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.

  • Reflection

    The (Contemporary) Art History Mixtape: Setting the Tone in the Classroom with Music

    December 2, 2017

    Scene: a low lit classroom filled with sleepy students mindlessly swiping at their phones and numbed by the hypnotic hum of a projector. Enter the professor, expected to perform, to teach, dare I say entertain. But how can we enliven this familiar weekly song and dance? Perhaps with a song? Or maybe a mixtape? Starting […]

  • Assignment

    Bomb the Church

    November 28, 2017

    Upon learning of the Taliban-driven destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in 2001, I remembered an article that I’d read in a Philosophy of Art class in graduate school so many years ago:  Albert Elsen’s ‘Bomb the Church:  What We Don’t Teach Our Students in Art 1.’  [Editors’ note: a version can be found […]

  • Tool

    What’s Your Sutori? Interactive Study Guides and Active Note-Taking

    November 17, 2017

    Over the years, I can’t adequately express how many different types of “study guides” I have created and abandoned in preparation for art history exams. Everything from bullet-point lists of artworks to Word documents outlining terms and big-picture questions to Powerpoint slides with all required artworks and identifications. If you name it, I’ve probably tried […]

  • Tool

    Using Open Educational Resources in Art History Courses: Asian and Islamic Arts

    November 14, 2017

    Students, parents, and politicians complain that rising costs have resulted in staggering student debt and the inaccessibility of higher education for many students who otherwise would pursue college degrees.  Commercial textbook prices contribute to the problem: According to the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, students enrolled in a four-year public university will spend approximately […]

  • Reflection

    SECAC Summary: Pedagogically Sound Approaches for Hybrid and Online Learning

    November 5, 2017

    In October 2017, AHTR held a session at SECAC in Columbus, Ohio (go Buckeyes!) titled Pedagogically Sound Approaches for Hybrid and Online Learning. The abstract reads as follows: Technologically supported long-distance learning has become integral in higher education initiatives.  Hybrid and online courses allow flexibility in student learning in university and museum education departments. They […]

  • Assignment

    Hybrid Survey, Active Learning, and Digital Exhibitions

    October 21, 2017

    This semester I am teaching the first part of the western art survey in a hybrid format. Students engage via our content management system; but we also meet face to face. And when we do I want those experiences to be more active types of engagements with the works of art and the ideas of the class. This summer, I was reading an article about the importance of “apprenticeship” and it got me thinking about art history …

  • Assignment

    Creating a More Accessible Art History Course through 3D Printing

    October 13, 2017

    There are ways to create more accessible art history courses, as I discovered last year when I taught a student who is blind in my prehistoric to medieval art history survey. While I am still learning how to design an effective art history course for a student with a visual impairment, I wanted to share what I have discovered so far, focusing on one particularly effective tool: 3D printing.

  • Assignment

    Understanding Geometry and Cathedral Design Through Experiential Learning

    October 11, 2017

    Overview The beauty and grandeur of medieval cathedrals lies not only in their sheer size, but also in the harmonious proportions that result from using principles of ancient geometry in their design. This experiential learning project demonstrates the interrelationship of mathematics and design in medieval architecture through the practical application of geometry. Reading assignments (see below) should be completed […]

  • Reflection

    “Celtic” Crosses and White Supremacism

    September 29, 2017

    [Editors’s note: This post was originally published on on the wonderful website Material Collective. Maggie Williams, the author and c-founder of Material Collective, was kind enough to allow re-posting on AHTR. The original post can be found here.]   In 2012, I published a book that was inspired by my 2001 dissertation on Irish crosses. In […]

  • Museums

    Profound Choice: On Balancing Access, Advocacy + Exposure to the Arts

    September 23, 2017

    Years ago I was running a partnership program within a secure juvenile detention facility located in the South Bronx, bringing in reproductions of artwork along with as many court-approved materials as possible for our studio projects. (My first attempt at a collage-based workshop was scrapped when I naively failed to realize that, of course, scissors […]

  • Reflection

    The Art of Engineering

    September 17, 2017

    The current trend at many technical and community colleges to tailor course offerings toward job preparation and to advocate STEM education at the expense of the humanities can be viewed as a threat to the long-term health of visual arts education. Whether we perceive the STEM-centered educational movement as a threat or otherwise, it is […]

  • Reflection

    Intersecting Art and Science: Curation, Curriculum, and Collaboration

    September 12, 2017

    Experiential learning has value across the disciplines.[1] Educational research has shown this method as one of the foremost ways to train students, and these ideas have been particularly influential in minting new scientists and engineers.