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Art History Projects

Project 1- Instructor's Guide  For Smarthistory

Project 2 - Community For History of Islamic Art

Location: Online
Members: 17
Latest Activity: Sep 17, 2013

Our first two projects:


Project 1- Instructor's Guide  For Smarthistory

Project 2 - Community For History of Islamic Art


Photo is Russell Coates Art Gallery Bournemouth UK

Licensed CC BY Martin Beek


Discussion Forum

SmartHistory Instructors Guide 10 Replies

Our first project in the Art History group is to create an Instructors' Guide for SmartHistory. This Guide will make it easier for Art History…Continue

Started by Jacky Hood. Last reply by Jacky Hood Jun 19, 2012.

Smarthistory Sample Syllabi

Here are a couple of links for us to review and discuss:…Continue

Started by Shadieh Mirmobiny Nov 21, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Shadieh Mirmobiny on September 16, 2013 at 2:19pm

Hi Alice,

Ok. I am signed in now and can comment right here. Let me know where you saw that so I can have a look. Is it on the smarthistory site or this Art History site?

Comment by Alice Taylor on September 16, 2013 at 11:51am

Shadieh, I can't figure out how to post a comment to Smarthistory.  (I wanted to ask Elizabeth Lewis to change "specter" to "scepter" in her article on the pyxis of al-Mughira, but my comments don't seem to go through.)  Any ideas?

Could you send me your direct email address?  Mine is

Comment by Shadieh Mirmobiny on February 10, 2012 at 3:17pm

Here is the Archive to the Art History Group meeting today February 10, 2012:

It was a great meeting!

Comment by Shadieh Mirmobiny on January 19, 2012 at 5:08pm

I will check it out! Thanks Una!

Comment by Una Daly on January 19, 2012 at 3:22pm

Hi Shadieh and Art Faculty and Fans --

Have you checked out Washington's state's Open Course Library open online course on Art Appreciation.  I had a chance to review it recently and was impressed with the content and images (mostly public domain).

Check out the course by following the directions to login as a guest user on the Angel LMS and then click on OCL Master Art Appreciation link.



Comment by Dr. Steven Zucker on December 18, 2011 at 7:59am

Hi Everyone,

We're just back from a Smarthistory trip and we've just had a chance to listen to the archived call (big thanks to Jacky for making this possible). We're really pleased Smarthistory has been helpful as a resource, and we appreciate hearing your feedback. From the beginning, we have tried hard to respond to user needs and wishes to make Smarthistory the best possible resource.

Here is some additional information based on the topics that were discussed at your meeting:

To date, Smarthistory's content is indeed almost exclusively focused on Western art—this is largely because Smarthistory is dependent on contributions from art historians. Our (Beth & Steven) training is in Western art, and thus far, only a few contributors have stepped forward and contributed non-Western material. We know that Smarthistory's chronology is a Western focused one, and there are several ways we can deal with that once more material has been included. We are indeed actively seeking contributions on non-Western content (our home page actively solicits for this), so interested folks should get in touch with us!

Navigation and Use in a Course

Smarthistory does focus on canonical material—and in fact we currently have far less material than the typical textbook, so we were very curious about the the concern that was raised regarding difficulties navigating the site and figuring out how to use it in a course. We would love to follow up about this, pin down exactly where the difficulty is, and figure out what we can do to address this.

Regarding the chilling effect of copyright law—indeed, this is a real problem. We've been working with the people at the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School, as Michelle indicated. The vast majority of the works of art that we illustrate on the site is no longer subject to copy protection (photos of the work can add another layer, but we use our own photos as much as possible). For the more recent work, and based on our discussions with Stanford, we feel confident that we are squarely within the Fair Use guidelines.

Image Repositories
As was mentioned by Michelle, Smarthistory has a vibrant community with 380 members that contribute photographs to our Flickr group. You are all certainly welcome to join and contribute. In addition, Steven's Flickr page has nearly 1500 of his photos of canonical art and architecture. They are organized by city and museum and are searchable and nearly all comes with a caption including basic information. These are CC licensed so you can use them without bothering with a formal request.

Material and Technique Videos
Thanks again to Michelle for pointing out that this is an area where we have done some work. This is an area we think is very important and we plan to create more content. By the way, we love the Getty videos and we do link to them.

Information and visual literacy was mentioned. This is a really important issue and Smarthistory was developed with this in mind though of course nothing can replace the teacher in this regard. We are actively planning to add more content in theory and method, so please stay tuned.

Best regards,
Beth & Steven

Comment by Shadieh Mirmobiny on December 17, 2011 at 9:31am

Thanks Alice and Jacky! Great sources of information!

Comment by Jacky Hood on December 17, 2011 at 9:18am

Alice mentioned Judy Baker. She is Dean of Online Learning at Foothill College and was the Director of College Open Textbooks 2008-9. Here is a page developed by Judy about Fair Use and Copyrights:

Comment by Jacky Hood on December 17, 2011 at 9:01am

Another link for the Licensing quiz:

The link in my wall post below did not work for everyone. If that happened to you, try the tinyurl above. is the full link. You can copy and paste it into your browser if clicking does not work. Another way to reach it is to mouse over the Cool Links Tab in the upper right and pull down to the Licensing Quiz page.

Comment by Jacky Hood on December 17, 2011 at 8:57am

Thanks Alice. This training class is also listed at

Here is an article about Fair Use that emphasizes the point that I made yesterday: fair use is for the US Copyright law. If a class has students outside the USA or the instructor's website is public, fair use may not apply.


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