Where Can I Find Free Online Art History Courses?

Free online art history courses can be found from universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Open University. Course topics will cover various art movements and their respective influences and impact on modern culture. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

Students can study art history with the following listed courses. Topics will cover contemporary art and pop art in decades since World War Two, as well as modern mainstream art. These courses don't typically award credit, but they do allow you to take actual college-level courses without the cost. There are generally no materials required for these classes, though you may purchase optional textbooks if you choose.


The Open University

The Open University is a distance education institution based in the United Kingdom that offers free OCW courses through its OpenLearn program. You can access the making sense of art history course on a non-credit basis.

What Will I Learn?

You will study the history of contemporary art since the 1980s and analyze the impact of artistic images on individuals and society. The course also focuses on the artistic concepts and tools used to study art history.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

There are 13 learning activities that involve keeping a journal for writing observations and responding to questions about artistic images. An online learning journal is provided to keep track of your notes. Discussions of all 13 activities are provided to help you think further about your responses.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course provides lessons on composition, color and the connection between artistic techniques and effects. Materials also include art images as well as a diagram of a color wheel.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OCW course on art since 1940 was initially offered to undergraduate students. You can view course materials for free, but you will not receive credit.

What Will I Learn?

The course covers major developments in art and its connection to social trends since World War II. You will study mostly American art, focusing on the relationship between culture and art. You will also examine non-mainstream art.

What Materials Are Provided?

You can access lecture note outlines on topics such as pop art, abstract expressionist sculpture and conceptual art. The course includes a reading list as well as links to websites featuring art images cited in the lecture notes. Optional assignments will include a mid-term and final exam papers on artwork, and a mid-term and final exam on given images.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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