Posted on Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Shachar Pessis
smARThistory – Smarthistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker began smARThistory in 2005 by creating a blog featuring free audio guides in the form of podcasts for use in The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their next step was embedding the audio files in their online survey courses. The extremely positive feedback from their students brought smARThistory, a multi-media survey of art history web-book. They made audios and videos about works of art found in standard art history survey texts, organized the files in both an aesthetic and chronological manner, and added text and still images. The result is a top notch ‘webby’ history textbook. I enjoy art to a large extent so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was deeply impressed as I was browsing through the site. I especially liked a podcast about Andy Warhol’s Gold Marliyn Monroe.