Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR)

is a peer-populated platform for art history teachers. 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. 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.

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    CfP: Submit to the “AHTR Weekly” for fall 2016

    August 22, 2016

    Beginning fall  2016-17, the AHTR Weekly would like to hold open a number of posts for new submissions alongside programmed contributions from invited writers. We hope that this will allow AHTR Weekly to continue to serve the broadest number of peers, as well as to expand and elevate the discussions. If you would like to propose a post for fall 2016 or spring 2017, please get in touch at

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    Happy Summer + AHTR CAA 2017 Panel + AHPP CfP

    June 25, 2016

    As we head into the summer we wanted to flag two opportunities to share your research and practice with the field.

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    The Scaffolded Research Paper

    June 4, 2016

    One of the staples of any upper-level art history course is the research paper. These papers can range from deep dives into one work of art from a local collection to thematic explorations that traverse various styles and media. When done well, these assignments can be a true intellectual pleasure. When done poorly, the research paper can feel like a chore. We can, however, take steps to increase the incidence of pleasurable and rewarding research papers and decrease the dreaded end-of-term chores. One strategy I have found to be particularly effective is what is now commonly called “scaffolding.”

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    The Rare Experience of Punctum

    May 27, 2016

    I am not sure which course/professor brought Barthes’s text Camera Lucida into my life, but thank you. I return to this book again and again. As a community college professor, I look for texts that are approachable in reading level but that have concepts to bolster critical thinking. Camera Lucida does just that with its blend of narrative storytelling, photograph description, and philosophical terms and analysis. We read from this book on Day 1 of class and define studium and punctum collaboratively on the white board.

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    Lesson Plan

    Debating Ethics and Issues in Art History

    May 21, 2016

    This past year, in an introductory survey course, I experimented with the format of a debate to engage students in the history of art and our responsibility to this history in the present. The debate required students to take up a position on an issue and argue their case, giving them an opportunity to engage with art history in a new way.

  • Pablo PIcasso. La Moulin de la Galette. 1900. The Solomon. R Guggenheim Museum. My favorite work to teach from in that collection.


    What Inspires Your Museum-Based Teaching?

    May 13, 2016

    I reached out at the end of the spring semester and asked a few colleagues and friends in museum education to briefly describe what inspires their museum-based teaching. Below, you’ll find their responses. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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    Teaching Art History Online: Collaborative vs. Individual Virtual Exhibition Projects

    May 7, 2016

    I decided to forego the traditional research paper and have my students work in small groups to create online exhibitions. I had used the virtual exhibition assignment previously with great success in on-campus classes with non-majors and adult continued education. The difference would be that instead of using PowerPoint, my online students would use an online program: Google Art Project.

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    Teaching Feminism +Art History: Intersectionality

    April 29, 2016



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    Philosophy and Visual Culture

    April 22, 2016

    As a philosophy professor, I use images of artworks in my teaching often, by way of rendering philosophical ideas more accessible to my students, and also for the sheer delight of looking at art (some of them have apparently not experienced this!). In doing so I assume that a work of art is a concrete […]

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    Lesson Plan

    Teaching Violence, Destruction, and Propaganda at Nimrud in Antiquity and Today

    April 10, 2016

    When I asked the students in my freshman survey what they thought of when they considered the terms “art” and “history,” ISIS’ recent spate of destruction came up almost immediately. I began to think about how I might integrate a discussion of the recent events into my survey syllabus. I decided it was not enough to talk about what ISIS is doing; I wanted to address how they use visual media to accomplish their aims.

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    Writing about Art Forming Relationships with Colleagues on Campus and Reinforcing the Basic Skills

    April 3, 2016

    [Editor note: This post is part of our 2016 series on Writing about Art. This installment comes from Craig Houser, who teaches full time in the Art Department and is the co-director of Art History at the City College of New York.] CCNY requires its undergraduate students to take two writing-intensive courses: a Freshman Inquiry […]

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    Seeing Music

    April 1, 2016

    While I was working at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I attended a session about Visual Thinking Strategies. The method’s ingenuity lies in its simplicity; participants study an image and their observations are teased out with subtle and careful questions, revealing a startling level of nuance. It struck me as a wonderfully refreshing way to engage students in a conversation about the unfamiliar, and I started to wonder if some of these principles could be applied to the study of music.