Discover the Best Art History Classes Online
The earliest example of what could be considered writing on Art History is Pliny the Elder's Natural History, which takes Greek painting and sculpture as its subjects. Later prominent art critics and art historians include Giorgio Vasari, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Heinrich Wolfflin, Reigl and Wickhoff, and Roland Barthes.
Art History today is taught in most universities where it is a common humanities elective course. A particular artist's place in the sweep of history is necessarily a foundational consideration of the field, so precedent, influence, subcultures, social "scenes," and the artist's milieu are important ideas for those who study in it. Most art historians and art critics write about the role of the viewer in interpreting a work of art and to what degree the artist and his or her intent should be considered in this interpretation.
Why You Should Learn Art History Online
Art lovers, students, hobbyists, and artists themselves explore this field to better appreciate art and artists and to fine tune their own sense of aesthetics. This can lead to creating art oneself or finding inspiration in favorite pieces.
The viewing of aesthetic objects, especially in quiet or solitude, has been shown to relieve stress and heighten creativity. Many people from a variety of professional fields turn to art and its study to help them solve problems or creative blocks in their work.
Most people appreciate art of one kind or another, so studying art history is a wonderful way to plug into a community and connect with like minded individuals. The Association of Art Museum Curators provides a list of professional organizations devoted to the study, preservation, or advancement of art in the United States. This is an excellent resource for finding programs or organizations where you can learn more about art history. The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Alliance of Museums are good resources as well.
If you're looking to broaden your professional or creative opportunities, then studying Art History is sure to aid you in your search. Over two million people work in the Art History, Criticism, and Conversation fields in the United States, and this number is on the rise. Once you've become experienced enough in the field, you may even become a teacher or instructor of Art History yourself.
Virtual Art History Classes
Online Art History classes are becoming increasingly common and easy to find, and it's no mystery why. With no need to commute and the ability to access course materials from anywhere, virtual Art History courses are becoming the preferred way to learn for many people today.
In-person classes have their benefits too. It's hard to beat having an instructor and peers in the classroom with you as you make your way through difficult materials. The feedback is extremely helpful, and you can ask questions on the fly.
Everyone learns differently, so it's good to learn what style works best for you. With an online class, generally all you need to attend is a computer or smart device and a reliable wifi connection. From the comfort of home you can explore a wide range of available online Art History courses, which are often more readily available than in-person courses. You will be expected, however, to provide your own materials for a virtual course, so it's good to keep this in mind.
Abstract Painting Critique and Discussion is a class presented by the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, NYC in which participants learn how to engage at the aesthetic and critical levels with contemporary abstract paintings. Students are encouraged to bring their own work to the class to engage with classmates and receive feedback and critiques. Workshop sessions with peers will be supplemented with instructor presentations and discussions on work by historical artists that are in conversation with the student work. The class is open to ages 18 and older and the class size is capped at 12.
If you want to learn how to rearrange and remix your family photos into daring and intriguing new presentations and arrangements then Contemporary Reinterpretation of the Family Photo Album is a terrific introductory course. Expert instructors at the Houston Center for Photography will teach photographers and photo enthusiasts at the beginner level how to see and reinterpret the traditional family photo album in new ways. The Houston Center for Photography is an organization in Houston, Texas dedicated to the art of photography and it is known for its excellent programming and classes on photography and its history.
People in Relationship with the Contemporary Landscape is another course presented by the Houston Center for Photography that teaches the photographer's creative process in conversation with art history. How do you view the role of people in the landscape in contemporary photography? Learn how to analyze and reevaluate your own conceptions of what is or is not aesthetically sound in your own and others' photography. This is an intermediate level course that unfolds over four sessions.
Do you want to learn more about how the ancient Greeks, Romans, and other cultures viewed art? Aesthetic Production in the Ancient World provides an overview of how the ancients conceived of and saw what we today call "art." Presented in four sessions by the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, this course is a deep dive into what it means to be an artist and how contemporary art is informed by ancient art and vice versa.
This is an intriguing and unique class presented by the Chicago Botanic Garden in the Cook County Forest Preserves in Chicago. History of Photography: Postmodernism is a survey course of the history of photography, beginning in the 1960s and moving up to the present. Photographers discussed include Andy Warhol, Syl Labro, Gary Winogrand, Diane Arbus, and others. Learn about a variety of photographic styles, from pop art to assemblage, conceptual art and the social landscape. This class is $499 for six sessions.
Private Online Group Art History Classes
Private online group Art History classes are a convenient and fun way to break up the normal routine of your group or organization and learn something new. Families and friends looking for a unique event for a holiday or anniversary can learn about Art History together while building trust and bonding. CourseHorse offers private online group Art History classes delivered directly to you at any location
Venture into the past and learn about ancient art and culture with Virtual Trivia: Human History, an online event that challenges teams to test their knowledge of classical art, cultures, and civilizations. This is a great course for families, groups large and small, teams, and organizations to build camaraderie while having fun through intellectually stimulating trivia.
CourseHorse Experiences delivers the course through Zoom, and it generally lasts about one hour. Allow the CourseHorse host to provide the trivia questions or you can work with them to create your own. Create a battery of questions relevant to your team members, places you've traveled, periods of art history you appreciate, or favorite artists and works of art.
Since this is a virtual event, as many as 200 people can join the fun, and the size of your group is flexible and can be changed even after you book. The base price of this event is $360 for up to 15 people, and each additional person is $10. For a customization fee of $150, CourseHorse will connect you with an expert to help you create your own set of trivia questions.
Sometimes you're looking for that perfect class for your team or group and you can't find it. There's no need to worry, because CourseHorse is adding new classes all the time, and a representative will even work with you to find the class that is right for you. Click the "Contact Us" button on the CourseHorse Groups page, fill out the form, describe the class you want to have delivered to your group, and you can get the ball rolling.
There are never any fees to book a course, and confirmation is sure to be sent in 24 hours or less. Also, if your plans change in the process of booking the course, it's never too late to change the size of your group. CourseHorse makes the process easy and intuitive.
Most online Art History group classes are delivered through Zoom, but many platforms are supported, including Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx.
Online vs. In-Person Art History Classes
Much of the study of Art History consists in viewing, analyzing, and discussing images, which means that if you have a computer or smart device and a reliable internet connection the only limit to how far you delve into the field is your imagination and willingness to learn. So, online classes are the way to go for many with an interest in this field. There's no commute required, and you can connect to a class from the comfort of home.
Many still prefer the immediate benefits you get from an in-person course and instructor. Being a part of a community of learners in a dedicated classroom space is a great spur to learn and stretch the limits of what your knowledge. Plus you receive guidance and feedback from an instructor who is there to support you through the curriculum.
If you are analyzing an aesthetic object that is physically present, such as a marble sculpture, then an in-person would be the preferable delivery method. If the course is lecture based and uses many images and slides, then engaging with the class virtually could have enormous benefits because of the convenience and, sometimes, a lower registration fee compared to alternatives.
Can I Learn Art History for Free Online?
Taking your first steps into the field of Art History is easy with free online instruction. Widely available resources like videos and tutorials will help you get started as you learn the fundamentals of this richly varied subject. If you decide that you do want help along the way, peers with whom you can learn, or someone to answer your questions, then a class with an Art Historian or instructor with knowledge of the field could be hugely beneficial.