Multimedia Resources for Art History

While the John T. Richardson Library offers many resources for students studying and writing about the history of art and architecture, there are some interesting on-line resources offering new, innovative approaches to the study of art and architecture.

Smart HistoryOne of the most unique is Smarthistory, described by its creators as a “multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook.” Using digital images, videos, podcasts and a blog, Smarthistory provides multiple means to study a particular period, style, artist or individual work of art.

If you’re new to the study of Chinese art, or want to learn more about early Chinese painting, the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, has produced “A Pure and Remote View, Visualizing Early Chinese Landscape Painting.” A moving-image lecture series, “A Pure and Remote View,”consists of 37 hours of audio-visual material narrated by world-renowned scholar James H. Cahill. The videos, as well as lecture notes, can be viewed or downloaded free of charge. For a preview of the series, look here.

art21Finally, Art21, which began as a PBS series focused on introducing contemporary art, and those who make it, to a wider audience, has become a multi-media powerhouse for the study of late 20th and early 21st Century art. The series, now in its 6th season, is available for viewing through the website. But the organization behind the series has also produced books, podcasts, a blog, downloadable teaching materials, a monthly newsletter and even a photostream on Flickr.

While these sites may not provide in-depth scholarship for research purposes, all three provide a fun, new, unique approach to learning about art and architecture using new media and technologies.

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