Beyond the Blog: Smarthistory Redesign Launched!

About the Web-Book
As many of you undoubtedly already know, in addition to this blog, a couple of years ago we created a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. The redesign, launched on October 15, was funded by a generous grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It allows users to browse more than one hundred audio and video conversations about works of art by time period, style, or artist, or by scrolling through an image browser created to look like an art history textbook. We were hard at work on it all summer!

A lot of effort went into the new design to maximize its clarity and value and we are extremely grateful to our fantastic international team for their dedication, foresight, and ultimately for their belief in this project. Lotte Meijer (Holland), our brilliant information architect (she specializes in museum education technologies) and Mickey Mayo (NY), our unbelievably insightful, creative web designer were both a pleasure to work with as were our wonderful developers Dragan Nikolic (Zurich) and Matt Haenlin (Boston). In short, the site is gorgeous because of Mickey, it works and makes sense because of Lotte, and it exists thanks to Dragan and Matt. On Dragan’s recommendation — and thanks to Lotte’s desire to make the site everything we envisioned and more, we used MODx instead of wordpress (both are open source) because of its greater flexibility. We had originally organized the contents of the Smarthistory site using WordPress (we still use it for this blog) — customized for us quite a bit by Joseph Ugoretz — who created it on the back end and keeps it going. But in the end, wordpress is really blogging software and proved imperfect for our expanding needs.

The new site can be found at

About this Blog
Our objectives for the Smarthistory blog have changed over time. In 2005, this blog was all we had and so we posted everything here. However, as the amount of content grew, the blog became a place for us to post about relevant activities and especially about our thoughts and discoveries regarding image—based teaching and technology and art in Second Life. We hope you find it valuable and we encourage your comments—they help us to know whether we are on the right track.

Beth & Steven

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  1. congratulations!


  2. oops, i meant to comment on the previous post, the one about winning the prize …


  3. Well done on the new site. Looks excellent; I sent it to everyone I know. I can’t wait to see this new site replace wildly overpriced art history textbooks.



  4. Very nice new site and excellent use of MODx CMS!


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