Category Archives: Art History

How to enhance your lessons with Google Art Project

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.


Google Art Project is one of my favorite tools available online. It is a repository of high resolution images and 3D “museum view” virtual art gallery tours. Since its inception in 2011, Google Art Project has grown from its initial collaboration of 17 international museums to more than 151 and is now available in 18 languages.

This is a great tool for introducing students to Art from around the world. Here are a few ideas for lesson plans that you can use in conjunction with Google Art Project.


Google Art Project will allow you to create and curate your own gallery. You can have students build a project thematically (styles, emotional experiences, etc), chronologically, culturally, and more. Students select the pieces that they want to add to their gallery, move them around (just as a museum curators places art pieces in an exhibit), and then share them privately or publicly. This could be a great way for a student to showcase their understanding of a particular artist or style as a project for an Art History, History, Social Studies, or Humanities course.


Using the “Compare” model, you can put two works of art side by side and perform an in depth analysis of the works. Here is one of my favorite exercises:

google art project

You will see that I have selected A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat (Chicago Institute of Art) andBreakfast by Signac (Kröller-Müller Museum); both of these artists were masters of pointillism. I have students examine the pieces in high definition, side-by-side, and explore the different techniques between these two artists.

Students write up their comparative analysis in their Art History notebook and present on the stylistic differences in class. This can also help students understand how styles and techniques evolve over time (Seurat and Signac developed pointillism out of the styles of impressionism). You can assign specific works of art to students (like I do above) or you can have students choose and compare pieces on their own.

This is a great way to teach students to engage the content in depth and perform comparative analysis.


A common practice in Art courses is to study the work of master artists by reproducing their work. A fun way to do this is to ask students to “create a forgery.”

Students could select an artist and study their life, style, work, and technique; the high definition, zoomable figures on Google Art Project allows them to study numerous works of art that are held in collections around the world. After they have done this, ask them to create a fake!

They can host a gallery opening where visitors compare their reproduction to the original works of the artist.


Google hosts regular Hangouts on Air with prominent curators. They announce the schedule on theirGoogle+ page and post the recordings on theirYouTube page. Students can prepare for the announced topic and submit questions to professionals. It’s a great way to engage students with modern Art curation.

Google has also posted some different lesson ideashere. With more and more expansions to the Google Art Project (the most recent being its Street Art Collection), there will be more opportunities for students to explore the world of Art.

This resource continues to grow and provides students with the ability to explore art in new and interesting ways, outside of a textbook, or more in-depth than they could at a museum.


google art project

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Free Art History Education in your Inbox

Artips is a free daily newsletter focused on art history. Delivered to subscribers’ inbox 3 times a week, Artips tells short and original stories about famous and unknown works of art.

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Founded in April 2013, Artips is a start-up founded by two young college graduates, Coline Debayle and Jean Perret. They decided to create a way to address difficulties many individuals face when trying to understand the arts, such as the art world’s complex nature, outdated art history texts and long lines outside major museums across the world.

Artips makes art history more accessible and mobile by offering daily enter- taining and unique stories that take only a minute to read. With its advanced and responsive design, Artips can be read on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

As an Artips subscriber, you will learn the answers to the following questions: Why did Michelangelo sign his Pietà like a thief in the night? Why does the barmaid of Folies- Bergères look so melancholy in Manet’s painting? What were the eerie premonitions of Surrealists like Dali or Brauner? From ancient to contemporary art, Artips allows us to understand works of art from a new angle.

Through the writings of over one hundred specialists, editors, students, art hobbyists and art history teachers, Artips tells a memorable and fun story every day about paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and design.

As of this month, there are over 80,000 francophone subscribers and we have launched our English version earlier this month.

To subscribe to Artips for free, visit their website

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the World with the Google Cultural Institute

This is reblogged from my post on Free Technology for Teachers

I am a big fan of the Google Cultural Institute; it’s an amazing repository of Artistic Masterpieces, Wonders of the Natural World, Historical Artifacts, and more. By using it as a repository of digital materials, it’s an easy way to access cultural content from around the world in my classroom. I can pull up a high definition image of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and use its powerful zoom features so that students can see the impasto brush strokes. We can explore the Street Art of Sao Paulo with a Google Street View for a unit on modern art or the Ruins at Angkor Wat

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the World with the Google Cultural Institute.


3 Ways to use Google in Art & Art History

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius


Google has become one of the most popular tools in schools today. With its broad and flexible system of apps, there are many ways to adapt them into a classroom to help you explore new and dynamic ways of presenting materials or having students build projects! If you teach in the art department (with either Studio Art or Art History), here are three ways to use Google to facilitate your classroom workflow and to allow students to showcase their work.


Google Docs is a quick and easy to master word processor. Where it excels, however, is in its ability to track progress, share your work, and collaborate with others both at your school and with peers from outside of your institution. My Art and Art History teachers love using it as a tool for students to write research essays, synopses, or other written assignments. Because of the collaborative elements, it’s an excellent tool for group projects and/or peer editing. When students are finished with a project, they can share the final version with the teacher. With the “revision history” feature, the teacher can track a student’s writing over a period of days and hours, witness group contributions, see how a student incorporated peers edits, and more.


Create Folder

Shared folders within Google Drive have so many uses in the world of Art! To create a shared folder simply open Google Drive, click “new,” and select “folders.” Give the folder a name and then share it by selecting it with a single click and then choosing the “share” icon. You can share a folder with a single person or a group of people depending on your needs. Students and others can then submit content directly to that shared folder.

My Art History teachers love using shared folders as a repository for presentations. Often, high-resolution images of art create robust files that are too large to email. With a shared folder, this is no problem because students can simply upload their presentations directly to it; with Google Apps for Education, there is no limitation on file size or storage, so space is not an issue! With a shared folder for presentations, students can continue to access the content for future reference.

In studio art, a shared folder is a good way for students to submit images or videos of their work in progress or as a finished product. As Google Drive has free apps for both iOSand Android, students can also upload directly from the camera roll on their smartphone or tablet!


Students in Art classes often have a portfolio of work that they are especially proud of and want to showcase. Google Sitesis a great place for them to highlight their work. A Google Site can be personalized and has the ability to embed images, video, documents, presentations, and even folders from Google Drive, allowing students to create and curate their own digital portfolios. With Google Sites’ shared settings, students can publish their portfolio only to themselves, broaden it to their community (a particular teacher, their classmates, the faculty as a whole, or the school or district), or to the world. Teachers can help students decide their appropriate audience based on their age, school or district policy, or the objective of their showcase.

Google’s tools support teachers and students as they produce, share, and curate material across a variety of contexts. While these are three ways that I have seen teachers in Art and Art History use Google in their classroom, how else can you envision using these tools and apps?

To learn more about using these tools, EdTechTeacher will be offering a Google & iPads Pre-Conference Workshop as part of their February 9-11 iPad Summit in San Diego.

Explore the Pyramids on Google Maps

Google Maps now offers street views of the monuments of Egypt, including panoramas and street view access of the Pyramids.

This an addition to Google’s “Treks,” which includes streetview access of the world’s natural and man-made wonders, including Mt. Everest, the Grand Canyon,  the Eiffel Tower, and more.


National Archives Making Thousands of Images Available via Wikimedia Commons

Adams_Boulder_Dam_1942The National Archives has uploaded thousands of images to Wikimedia Commons, making them available free of charge to the general public. 

“By uploading digital content there, we make it readily available for Wikipedia editors to embed in Wikipedia articles, making them far more visible than they are in our own catalog,” said Dominic McDevitt-Parks, digital content specialist and Wikipedian in Residence at NARA.

They intend to make thousands of more images available in the near future. You can read more about their collaboration here

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Smarty Pins – Google Maps, geography trivia, and video games

Jennifer Carey:

Some great ways to use Google in the History Classroom!

Originally posted on History Tech:

Google Maps. Geography trivia. And video games. Three of my favorite things. And now, they’re all together in one place.

Google’s new Smarty Pins. (Get it? Smarty Pants – Smarty Pins? You nutty Google engineers!)

Smarty Pins is basically a simple trivia game that asks questions with geo-tagged answers using the Google Maps interface.

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