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School Tours

Guided School Tours

Every work of art has its own story. Guided tours encourage learners to uncover these stories through shared looking, discussion, and experiences. Select a theme that relates to the North Carolina curriculum or choose a highlights tour for your group. On most themed tours, you can expect to consider four to eight works of art and participate in gallery activities that invite closer looking and discussion. The Museum’s volunteer docents look forward to creating an engaging and enjoyable visit for your students. Request a tour through this online form. Availability from October 1st to December 10th, 2021. 

Preparing for Your Visit

Tours Recommended for All Grades and Subjects, K–12

Highlights of the Collection (K–college, maximum of 60)

Let us select an intriguing selection of works for you to explore and enjoy, representing different cultures, time periods, and media.  This tour meets in the West Building Lobby. 

Tours Recommended for Grades K–2

Parts of Art (K–2, maximum of 60 students) 

Where can you find circles, rectangles, squares, triangles, and patterns in every color imaginable? Students will recognize and talk about the elements of art on this lively tour and apply some math skills, too. This tour meets in the West Building Lobby.

Patterns in African Art (K–2, maximum of 40 students)

Students explore and identify patterns in African art and consider what these patterns meant to the artists and their communities. After analyzing the patterns on display, students have a chance to create their own. This tour meets in the East Building Lobby.

Tours Recommended for Grades 3–5

Forces of Nature (Grades 3–5, maximum of 60 students)

Wind, rain, snow. Volcanic eruptions! Misty mountaintops and sunny summer days. Students explore landscapes, sculptures, and other art to learn how artists capture and use the forces of nature in works of art. This tour meets in the West Building Lobby.

Tours Recommended for Grades 6–8

Ancient Cultures (Grades 6–8, maximum of 30 students)

Students dive into the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. After considering form and function in everyday and ritual art, students reflect on what these works tell us about how ancient people thought and lived. This tour meets in the West Building Lobby.

Tours Recommended for Grades 9–12

What Is Art? (Grades 9–12, maximum of 60 students)

Explore the world of art with challenging and thought-provoking questions such as: What makes art “art”? Does art have to be beautiful? Does art have to mean something? And who decides? This tour meets in the West Building Lobby.

The Power of Art (Grades 9–12, maximum of 50 students)

What symbolizes power? How do people rise to power in different cultures? Students examine how political and social hierarchy, media, communication, and changes in technology influence the depiction of power. Using portraits, ceremonial objects, and other works, students consider how artists through the centuries have represented power. This tour meets in the West Building Lobby.

Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary Tours

Tours available for groups of 10-30 students from November 3rd, 2021 to January 9th, 2022. Students and required chaperones receive free tickets to the exhibition, if arranged at least 4 weeks in advance. 

Recommended for Grades K-5

The Elements in Art Nouveau

Explore the elements of art in this special look into the artwork of art nouveau visionary Alphonse Mucha. Students will follow the sinuous lines and engage with the harmonious compositions in Mucha’s iconic work. This tour meets in the East Building Lobby.

Recommended for Grades 6-8

Art as Advertisement

Alphonse Mucha created graphic illustrations as advertisements for commercial products and theatrical productions. How do these advertisements compare to the ones we see today? What did Mucha aim to do through his design style? Explore these questions and more as students engage with this special showcase of Mucha’s work. This tour meets in the East Building Lobby.

Recommended for Grades 9-12

Beauty Standards & Representations of Women

What were the beauty standards of the early 20th century that Mucha perpetuated through his work? How do they differ from yet inform today’s definitions of beauty? To explore representations of black women and girls that re-articulate their beauty, students will also visit work by the Beautiful Project in an adjacent exhibition. This tour meets in the East Building Lobby.

Request a Guided Tour

Self-Guided Groups

Self-guided groups of up to 60 youths or students (K–college) may visit the collection if free tickets are ordered and if the group is divided into subgroups of 10 to 15 children with at least one adult chaperone per subgroup. 

  1. Order your FREE timed tickets
  2. Read through the Checklist for Self-Guided Groups.

A limited number of free tickets to special exhibitions is available for school groups (not youth groups) of up to 10 students with an educator chaperone Wednesday through Friday at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Request your FREE timed tickets for the fall exhibitions through this online form. Please note: We do NOT book group reservations during the final two weeks of a special exhibition.