Art History Teaching Resources

Peer-populated resources for art history teachers



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.

The site centers on supporting learning in the classroom, in the museum, and online by blending traditional and technological pedagogical approaches.  Resources such as,, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Timeline of Art History inspire the site.  AHTR strives to create similarly engaging materials to support arts instructors, especially in the foundational art history survey class where students of all majors learn transferable skills in order to critically analyze their worlds through visual means.

What is Art History Teaching Resources?

Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) is a streamlined, peer-populated teaching resources site sharing Art History Survey teaching materials between teachers.

The purpose of the AHTR site is to offer ready-made templates for teachers to bend to their own use, and to offer a forum where teachers who are willing to share innovative models can do so with their peers. What’s new? Catch up with the latest content on the AHTR blog. Teaching for the first time? Need templates for certain areas of your survey course? Head straight to the Survey Resources Page.


On this (beta) site, you’ll find templates for some of the art history survey assignments & examschronologically-arranged lesson plans and PPTs, thematic teaching plans and image clusters, and syllabi for a range of art history survey models. Take them and use them as a start for bigger and better things! If you can’t find what you’re looking for it’s because we don’t have that content yet (eg. Prehistory and the Ancient Near East sections have content, but Sixteenth-Century Italian Art does not). Could you – or someone you know – fill in the gaps? If so, please email us or share the site with them.

You’ll also find innovative videos designed to help you access the museum in the classroom, and prepare your students to engage with museum objects on class field trips.


The project began in the Art History department at the Graduate Center, The City University of New York, in early 2011. There was no standard set of resources for art survey teachers at CUNY, and most new teachers went through the stressful process of “reinventing the wheel,” creating their own lectures, PPTs, and other teaching materials. AHTR streamlines this process, connects with other similar endeavors, and forms a community of peers. It provides a basic springboard for teachers of the art history survey, offering detailed thematic lesson plans, ready-made PPTs, and templates for syllabi and assignments for the global art history survey. In this way, instructors can focus on adding their own specialist emphases to the AHTR materials and developing their teaching strategies – not prepping basic materials that already exist.

There is no perfect way to teach the art history survey, and the survey itself is a contentious beast – what other models might exist to introduce undergraduates to visual culture? The site is meant to support emerging teachers as they take their first steps, and – by providing a starter kit to lessen the panic – give teachers room to innovative new pedagogical models.

How does it work?

The site is based on a peer-populated model like Wiki – all content is available to members, and access is (and always will be) free. Materials are organized by chapter (for teachers who use an outline like Stokstad’s) and also by theme (for teachers who choose a non-chronological approach). The site contains a core set of teaching resources, which are available for download and to which other teachers are invited to submit their own “best of” examples.


So, you have a successful outline for a response paper assignment? Think your syllabus is tried-and-tested? Willing to share your great lecture on Islamic architecture? Submit it on the “Contribute” page and it will be formatted and added to the site. As the site grows and is populated by teaching peers it will offer specialized content useful for both the survey and also upper level art history course teaching. The goal is to develop a community of teachers that use the materials, and also re-populate the site with resources of use to their peers.


For those who are New York-based, attendance at the concurrent series of Master Teacher workshops will be available to teachers outside CUNY from fall 2012. More details on the Workshops page.


The site was initiated in 2011 by Michelle Millar Fisher and Karen Shelby – both products of the CUNY Graduate Teaching Fellows program.

Website built by Michelle Millar Fisher 2011-2013 in the New Media Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. This work is an open educational resource.

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