Peer-populated resources for art history teachers
Resources We Love….
Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects (2011), available for free online in the original Radio 4 audio format, or for purchase in hard copy. This is one of the best resources from which to source short at-home readings for students.
Invaluable as a teacher and/or student reading resource for early art history, The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Civilizations, edited by John Haywood (2005)
Acclaimed Cambridge University lecturer Dr. Nigel Spivey takes viewers on a quest to comprehend mankind’s unique capacity to understand and explain the world through artistic symbols. Far more than a survey of art history, HOW ART MADE THE WORLD explores the essential functions art served in early civilizations and, in some cases, still serves in modern society.
This 2013 web series, “82nd and Fifth,” is produced by the same digital media staff who created the Timeline of Art History and Connections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The episodes are short (2-3 mins each) and focus on one work of art discussed passionately and intelligently by one curator. They work for viewing both inside and outside the classroom, and model compelling art historical narratives.
Written after many years of helping ESL students tease out their written descriptions of the visual objects and sites they faced in art history classes, Jesse Day’s book is fantastic for the insightful way in which it discusses the foundational elements of art history – looking, describing, and translating that into text – and for the clear examples he offers as in-class exercises for individual students and group work.
Engineering an Empire is a fun method to introduce major cultural leaps in the global survey, and a way to incorporate discussion about architecture and structural engineering.
Camille Paglia’s Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars (2012) has been reviewed very negatively by some, and her tone and choice of all-Western subject matter is certainly controversial. But that’s no reason to desert the this book entirely. It’s because her writing is so polemic that certain chapters in this book (the one on Picasso’s Demoiselles for example) can be useful to set as at-home reading that will provoke in-class discussion.