Smarthistory: Art History on Khan Academy

What is Smarthistory?

Smarthistory is a leading resource for the study of art and cultural heritage. Our growing collection of videos and essays are designed to be engaging and conversational and cover art that ranges from the paleolithic to the present. Everything on Smarthistory is completely free and our content is offered with no advertising. We are a tiny non-profit organization based in New York, but we reach millions of learners around the world.

Who is Smarthistory?

Smarthistory is a collaboration of more than 200 art historians, archaeologists, curators and other specialists who want to make the highest-quality art history learning content freely available to a global audience. Contributing editors oversee specific content areas.

Dr. Beth Harris is co-founder and executive editor for Smarthistory and faculty emeritus at Khan Academy. Previously, she was dean of art and history at Khan Academy. She works with leading museums to bring their content to new global audiences and acquires, edits, and publishes short essays on art and history by leading academics. She was the first director of digital learning at The Museum of Modern Art, where she started MoMA Courses Online and co-produced educational videos, websites and apps. Before joining MoMA, Beth was Associate Professor of art history and director of distance learning at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she taught both online and in the classroom. She has co-authored, with Dr. Steven Zucker, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics she regularly addresses at conferences around the world. She received her Master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Email: beth@smarthistory.org

Dr. Steven Zucker is co-founder and executive editor for Smarthistory and faculty emeritus at Khan Academy. Previously, he was dean of art and history at Khan Academy. He produces short-form videos on art and history viewed by millions of people around the world. He works with leading museums to bring their content to new global audiences and acquires, edits, and publishes short essays on art and history by leading academics. He was chair of history of art and design at Pratt Institute where he strengthened enrollment and led the renewal of curriculum across the Institute. Before that, he was dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY and chair of their art history department. He has taught at The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and at The Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Zucker is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has co-authored, with Dr. Beth Harris, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics he regularly addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Zucker received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Email: steven@smarthistory.org

A brief history of Smarthistory

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker started Smarthistory in 2005 to create content for their students. Smarthistory launched its first custom-designed website in 2007 thanks to the vision and support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Since then, Smarthistory has won numerous awards and our audience of undergraduate and graduate students, high school students, instructors, and informal learners has grown significantly. Between 2011-2015, Smarthistory was supported by Khan Academy. Smarthistory is once again an independent not-for-profit, and remains committed to distributing the highest-quality art history content on multiple platforms, including Smarthistory.org, Khan Academy, YouTube and Flickr.

Recent stats

13.5 million: number of views in 2015
200+: number of academic contributors to Smarthistory
1500: approximate number of essays and videos
50,240: number of YouTube subscribers

Collaborations:

Smarthistory has worked with the following institutions, either independently, or as part of Khan Academy:
American Museum of Natural History
Asian Art Museum
The British Museum
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Dulwich Picture Gallery
J. Paul Getty Museum
Google Cultural Institute
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Museum of Modern Art
OER Commons
Portland Art Museum  
Tate
Wikipedia/GLAM
World Monuments Fund