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Select Open Textbooks in Art
Guide to Ancient Near Eastern Art by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Sumerian, Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian / Ur III, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian art.
Guide to Ancient Aegean Art by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for the Ancient Aegean, including Cycladic, Minoan, and Mycenaean art.
Guide to Ancient Greek Art by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Ancient Greek art.
Guide to Ancient Etruscan Art by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for the Ancient Etruscan art.
Guide to Ancient Roman Art by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for the Ancient Roman art.
Guide to Italian art in the 1300s by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1300s.
Guide to Italian art in the 1400s by Ezra, Harris, and Zucker
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1400s.
Digital Foundations by Xtine Burrough, Michael Mandiberg
This book was written by two artist educators who teach digital art and design studio foundation classes. While teaching classes that take place in software laboratories, we noticed that many of our students expected to learn to use software, but gave little consideration to aesthetics or art and design history. A typical first day question is, "Are we going to learn Photoshop in this class?" This book is a mash-up of the Bauhaus Basic Course and open source software such as Inkscape, Gimp, Firefox, and Processing. We have taken some of the visual principles and exercises from the Bauhaus Basic Course and adapted them into exercises for these applications.
Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals (Graphic Communications Open Textbook Collective, British Columbia Institute of Technology)
This textbook -- written by a group of select experts with a focus on different aspects of the design process, from creation to production -- addresses the many steps of creating and then producing physical, printed, or other imaged products that people interact with on a daily basis. It covers the concept that, while most modern graphic design is created on computers using design software, the ideas and concepts don’t stay on the computer. The ideas need to be completed in the computer software, then progress to an imaging (traditionally referred to as printing) process. Keywords are highlighted throughout and summarized in a Glossary at the end of the book, and each chapter includes exercises and suggested readings.
Art OER Research Guides & Databases
Open Textbook Library: Arts Testbooks
Organized by the Open Education Network, based in the Center for Open Education at the
University of Minnesota. Art history resources are interspersed with other arts content in the arts section,
and include titles like American Encounters (2018), The Bright Continent: African Art History (2018), and
Guide to Byzantine Art (2021), to name a few. Utilized Creative Commons licenses, as most OER do.
Concordia University: Art History OER
Contains open textbooks from a variety of sources on a variety of topics in art history.
Los Angeles Valley College OER Guide: Art History Section
This guide has a range of OER listed, broken down by subject matter. Click on “Art History” for art historical texts, made available through a variety of sources.
Pima Community College: Open Educational Resources Subject Guide for Art & Art History
Includes course materials, textbooks, images & videos, and open courses on art & art history topics
Pratt Institute Libraries: A-Z DATABASES: OPEN-ACCESS
This content includes databases from across scholarly disciplines, including art history, that are open access. It includes the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), Documents of Latin American and Latino Art, and the Met Museum of Art Publications, among others
Websites & Digital Collections
American Craft Council Library & Archives Digital Collections
Specific to American craft, the digital collections feature “thousands of unique images, documents, and media...detail[ing] the history of contemporary craft in America.” Of particular interest might be the Craft Horizons / American Craft magazine, among other resources.
Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR)
“Art History Teaching Resources 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.” Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the CUNY Graduate Center.
The Canadian Online Art Book Project
Founded in 2013, this digital library focuses on original books commissioned by the Art Canada Institute. Artists featured include Walter S. Allward, Molly Lamb Bobak, and Shuvinai Ashoona, to name a few.
An Open Educational Resources (OER) platform for Digital Arts and Humanities educators and
students. Content on dariahTeach is designed to be asynchronously accessed by both lone learners, especially those who do not have access to digital arts and humanities teaching and training, as well as
educators who can embed content into their own course offerings.
The Met: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Contains essays, images of works of art, and chronologies pertinent to the global history of art. Essays included credit their author and specify their affiliation(s); however, most essays are written by curatorial staff at The Met.
Open Art Histories (OAH)
:“...a platform for art, art history, visual art, communication and museum studies teachers and instructors in Canada.” Though its content is Canadian in focus, may still be of interest, as it does contain OER and is a virtual community and repository for art and art history instructors.
Created by a collaborative group of more than five hundred art historians, curators, archaeologists, and artists, SmARThistory looks to make art history less colonial and more equitable, and all content on the site has undergone an open peer-review process – plus every essay links to its author and their credentials. They do have a textbook that’s recently been released as an OER, though there are mixed reviews from fellow art library professionals and art historians – main detractors state that it is still a work in progress, and not quite ready for the classroom.
Thanks to Anna Boutin-Cooper, Westfield State University, for compiling resources and descriptions.