Instructional Strategies

144 Artists to Pique Your Students’ Interest

Following the popularity of the 100 sketchbook prompts and the video that showed how I grade my weekly sketchbooks, there have been quite a few requests for a download that documents all of the artists I share with my students. You see, every Friday, my students get a new sketchbook assignment, and I introduce an artist that I think will interest them–we sketch, we talk, we think, and we write. I love the learning that takes place during this time.

Today, I’m sharing all of the artists we study in one comprehensive list.

The list is a mix of contemporary and historical artists, some more well-known than others. It is by no means comprehensive, but it is a great start for any high school art program. Use it to inspire your teaching and your students.

If you’re wondering why there are 144 artists, the math works out like this:
36 weeks in a school year x 4 years in a high school experience=144 artists

With this list, your high school students can be introduced to a new artist every week you work with them during their time in school without ever seeing the same artist twice. Take a look!

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144 Artists to Pique Your Students’ Interest

  1. Ai Weiwei
  2. Albrecht Durer
  3. Alexander Calder
  4. Alfred Stieglitz
  5. Alice Neel
  6. Allora & Calzadilla
  7. Alma Thomas
  8. Amedeo Modigliani
  9. Ana Mendieta
  10. Andreas Gursky
  11. Andrew Wyeth
  12. Andy Warhol
  13. Annie Leibovitz
  14. Antoni Gaudí
  15. Artemisia Gentileschi
  16. Banksy
  17. Barbara Kruger
  18. Bernard Leach
  19. Betye Saar
  20. Bridget Riley
  21. Cai Guo-Qiang
  22. Carrie Mae Weems
  23. Christo and Jeanne-Claude
  24. Chuck Close
  25. Cindy Sherman
  26. Claude Monet
  27. Constantin Brancusi
  28. Cy Twombly
  29. Damien Hirst
  30. Daniel Rhodes
  31. Deborah Butterfield
  32. Diego Rivera
  33. Donatello
  34. Dorothea Lange
  35. Edvard Munch
  36. Edward Hopper
  37. Elaine de Kooning
  38. Elizabeth Catlett
  39. Elizabeth Murray
  40. Ellsworth Kelly
  41. Faith Ringgold
  42. Frank Lloyd Wright
  43. Frank Stella
  44. Franz Marc
  45. Frida Kahlo
  46. Gabriel Orozco
  47. Georges Braque
  48. Georges Seurat
  49. Georgia O’Keeffe
  50. Gerhard Richter
  51. Giuseppe Arcimboldo
  52. Glenn Ligon
  53. Goya
  54. Grandma Moses
  55. Grant Wood
  56. Gustav Klimt
  57. Hannah Hoch
  58. Helen Frankenthaler
  59. Henri Matisse
  60. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  61. Hokusai
  62. Jackson Pollock
  63. Jacob Lawrence
  64. Jacques-Louis David
  65. James Rosenquist
  66. Jan Vermeer
  67. Jasper Johns
  68. Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith
  69. Jean Arp
  70. Jean Dubuffet
  71. Jean-Michel Basquiat
  72. Jesús Rafael Soto
  73. Jim Dine
  74. Joan Miró
  75. Joan Mitchell
  76. John Baldessari
  77. José Clemente Orozco
  78. Joseph Stella
  79. Joshua Johnson
  80. Judith Leyster
  81. Judy Chicago
  82. Kara Walker
  83. Käthe Kollwitz
  84. Kehinde Wiley
  85. Keith Haring
  86. Kent Bellows
  87. Lee Krasner
  88. Leonardo da Vinci
  89. Lorna Simpson
  90. Louise Bourgeois
  91. Louise Nevelson
  92. Magdalena Abakanowicz
  93. Man Ray
  94. Marc Chagall
  95. Marcel Duchamp
  96. Maria Martinez
  97. Marina Abramović
  98. Marisol Escobar
  99. Mark Rothko
  100. Mary Cassatt
  101. Max Ernst
  102. Maya Lin
  103. M.C. Escher
  104. Michelangelo
  105. Nikki St De Phalle
  106. Norman Rockwell
  107. Pablo Picasso
  108. Paul Cézanne
  109. Paul Gauguin
  110. Paul Klee
  111. Peter Voulkos
  112. Piet Mondrian
  113. Rachel Whiteread
  114. Rembrandt
  115. René Magritte
  116. Richard Diebenkorn
  117. Richard Estes
  118. Robert Henri
  119. Robert Longo
  120. Robert Rauschenberg
  121. Romare Bearden
  122. Roy Lichtenstein
  123. Salvador Dalí
  124. Sandy Skoglund
  125. Sean Scully
  126. Shepard Fairey
  127. Shōji Hamada
  128. Sonia Delaunay
  129. Stuart Davis
  130. Tamara de Lempicka
  131. Thomas Hart Benton
  132. Thomas Hirschhorn
  133. Titian
  134. Tony Oursler
  135. Umberto Boccioni
  136. Victor Vasarely
  137. Vija Celmins
  138. Vincent van Gogh
  139. Walter De Maria
  140. Wassily Kandinsky
  141. Wayne Thiebaud
  142. Yayoi Kusama
  143. Yves Klein
  144. Yves Tanguy

Even with a list this extensive and diverse, it can be difficult to fit a healthy mix of old masters and contemporary artists into your curriculum. Take a look at what you currently teach and see what holes this list can help you fill!

Who is missing from the list?

Which artists would you take away, or which would you add?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Timothy Bogatz

Tim Bogatz is AOEU’s Content & PD Event Manager and a former AOEU Writer and high school art educator. He focuses on creativity development, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills in the art room.

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