Digital Resources From Museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Education Techie reviews tech tools and websites that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is taking a look at some of the online educational resources offered by museums. Today's article explores the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

met museum logo

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of several high-profile art museums in New York City. Also known as the Met, it's located off of Central Park and hosts a permanent collection of art and artifacts from a variety of cultures and time periods. Visitors can easily spend an entire day perusing the museum's galleries, which include a modern art wing and a collection of medieval arms and armor.

In addition to being a place for visitors to enjoy art, the Met also makes efforts as an educational institution. Many of these endeavors are available online, and the museum's website is an impressive resource for anyone who wants to know more about art history. Here's a list of some really cool online features from the Met.

!!!Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

This interactive online timeline reflects the museum's wide-ranging focus on art history as a whole, rather than on a specific area or era of art. Users can navigate around the timeline in a number of ways, including by theme (such as South Italian vase painting), image, map, timeline and index. This approach makes the timeline a really comprehensive way to present the history of human artistic accomplishment, and allows viewers a truly exploratory experience.

online art history timeline

The interface is simple, and the timeline is very well designed and organized. It is easy to click around and discover new works, or learn new information about your favorite pieces of art. One of the best aspects of the timeline is its use of the Met's impressive digital image collection, making the user experience visually stimulating and informative.


If you like listening to radio pieces and interviews about art and artists, check out the Met's podcast section. Each podcast is downloadable in mp3 format, and you can also read transcripts. These podcasts cover a variety of topics, sometimes focusing on the current special exhibitions at the museum. Other topics covered include recent acquisitions by the museum, such as drawings by the Italian artist Bronzino.

For teachers and families, there are occasionally special podcast episodes focused on childrens' topics, like a traditional Japanese story about a rabbit going to the moon. All podcasts are school-appropriate and have an educational tone, though some episodes might be a little dry for younger listeners.

Publications for Educators

met museum educator resources

Featuring online games and interactive programs in addition to PDF sets, this section of the site is a good stop for teachers who are looking for ways to bring art history into the classroom. Though all of these features are free online, not all of them are complete. In some cases, to get the complete classroom set, you'd have to purchase one through the Met Museum Store. Topics covered in the Publications for Educators section include Byzantine art and culture (pictured above), Indian carpets, African art, Islamic art and design and art from the Classical period.

This is the fourth article in a series about digital resources from museums. Previously, the Techie talked resources on the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art websites. Stay tuned for more of these articles from the Education Techie!

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