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.

  • Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty

    AP Art History

    Bringing the Museum to AP Art History—a Model for Collaboration

    October 21, 2016

    The Challenge In 2015-16, the College Board rolled out its redesigned AP Art History course.  The new curriculum moved away from a largely Western and Eurocentric curriculum to a more holistic understanding of art history from a global perspective.  As a high school teacher, the difficulty inherent to this new curriculum revolved not only around […]

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    Lesson Plan

    Learning to Look Critically with The Museum of Modern Art’s “Seeing Through Photographs” MOOC

    October 14, 2016

    The following is a reflection on the genesis of MoMA’s recent MOOC on Photography. We hope this post will introduce museum and classroom teachers to this MoMA resource on photography and encourage its use, where appropriate, as self-guided learning for your students and as a supplementary resource for survey and elective courses in this area of art history and practice.

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    A Superficial Glance: An appeal for deeper insight into paintings

    October 7, 2016

    Contemporary scientific methods allow us to peek beneath the surface of the painting. I would like to argue that a look beneath the surface of a painting offers a deeper insight into its materiality, and the specific technical and cultural context of its maker(s).

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    The TeachArt Wiki

    September 30, 2016

    A number of years ago while taking a break from grading the term papers of a large survey course in which students were assigned to visit a museum and write about an artwork of their choice, I commented to my wife and colleague, Guey-Meei Yang, about each semester feeling like the movie Groundhog Day as […]

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    The Out-of-Town Class Trip to the Museum

    September 23, 2016

    When I began teaching as a graduate student, it was in New York, and the resources of the city were at my fingertips.  Every semester, I sent my students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Frick, or the Brooklyn Museum, for the invaluable experience of seeing representative art from the course, in person.  […]

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    Acting Out: Teaching Music History with Role-Playing

    September 9, 2016

    [Editors’ note: In August, Karen and Parme attended the Arts in Society Conference, an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the role of the arts in society. They presented “AHTR: An OER Community for Pedagogical Practice in Art History,” which served to present AHTR and the new journal, Art History Pedagogy and Practice, to those in […]

  • Seminary21


    Welcome to the fall 2016 semester from AHTR!

    September 3, 2016

    As you prepare your courses for the fall, please keep in mind the many resources available at ATHR.  Explore the thematic lesson plans that offer different ways to engage students in art history. For general teaching ideas, our team has been combing the AHTR archives for our favorite posts and assignments from the past, and these are now featured under the #AHTRfaves hashtag on Twitter.

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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.

  • Writing About Art

    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.

  • Voice of Fire

    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.