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Blog Category: Teaching

August 25, 2020

Teaching Hispanic Heritage Month with Artstor

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. While the name might be the focus of some debate, we welcome the reminder to explore and celebrate the vibrant cultures of Mexico, Central and South America, and the Hispanic Caribbean. The Artstor Digital Library offers many collections that specialize in or are substantially devoted to Latin American topics; here is a selection to get you started.


Tabernacle. Mexico, second half of the 18th century

Tabernacle. Mexico, second half of the 18th century. Image and original data provided Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Not surprisingly, Artstor is strong in collections concentrating on the arts of Latin America, such as Jacqueline Barnitz: Modern Latin American Art (University of Texas at Austin) (Artstor | JSTOR) which features modern art from Mexico and ten other Caribbean, Central, and South American countries; and Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros  (Artstor), including colonial, modern, and contemporary Latin American art.

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July 1, 2020

Teaching and research with Artstor: 25 examples

Over the years, educators, librarians, and researchers at all levels, from secondary schools to graduate programs, have shared with us how they use Artstor in their teaching and research. We’ve gathered some of our favorites here, touching on topics as varied as medicine, ethnic studies, women’s studies, and more.

Would you like to share how you use Artstor? Leave a comment and we’ll follow up!

Unknown | Howard University students picket the National Crime Conference; Dec-1934 |Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Unknown photographer. Howard University students picket the National Crime Conference, December 1934. Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Washington’s secret city: cultural capital
Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, Tulane University

Race, identity, and experience in American art
Dr. Jennifer Zarro, Tyler School of Art, Temple University

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June 15, 2020

10 great reasons to use Artstor in your teaching

The Artstor Digital Library is used by educators in 1,900 institutions around the world–and with good reason. Here are just ten ways you can enhance your teaching with Artstor:

1. Take advantage of a wealth of images and primary sources to enhance most subjects.

2. Use with confidence: all images are rights cleared for education and research (and beyond in some cases!).

3. Make and share image groups for assignments and home study.

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May 8, 2018

Recognizing and teaching cultural appropriation for Asian-Pacific American Studies

Woman's Dress (Cheongsam)

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese. Woman’s Dress (Cheongsam). Early 20th century. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Guest post by Raymond Pun

Raymond Pun is the first-year-student success librarian at the Henry Madden Library, Fresno State. He coordinates and organizes the first year information literacy program and student engagement activities across campus. He holds an M.L.S. from City University of New York – Queens College, M.A. in East Asian Studies, and B.A. in History from St. John’s University.

May is Asian-Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. It’s an opportunity for all to reflect on and celebrate the cultures, traditions, achievements, and contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans in the United States. It’s also a chance to have meaningful conversations about important issues that affect APA communities, such as cultural appropriation–one critical topic of discussion that affects all ethnic groups. This concept is defined as the adoption of features from one culture, often minority ones, by members of the dominant or another culture. In APA experiences, we find that there are a number of examples of misappropriations occurring today in popular culture, music, images, performances, food, and clothing.

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April 13, 2018

2,000 Virtual Reality Panoramas of world architecture

Hagia Sophia

Isidore of Miletus, Anthemios of Tralles. Hagia Sophia, interior: Apse. 532-537, image: July 2013. Photography by Media Center for Art History, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University.

Have you ever wanted a better understanding of how an artwork or architectural detail was originally intended to be viewed?

Artstor’s Virtual Reality Panoramas are a wonderful option for viewing works in situ–no travel required. These 360-degree panoramas of world architecture allow you to navigate the interiors of cathedrals, mosques, palazzos, libraries, castles, and more. Using Comparison Mode, you can study artworks alongside panoramic views of the spaces in which they are installed.

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March 16, 2018

Using the new Artstor full-screen viewer in the classroom

I recently found myself exploring the amazing world of netsuke using Artstor’s new comparison mode to perform that timeless task: double-slide projection. Boy, has it ever gotten easier!

The new image viewer allows you to project up to 10 images together, with the ability to zoom in on details of any of the images and add or remove images as needed. You can view detailed brushstrokes, or pan across large blocks of text in one of the primary source documents in Artstor. Try this yourself by opening a lecture image group, viewing the first image full screen, and clicking “compare.”

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September 8, 2017

Artstor and copyright: a guide

Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 12.29.55 PM

Did you know that Artstor does not own the rights to the images in our collections? When you search Artstor you may be viewing images from multiple sources with differing permitted uses. Some collections might even be from your own institution’s archives and available only to you!

To help you better understand how you can use the images you find, we’ve created a guide to copyright and image use in the Digital Library. Read on to learn about the different sources of images you’ve been working with, and consult our LibGuide to learn the finer details of working with these images.

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February 27, 2017

Teaching the principles and elements of design with Artstor  (Part 2)

In our previous post I introduced our new Principles and Elements of Design resource (which you can find in Teaching Resources under Studio Art) and spoke about the elements of design; in this post, we look at the principles.

As with the series of Elements of Design image groups, each of these includes an explanatory essay with helpful links to further reading. It bears repeating here that my approach is but one of many; since an image group can be copied and then altered as needed, we thought it might serve as a valuable starting point for studio teachers.  

Once students can identify the elements of design, the next step is articulating how those elements support different principles of design. Seeing an element and being able to say how it functions in a composition requires an understanding of the principles of design.

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February 24, 2017

Teaching the principles and elements of design with Artstor (Part 1)

One of the most daunting challenges I faced teaching in a high school art program was developing a common language to articulate the principles and elements of design. Helping students hone those communication skills made critique easier but took a lot of time up front. When our faculty began to use the same terminology across the curriculum, students developed a comfort level with those terms and began using them more naturally in discussing their own work and the projects of their peers and heroes from the art world.

Long before I knew I was going to be building resources for teachers in Artstor, I was gathering images to help my own students “see and say” what they noticed in a work of art. My goal was to get them to articulate what principles were in effect and what elements supported those principles. After about ten years, I had a pretty robust image group to use for each. When I came to Artstor, I was determined to make ten functional groups of fewer than 24 images that other teachers could use to highlight specific elements or principles. I added favorites that colleagues suggested and included term definitions. Now, with Artstor’s alliance with JSTOR, I can also include further reading about teaching Art and Design. These groups can be found in Teaching Resources under Studio Art. My approach is but one of many; since an image group can be copied and then altered as needed, we thought it might serve as a valuable starting point for studio teachers.  

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