OER for Art History


OER by Subject: Art (Licences vary)

A list of art-related open educational resources collected by the Bethel University Library.

OER by Subject: Art and Art History (Licences vary)

A list of art-related open educational resources collected by the Washtenaw Community College Library.

OER Commons

OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.


B.C. Open Textbook Collection: Art, Media, and Design  (Various CC licences)

A collection of open textbooks relating to various topics in art, media, and design.

Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning (CC BY-SA)

This textbook offers a comprehensive introduction to the world of Art. Authored by four USG faculty members with advance degrees in the arts, this textbooks offers up-to-date original scholarship. It includes over 400 high-quality images illustrating the history of art, its technical applications, and its many uses. It introduces such issues in art as its meaning and purpose; its meaning and purpose; its structure, material, and form; and its diverse effects on our lives.

Open Course Library Art 100 – Art Appreciation

This is an exploration of visual art forms and their cultural connections for the student with little experience in the visual arts. The course includes a brief study of art history and in depth studies of the elements, media, and methods used in creative process and thought. Visual and performing arts are part of the Humanities: academic disciplines that study the human condition and include the languages, literature, law, history and religion.
This course will teach students to develop a five-step system for understanding visual art in all forms based on description, analysis, meaning, context and judgment.

Boundless Art History

This catalog contains educational content originally curated by Boundless. In collaboration with the Boundless team, Lumen Learning imported these OER courses to the Lumen Platform, to ensure they remain freely available to the education community after Boundless ceased operations. Lumen maintains the Boundless content in the same condition it was provided to us. Please note, courses may contain issues with formatting, accessibility, and the degree to which content remains current, accurate, and complete.

Art History @ Saylor

A course on art history developed by professors for Saylor.org.



Smarthistory is a leading open educational resource for art history.

Art History Teaching Resources

Art History Teaching Resources (AHRT) 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. The site promotes discussion and reflection around new ways of teaching and learning in the art history classroom through a peer-populated blog, and fosters a collaborative virtual community for art history instructors at all career stages.

Open Arts Objects

Open Arts Objects (OAO) is an open access platform which provides over 50 free films to support the teaching of Art History.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Gallery of Art




Free educational website with hundreds of tutorials covering video & television production, audio work, photography, graphics, web design, and more.

MIT OpenCourseware – Fine Arts

MIT Open Courseware offers an extensive series of online courses on the Fine Arts. Courses generally include lecture videos, assignments, exams, and more.

TEDTalks – Art

Artists, designers and curators share their work, their process and their vision. Watch TED Talks from sculptors, painters, illustrators and photographers — and those who blur the boundaries.


“Free images by creatives for creatives”

New York City Public Library

This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.

Welcome Collection

The free museum and library for the incurably curious

Digital Public Library of America

Discover 33,306,626 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States.

Wikimedia Commons

A collection of 51,957,960 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Other Helpful Resources (Licenses Vary)

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, e-Learning, and Online Collections

Organized by Portals, Virtual Tours/Online Exhibits, History Museums, Natural Science Museums, National Parks, Online Exhibits, eLearning, Created for Kids, Art and Cultural Collections, Science Collections, History Collections, Digital Archives & Libraries, and Additional Resources. All resources are free to access. Much of it though not all, is also open content, in the sense that it’s freely reusable and re-mixable under Creative Commons licensing. Open content Is clearly labeled on its respective website.

Guggenheim Museum Resource Units

Educational materials featuring more than 30 digital exhibitions and including information about the artist and the works, discussion questions and follow-up activities, and links to additional resources, such as videos, websites, and books.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this resource pairs essays and works of art with chronologies, telling the story of art and global culture through the Museum’s collection.