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February 24, 2011 / margikimball

Making Ideas Accessible

A little more than two weeks ago, I posted a short article on my blog about Smarthistory, this kind of unbelievably innovative effort to make art and art historical concepts available to the world. Or at least, the internet-using world. Basically, this group of art historians (Beth Harris, Steven Zucker and others) travel the world and document (via video, writing and podcasts) their encounters with art from an historical perspective. They then post this information for free on their website. On Vimeo too (see below). And you have access to it. This changes the art history game which traditionally has involved ridiculously expensive survey text books, classrooms and busy professors.

A lot of people are talking about Smarthistory, too. The Huffington Post is praising away; so is DesignWorkLife; and there’s Faye & Co; and Maria Popova over at Brainpickings. I tell you this to point out that Smarthistory is a big deal. It’s also kind of cool. Yes, I said it. Art history is cool.

And you have the opportunity to participate. For the next twelve days, you can contribute to Smarthistory via Kickstarter, where the group is hosting a project. I contributed. I might again. And I hope you will too.

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