Search in excerpt
Board of Advisors and Board of Trustees
Content editors and contributors
A Smarthistory timeline
Contribute an essay to Smarthistory
Support our work
We believe art has the power to transform lives and to build understanding across cultures. We believe that the brilliant histories of art belong to everyone, no matter their background.
Smarthistory unlocks the expertise of hundreds of scholars, making the history of art accessible and engaging to more people, in more places, than any other publisher.
Histories of Art
Overview of Prehistoric
Overview of Africa
Overview of Americas to 1900
North America to 1500
North America 1500 – 1900
South America to 1500
South America 1500 – 1900
Overview of Asia
Hinduism and Buddhism
Overview of Ancient Mediterranean
Ancient Near East
Medieval Europe & Byzantine
Overview of Medieval Europe + Byzantium
A beginner’s guide
Christianity and art
Judaism and art
The medieval book
The Islamic World
Overview of the Islamic World
Overview of Europe 1300 – 1800
Italy: 14th century
Italy: 15th century
Italy: 16th century
Northern Europe: 15th century
Northen Europe: 16th century
Spain: 15th and 16th century
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Baroque: 17th century
Rococo: early to mid 18th century
Neoclassicism: late 18th century
British: 18th century
Overview of Europe: 19th century
Symbolism / Art Nouveau
Overview of Oceania
Overview of Modernisms 1900 – 1980
A beginner’s guide
Fauvism + Expressionism
Cubism + Early Abstraction
Dada + Surrealism
German art between the wars
Latin American modernism
American art to WWII
Postwar American art
Postwar European art
Conceptual + Performance art
Architecture + Design
Global cultures 1980 to now
Overview of Global Cultures 1980 – now
Appropriation and ideological critique
Identity and the body
Banality and kitsch
Ritual, spirituality and transcendence
Histories real and imagined
Looking at art
Approaches to art history
Understanding religion in art
For the very beginner
Featured | Art that brings U.S. history to life
Courses in art history & history
a portal to American history and art
At-Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series
Short and long courses
including AP and A-level
Creating + conserving
Video creation guide
More titles coming soon!
AP® Art History (vol. 1)
nos. 1 – 47
AP® Art History (vol. 2)
AP® Art History (vol. 3)
nos. 99 – 152
AP® Art History (vol. 4)
nos. 153 – 191
AP® Art History (vol. 5)
nos. 192 – 250
Ancient Near Eastern art
Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Aegean Art
Ancient Greek Art
Ancient Etruscan art
Ancient Roman art
museums & sites
art by location
Help Smarthistory continue to make a difference
Contribute an essay
Help make art history relevant and engaging
We created Smarthistory to provide students around the world with the highest-quality educational resources for art and cultural heritage—for free.
Location: Brooklyn Museum
Visiting the Lower East Side in 1905
George Benjamin Luks,
Street Scene (Hester Street)
Though at first glance this nude seems plucked from classical antiquity, it actually alludes to modern politics.
The Greek Slave
Cuzco School paintings came into such high demand that they were exported to patrons residing in far-flung cities located in present-day Chile and Argentina, and even Italy.
Our Lady of Cocharcas
and the ...
Judy Chicago's landmark installation gives notable women from history a seat at the table.
The Dinner Party
Once painted and gilded, this panel was part of a larger frieze bearing commemorative Kufic inscriptions.
Dado Panel, Courtyard of the Royal Palace ...
Although this vessel depicts a royal Inka couple, it was produced after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
Wiley wryly places himself alongside the great master painters of history with his reimagined Napoleon.
Napoleon Leading the Army over
Japanese objects came through Mexico on their way to Spain, and had a lasting impact on the arts of the New World.
Screen with the Siege of Belgrade and
Long before the advent of cell phones and social media, the Luba had invented their own handheld memory device.
(Memory Board) (Luba peoples)
Pennsylvania Station Excavation
The Mende initiation rite for young women is the only known masquerade tradition where the mask-wearers are female.
Bundu / Sowei Helmet Mask (Mende peoples)
The austere display of this powerful object masks the complexity of its original context.
Elephant Mask (Bamileke Peoples)
These figures look calm and contemplative, but also display real strength and vitality in their muscular forms.
Female Reliquary Guardian Figure (Fang peoples)—video
The king did not sit for this portrait; in fact, the artist carved it without directly observing his subject.
Portrait of King Mishe miShyaang maMbul ...
Mutu uses collage as a medium for exploring being African and female.
Johnson’s moving painting of a family fleeing slavery places the courage of African-Americans center stage.
A Ride for Liberty —
Coachella style has perpetuated stereotypes—but war bonnets have important cultural and spiritual significance.
Feathered war bonnet
Genealogical Inka portraits like these were banned by the Spanish who feared they would inspire uprisings.
Fourteen portraits of the Inka Kings
Joseph plays a bit part in earlier depictions but has an important supporting role in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Cusco School Artist,
Saint Joseph and the
This nearly 2000-year-old old textile survives thanks to the arid environment of southern Peru where it was buried.
The Paracas Textile
See More >>
Sign up for our newsletter!
Receive occasional emails about new Smarthistory content.