competition panels

Brunelleschi, Dome

Brunelleschi, Pazzi chapel

Donatello, St. Mark

Donatello, David

Palazzo Rucellai

Masaccio, Holy Trinity

Masaccio Tribute Money

Fra Angelico, Annunciation

Lippi, Madonna and Child with two Angels

Botticelli, Birth of Venus

Early Renaissance in Florence

Piero, Baptism

Piero, Duke and Duchess of Urbino

Renaissance in Venice in the 1400s

Leonardo, Last Supper

Michelangelo, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

School of Athens

The High Renaissance

Titian Venus of Urbino

The Renaissance in Venice

Pontormo Entombment


Cranach, Law and Gospel

The Protestant Reformation

Durer, Self-Portrait

Durer, Four Apostles

Isenheim Altar

Cranach, Adam and Eve

Bruegel, Hunters in the Snow

Northern Renaissance in the 16th century

A beginner’s guide to the Baroque

Bernini David

Bernini, Ecstasy of St Theresa

Caravaggio, Calling of St Matthew

Baroque art in Italy

Baroque art in Flanders

Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance

Baroque art in Holland

Velazquez, Las Meninas

Baroque art in Spain


Baroque art in France

Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera

Fragonard, The Swing

Rococo art

David, Oath of the Horatii


Hogarth Marriage a la Mode

Gainsborough, Mr and Mrs Andrews


Art in Britain and America in the age of Revolutions

Gros, Napoleon visiting the Pesthouse at Jaffa

Ingres' La Grande Odalisque

Gericault, Raft of the Medusa

Delacroix, Liberty leading the people

Romanticism in France

Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Goya, The Third of May

Romanticism in Spain

Fuseli, The Nightmare

Constable, View on the Stour near Dedham

Turner's Slave Ship

Romanticism in England

Friedrich, Monk By the Sea

Friedrich, Abbey among Oak Trees

German Romanticism

Cole's The Oxbow

Romanticism in the United States

Houses of Parliament

Millais, Ophelia

Hunt, Our English Coasts


Late Victorian

Couture, Romans of the Decadence

Art and the French State

Manet's Olympia


Monet's Gare St. Lazare



Klimt, The Kiss

Symbolism and Art Nouveau

America: Civil War to the Gilded Age


Braque's The Portuguese

Cubism and its impact

Duchamp's Fountain


German art between the wars

International Avant-Garde

Oppenheim's Object

Kahlo, The Two Fridas

Rivera, Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central Park

Lam, The Jungle

Latin American Modernism

Abstract Expressionism

Frankenthaler's The Bay

New York School

Wright's Fallingwater

Seagram Building

International Style Architecture

Pop and after

Europe: Identity, the body and the subversion of Modernism

US: Identity, the body and the subversion of Modernism (quiz)

Smithson, Spiral Jetty

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Christo, The Gates

Minimalism and Earthworks

Xu Bing, Book from the Sky

Walker, Darkytown Rebellion  

Shonibare, The Swing

Mehretu, Stadia II

El Anatsui, Old Man’s Cloth

Doris Salcedo, Shibboleth

Zaha Hadid, MAXII National Museum

Dome of the Rock

Great Mosque of Cordoba

The Great Mosque of Isfahan

Pyxis of al-Mughira

The Alhambra

Ardabil Carpet

Arts of the Islamic world


Smarthistory recently began making free books. They include essays and transcribed videos, with 100s of color images. For now, the books cover the Ancient Mediterranean and the 250 AP Art History objects.


Many Smarthistory essays include carefully curated links to resources freely available on the web, including books, essays, and online exhibitions.


We believe that virtual reality has amazing potential as a tool for teaching the history of art.  In fact, our most-watched video utilizes a virtual reconstruction of ancient Rome. Many other videos and essay pages make use of Google street view and resources from the Google Cultural Institute so students can visit virtually.


These materials, largely written by Dr. Asa Mittman, begin with general guides on visual analysis and then treat global works of art thematically.


These materials, largely written by Dr. Elizabeth Rodini, look at museums across time, as well as institutional critique.

SURVEY OF WESTERN ART (caves to cathedrals)

This is a syllabus for a one-semester survey course (Western-only), and includes links to short quizzes (located on for select works of art.

SURVEY OF WESTERN ART (Renaissance to Revolution)

This is a syllabus for a one-semester survey course (Western-only), and includes links to short quizzes (located on for select works of art.


This is a syllabus for a one-semester survey course, and includes links to short quizzes (located on for select works of art.

AMERICAN ART (“Seeing America”)

Seeing America was created by Smarthistory with 17 leading museums collections. Together we examined the long history of the United States, from before European settlers to the modern era, with a . These resources on American art are in addition to the American art section on Smarthistory listed under “Histories of Art.”


This is a syllabus for a one-semester survey course, and includes links to short quizzes (located on for select works of art.


Formerly the Smarthistory Blog, the new Commons has posts that might be useful as readings or to help teachers think about materials.

ART 101

This OER was created by Dr. Erin Thompson for John Jay College. This course presents an overview of the history of art in painting, sculpture, and architecture from prehistoric times through the twentieth century. Includes syllabus, unit quiz questions, discussion post idas, class assignments/activities, and more.


AHTR is a peer-populated platform for art history teachers. 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. Has a Facebook community and weekly posts.