Monthly Art Appreciation Lessons Free

Concordia University has put together a series of free art appreciation lessons. Each level includes 10 lessons that correspond to the months September through June (but can very easily be adjusted to fit your own schedule).

Each lesson includes background on the artist, information about the work, directed observation, activities, and recommended literature that would go well with the picture study.

The second level of study is Grade 2 Lessons. We don’t have to worry ourselves about “grade level.” Art has a way of crossing all age barriers. Just enjoy these well-written activities with the entire family.

If you are looking for more, use the month to study other works of the featured artist (be advised — some of the artists in level 2 are not worth pursuing). Or take an idea from these 8 ways to easily teach art appreciation.

Selected Works

Roma — Anne Whitney

Two other statues by Anne Whitney:
Leif Erikson Statue in Boston
Samuel Adams Statue at Statuary Hall

Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!) — Henri Rousseau

Henry Rousseau Bird Drawing
Another how-to from Rumriver Art Center: Art Projects for Homeschoolers.

Máh-to-tóh-pa, “Four Bears” — George Catlin

George Catlin: Máh-to-tóh-pa, Four Bears, Second Chief, in Full Dress, 1832
Description of the painting by the artist himself.

Catlin Painting the Portrait of Mah-to-toh-pa
The painter’s painting of the painter painting Mah-to-toh-pa.

Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians by George Catlin
Descriptions of the different Indian tribes, geographical locations and other detailed information from the man who lived among them.  Letter No. 1 is an autobiography of the painter.

The Boy’s Catlin by Mary Gay Humphreys
Based on the above, an edited version for young people.  Public domain download.

Sir William Pepperrell and His Family — John Singleton Copley

Paul Revere
Another Copley painting.

Picturing America Resource Book: Paul Revere 1768
2-page download featuring a brief bio of Copley and more detailed information about his Paul Revere painting, including art study activities.

The Banjo Lesson — Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner Biography
From the National Archives.

The Stone Breakers — Gustave Courbet

The Gleaners — Jean Francois Millet

“The Gleaners”
Painting description from public domain title, Jean Francois Millet by Estelle M. Hurll.

“A Story of Harvest Time”
Selection from Language Lessons by Wisely and Griswald written by James Baldwin describing gleaning.

Millet: Masterpieces in Colour {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

Millet: Masterpieces in Colour {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}
Public domain book with works and resources.

The Starry Night — Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night LEGO Mosaic

Van Gogh Starry Night Outline
Very simple for coloring.

The Water Lily Pond — Claude Monet

Cockroaches and Flowering Pineapple — Maria Sibylla Merian

Additional Resources
Discovering Great Artists

Discovering Great Artists by Kohl and Solga
Winner of a Practical Homeschooling Reader Award, contains over 150 hands-on activities based on the styles of great artists. Artists covered include Rousseau, Courbet, Van Gogh and Monet.

Artist Notebooking Pages Set {Free Download}

Artist Notebooking Set
Simple pages for documenting the artist and works.

Monthly Art Appreciation Lessons {Free}
More from Concordia.

Create a website or blog at