AP Conference – Combining History with Art History

Today was my second day at the Annual College Board AP Conference – it’s a beautiful day in San Francisco (75 degrees and not a hint of fog), yet my shoe wear and the meetings have largely kept me inside. Still, it’s been well worth it.

The first scheduled panel I attended today was entitled: “European History Meets Art History: How Art Can Deepen Historical Understanding.” The lecture was co-taught by a teacher of European History and a studio art/Art History instructor. It highlighted the importance of historical context when studying art as well as the importance of art in the historical world. As an archaeologist by training, this was right up my alley.

What was most helpful was the tools and online resources available for both History and Art History teachers.

  • Using Works of Art in the AP Classroom (note this opens a PDF document). this publication is put out by the College Board to highlight the role that Art plays in an historical context.
  • Web Gallery of Art – Virtual museum and searchable database of European Art.
  • Smart History – A free, not-for-profit, multimedia web book ideal for supplementing traditional Art History textbooks.
  • Project Gutenberg – Over 36,000 free ebooks for download to your computer, Smart Phone, or eReader

The highlight of the talk was that these articles could readily be used by educators to enhance their students’ understanding and comprehension of both the world of History as well as Art History.

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