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Great Art History Apps and Websites

Art history can be a lens through which students view cultural and societal shifts. By studying art's major movements and contributors, including shifts in ways of thinking as well as changes in style and method, students see how all art is connected and political. Students see that artists don't just create to make something beautiful, but to struggle over what it means to exist and to represent possible futures and pasts. From ancient sculpture to modern abstraction, teachers can use these art history apps and sites to show students how important art has shaped our world. They feature vast databases of imagery for reference and research, and many also offer curricular resources to help build lessons and engage students. 

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Asian Art Museum

Inventive lessons and activities integrate Asian history, art, and more

Bottom line: It offers an in-depth look at Asia’s influence on art and history and provides lots of creative tools for educators.

ArtsEdge

Impressive cross-curricular resource helps put the A in STEAM

Bottom line: A useful and engaging resource for integrating the arts into a variety of other subject areas.

Khan Academy

Missions boost learning with balance of focus, freedom to explore

Bottom line: A solid resource for Common Core math instruction as well as foundational knowledge in a number of other subjects.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Powerful stories and media centralize African-American history

Bottom line: While there aren't ready-to-go curricular materials, this modern, well-curated, and well-contextualized digital collection is sure to inspire compelling lessons.

Smithsonian Folkways

Text-centric world music site could use more activities, music

Bottom line: Kids won't hear every tune in its entirety, but Smithsonian Folkways' resources can help them comprehend and appreciate cultural music.

Smithsonian's History Explorer

Lessons, activities, artifacts, artfully presented by the Smithsonian

Bottom line: A fantastic resource for kids and teachers alike, it has everything you need to fall in love with history.

MetKids

Whimsical, kid-friendly intro to the wide world of art

Bottom line: A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.

EDSITEment

Extensive humanities resource offers deep well of great content

Bottom line: The National Endowment for the Humanities has put together an outstanding place for art, history, language, and literature.

TED-Ed

Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short videos

Bottom line: Excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.

Google Arts & Culture

Excellent curation and an unmatched art collection invite exploration

Bottom line: A one-stop shop for a vast amount of compellingly curated and contextualized art, but it's lacking educator supports.

MoMA

Museum companion can stand alone as a modern art resource

Bottom line: Free access to a wealth of images with detailed commentary from artists and curators makes this a great arts education resource.

Smarthistory

Bring traditional art education to life with fresh, interactive multimedia

Bottom line: A worthy supplement to an art history or humanities class.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

History and art intersect on the Met's vast, reading-centric site

Bottom line: This resource from the Metropolitan Museum of Art beautifully illustrates art's evolution and is great for research, but more interactivity would help balance out the text-heavy content.

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