The Städel Museum in Frankfurt has developed an innovative educational format that seeks to set a new standard in the realm of online education: “Art History Online – The Städel Course on Modern Art” is a comprehensive, free online course, made up of films, texts, interactive tasks and an additional timeline covering more than two hundred years of art history, from the eighteenth century to the present day.
The large-scale project has been realized in cooperation with the Art History Chair and the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Based on more than 250 works from the Städel Museum’s collection, this online course provides users with an enriching learning experience.
In contrast to so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), “Art History Online” supports flexible self-study in European art history, accompanied by the noted German actor Sebastian Blomberg. The varied multimedia programme addresses a broad, international audience with an interest in art, teaching both a toolset of visual skills and background knowledge to further enrich their encounters with modern art.
Along with introductory and explanatory films on various major topics, users will find hands-on learning formats, detailed texts, and a comprehensive timeline of historical events, artists, and key works of modern art. In total the course offers up to forty hours of material which users can delve into at varying depths, depending on their individual interests. Whereas Sebastian Blomberg serves as a guide through the course, the sound was designed by the Berlin musician Boys Noize.
The new digital offer is designed for all who wish to attain a knowledge of art history and iconography in an appealing manner and on their own schedule. It responds to a growing international interest in understanding the history of modern art while at the same time shedding light on historical developments in society at large. Serving as
both introduction and follow-up, the online course is as attractive to users who know nothing at all about art history as for those with basic knowledge. It can be used in combination with school and college courses or professional training, or simply as an entertaining and informative look at art history for its own sake. This offer is in keeping with the Städel Museum’s overriding desire to extend its educational efforts far beyond the physical boundaries of the museum and, in an up-to-date and innovative way, inspire various target groups to engage with art and culture.