Art & Art History

Hubs & Repositories of Open & Zero-Cost Materials

  • Art History materials from OER Commons
    A variety of Art History materials hosted on OER Commons.
  • Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR)
    “An 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.” Created by Michelle Millar Fisher, Graduate Center, and Karen Shelby, Baruch College.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    Enter keywords in the “Search the Collection” box. On the results page, put a checkmark in the box for “Show only results with unrestricted images” to see images that are freely available to use (under public domain). For more information on using this site, see the LACMA blog Unframed.
  • The Met’s Open Images

    “[A]ll images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”
  • The Met’s Timeline of Art History
    This timeline “pairs essays and works of art with chronologies, telling the story of art and global culture through the Museum’s collection.”
  • National Gallery of Art Images
    Images of art in the National Gallery, available at no cost.
  • Open Arts Archive
    “A live and open archive providing free access to a wealth of artistic, cultural and educational resources, including talks, seminars, study days, artists’ podcasts, artist interviews, curators’ talks and exhibitions.”
  • Smarthistory
    “Smarthistory is a leading resource for the study of art and cultural heritage. Our growing collection of videos and essays are designed to be engaging and conversational and cover art that ranges from the paleolithic to the present. Everything on Smarthistory is completely free and our content is offered with no advertising.”

Open Books & Courses

  • American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity
    “American Encounters provides a narrative of the history of American art that focuses on historical encounters among diverse cultures, upon broad structural transformations such as the rise of the middle classes and the emergence of consumer and mass culture, and on the fluid conversations between “high” art and vernacular expressions. The text emphasizes the intersections among cultures and populations, as well as the exchanges, borrowings, and appropriations that have enriched and vitalized our collective cultural heritage.”
  • Art Appreciation Course
    Introductory “mastery” course hosted by Lumen Learning and SUNY OER Services
  • Art History on Khan Academy
    Online art history course, from prehistoric to modern art.
  • 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.”
  • Computer Graphics and Computer Animation: A Retrospective Overview
    By Wayne E. Carlson. “Book Description: This book was developed in an attempt to maintain in one location the information and references that point to the many important historical developments of the short life of the computer graphics world as we know it.”
  • Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning
    This book “offers a comprehensive introduction to the world of Art. Authored by four University System of Georgia faculty members with advance degrees in the arts, this textbooks offers up-to-date original scholarship. It includes over 400 high-quality images illustrating the history of art, its technical applications, and its many uses.”
  • Intro to History of Modern Art (Lehman College)
    Open course from Lehman College, maintained by Assistant Professor Sharon Jordan on the CUNY Academic Commons.
  • Roman Architecture Art History Course (Open Yale)
    “Introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner’s personal collection.”
Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message