Videos for Art History and Techniques

Sometimes a story can be much more powerful when it is told in another voice. Though I rarely use full-length video in the classroom, I find the occasional short clip is an excellent way to grab student attention and immerse them in a culture, time, or place.  

Here are a few videos that I come back to because they're informative, but also engaging and fun*:

Gyotaku Fish Printing:  Gabriel Mellan hams it up in this short tutorial and uses some Japanese vocabulary as he explains the steps.

Medieval and Byzantine Art: This, or any other Khan Academy video is full of information and a fantastic overview before beginning a unit!

70 Million by Hold Your Horses: This music video is a great example of tableaus, or people acting out a variety of famous pieces of art. It's a nice wrap-up for students to watch at the end of the year and see if they can identify the individual works. It could be a great inspiration for students to generate their own tableau. (There are a few almost nudes, but it's all very tasteful/silly.)

The ABC of Architects: a dynamic animated overview of famous architects and the buildings they've designed around the world. 

Western Spaghetti by PES: PES is a fantastic stop-motion animator with some seriously creative ideas. All of his videos are great examples to show before an animation unit.

The Universal Arts of Graphic Design: An informative introduction to the field of graphic design including interviews with graphic designers.

Thought of You: Ryan J Woodward's animation is a great example of minimalist animation that captures dancing bodies in motion. This is a helpful video to watch before beginning a dynamic figure drawing session.

Is Your Red the Same as My Red?: A thought provoking video on perception and vision.

The Mathematical Art of M.C. Escher: a brief overview of tessellation and some of Escher's mathematic inspirations.

The Power of Art Series: This series is definitely geared towards an older audience (high school - adult) but there are some gems here if you watch them yourself and find clips to illustrate your lesson goals, or just get some extra perspective before teaching an art history topic. 

*School cultures vary, so always preview these videos to make sure the content is appropriate for your group of students.