Smarthistory is a free, multimedia guide to art history that challenges artists, critics, and teachers to think beyond the textbook.
Founded by a pair of accomplished professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Smarthistory evolved from a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos, into an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Since winning a Webby this year, the site has only gotten better, as new contributors have fleshed out more than 3,000 years of art history.
The site takes full advantage of its medium to foster open communication and collaboration, present conflicting and unorthodox views, and encourage dissent and debate. Although Smarthistory continues to be shaped and guided by its founders, the site encourages contributions. Users can share photographs of artworks and museum-goers, while artists, critics, and historians are welcome to submit text, audio commentaries, or recorded conversations.