By Richard Fleming

12 Apr 2020 - 10:00

Manet or Monet? These platforms can help you decide ...

Ever felt lost when listening to an art critic discussing a Picasso? Don’t know your Monet from your Manet?  There is an enormous wealth of video content available to help you broaden your knowledge of art history, technique, conservation and so much more. Here are some good starting points to help you.

1. Khan Academy

The Khan Academy has some great free video and text-based classes and more advanced full courses available to teach you the fundamentals of art history and criticism. 

The Khan Academy, a non-profit organization, has multiple classes, as well as complete courses, in an appealing format that combines video, image and text. It lets you test acquired knowledge, and helps you to learn the fundamental concepts of art history and criticism. The courses are well organized and informative, with content available for free.

2. Open Culture

Open Culture is an impressive project set up by the Khan Academy and Google Arts and Culture, which looks at 100 of the most important works of art in the world through a short, informative video presentation. The platform also serves as a curator of the multiple courses, MOOCs and lectures available on the net. You can also find several links to free art history courses.

3. Ted Talks About Art 

For a more comprehensive view of the impact of Art on society, the economy and culture, Ted Talks About Art offers free access to hundreds of inspiring talks by painters, sculptors and visual artists.

4. Smart History

If you want to get a deeper look at theory and art criticism, there are plenty of lectures on the topic, many of which you can access without spending your money (albeit with advertising). The YouTube channel Smart History is a rich resource of knowledge for art historians. We particularly like the incisive and informative style of the Tools for Understanding Art section, whose videos help to understand the sometimes dense language of art criticism.

5. National Gallery and Museum of Modern Art

Many galleries also offer video lectures explaining their greatest works and how they are kept and conserved. Check out the YouTube channels of the National Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

6. Dedicated YouTube channels

If you wish to discover less well-known gems of the art world,  Micah Christensen has a YouTube channel dedicated to video lectures on lost masters. John Lobell has over 100 video lectures on visionary creativity in architecture and art. 

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