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Collage is a term that comes from the french word 'coller' which means 'to glue'. The technique originated in the Synthetic Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Pieces that include papers or objects glued to a support are referred to as collage. These pieces often include many other media like paints, drawing media, etc.

The Dadaists also incorporated collage into their work in the early 20th century in order to produce unconventional, irrelevant work designed to shock and to protest current events. Pieces of paper and materials were added into the art of dadaists such as Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters.

Today, collage is popular as an art form but is also often used by students and crafters. The use of collage in a fine art piece, though, should be distinguished from the crafters technique of scrapbooking. In the fine art piece, the collage is used a an art medium itself, while the scrapbooking craft uses a compilation of images to create a montage.

Pablo Picasso; Composition with Fruit, Guitar and Glass; charcoal, oil, chalk, watercolor, paper; 1912.

Kurt Schwitters; Das Undbild; paint and collage; 1919.

The image above is in the public domain.

One newer method used with collage involves photo transfers - allowing the artist to transfer printed images onto the piece. There are many techniques for this - some using nontoxic materials that are safe with students:
Mixed Media Artist: Image Transfer Methods
Image Transfers by Cyndi Lavin
Golden Paints Transfer Images

Some sites with information about collage:
Collage Art
Moma Art Terms

Some artists who worked with collage:
Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914: Picasso's Collage Materials Video
10 Collage Artists
Romare Bearden

Some contemporary artists who work with collage:
Collage Art Links
Collage Artists
Jonathan Talbot
Bobbi Studstill
Nellie Windmill
Zac Freeman
Matt Cusick
Benon Lutaaya
Mateo Romaro