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Open Educational Resources: Art

Top Picks

Art and Contemporary Critical Practice

"The essays collected in this volume explore the legacy of, and develop models for institutional critique in ways that go well beyond the field of art. The essays reflect on the mutual enrichments between critical art practices and social movements and elaborate the conditions for politicized critical practice in the twenty first century" (Raunig)

Art on the Edge: 17 Contemporary American Artists

"This book presents a cutting-edge slice of works by the upcoming generation of visual artists working in the United States. Its purpose is, in a modest way, to help increase international understanding. In a nutshell, we believe that those who view this sampling of American art today will experience certain of this nation’s fundamental values — innovation, diversity, freedom, individualism, competitive excellence — in ways that go well beyond words" (Art on the Edge)

A History of Art for Beginners and Students: Painting

This text made available through Project Gutenberg is written by Clara Clement and covers the history of painting in ancient forms and on different surfaces.

Art Appreciation

This open course and text provides a thorough lesson on art appreciation. It covers the elements and principals of design, defines art, provides students with context and perspective, teaches students how to research, communicate, and evaluate art, and covers important periods in art history.

The Art of Africa: A Resource for Educators

"This PDF textbook from the Metropolitan Museum of Art provides background information for educators about African culture and history as well as detailed information about selected works of art." (Orange Grove)

Textbook Databases

These links will take you directly to the portions of textbook databases that contain materials relevant to your subject. This is not an exhaustive list; we encourage you to investigate the Open Textbookstab for additional content. 

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenburg is a database containing books that are either free in the United States because their copyrights have expired, or are copyrighted works that the authors have given permission for them to be distributed freely, in non-commercial means. It also contains a variety of written and recorded music. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at" It has a wide variety of materials that could be of use as supplemental materials to an equally wide variety of courses.

General Purpose Databases

Journal and Article Databases

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