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School Programs


School Group reservations must be made at least three weeks in advance. Groups without a scheduled appointment may not be able to enter the museum.

Scheduling your visit is easy!

  1.  Pick your school program: the museum offers school tours, studio programs, multi-site visits, and art and literacy programs.
  2.  Have your information ready, including the title of the program you would like to book, number of students and chaperones, any learning objectives you might have, and three possible visit dates.
  3.  Make your reservation online using our School and Youth Group Reservation form or call our Group Visit Associate (860) 838-4046.
  4.  Once your visit has been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email with your visit details.
  5.  Prepare for your visit by using your Teacher Discovery Pass to explore the museum’s collections and make curricular connections before your class visit.

Hours & Fees

School Tours Hours & Fees:
Wednesday through Friday
Docent-guided: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Self-guided: noon to 4 pm

School Groups: $5/student or chaperone
FREE for Hartford School Groups

Studio Programs Hours & Fees
October-June, Wednesday- Friday
School Hours: 9:30-11am or 10-11:30am
New! After School Hours: 4:30-6pm

School Group Fees: $7.50/student and $5/chaperone
FREE for Hartford School and Youth Groups

Chaperones

At least 1 teacher or chaperone is required per 15 students. For self-guided groups, at least 1 teacher or chaperone per 10 students. For PreK and summer visits, at least 1 teacher or chaperone (age 18 or older) per 7 students. Groups arriving without the designated number of chaperones will not be admitted.

Lunch Facilities

The museum does not currently have lunch facilities for brown-bag lunches. Weather permitting, we suggest Burr Mall, immediately adjacent to the museum. In inclement weather, the State House Square Food Court can also accommodate large groups. Depending on availability and group size, the Museum Café may be able to accommodate reservations to purchase lunch. If you are interested in making a lunch reservation at the Museum Café, call our Group Visit Associate at (860) 838-4046. Remember, groups are welcome to leave the museum for lunch and return to explore the galleries for free on the same day!

Free Passes

All teachers who book a tour will receive a complimentary Teacher Discovery Pass to explore the museum prior to their students’ visit. Free Family Passes will also be distributed to all students who participate in a docent-guided tour to encourage a return visit with their families.

Tips & Visit Guidelines

  • No backpacks or bags larger and 14″ x 18″ are allowed in the galleries. If possible, we suggest students leave backpacks and large bags behind. A limited number of free lockers are available for storing backpacks, available first-come, first-served.
  • Only pencils are allowed in the galleries.
  • Artwork in the permanent collection galleries may be photographed during your visit for personal, non-commercial use only. Flash, tripods, and video are not permitted. Photography and video in special exhibitions are not permitted.
  • If you need to cancel or are running late on the day of your tour, please call the hotline at (860) 838-4182. Groups arriving more than 15 minutes late are not guaranteed their scheduled tour.

School Tours

School tours introduce students to the museum through inquiry-based discussions with a trained museum docent. Students exercise observational, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills as they learn to look at and interpret works of art from our permanent collection and special exhibitions. Tours connect the visual arts to various subject areas, including language arts, history, science, and social studies, and can be customized to fit your curricular needs! Make your reservation online using our School and Youth Group Reservation form.

School Tours Hours & Fees
Wednesday through Friday
Docent-guided: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Self-guided: noon to 4 pm

School Groups: $5/student or chaperone
FREE for Hartford School Groups
A $3 surcharge is added to all admission prices during our two annual fundraisers, Fine Art & Flowers and Festival of Trees & Traditions. Guided tours for groups are not available during these events.

Tour themes are available for PreK–12 school groups. All tours are one hour unless otherwise noted. View the state and national curriculum standards addressed through our school tour program.

Story Book Hour | Grades PreK & K
Connect reading and art through this tour designed for our youngest student visitors.
Tours for PreK and Kindergarten groups are 45 minutes.

Learning to Look | Grades K–8
This tour introduces students to the museum experience as they explore the elements of art through close looking and discussion.
Tours for Kindergarten groups are 45 minutes.

Step into the Story | Grades K–12
Students learn to “read” and interpret works of art through character, setting, and plot.
Tours for Kindergarten groups are 45 minutes.

Connecticut People & Places | Grades 3–8
Examining works of art as historical evidence, students learn about Connecticut’s rich history and culture.

American Art | Grades 3–12
Students explore American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the colonial period through the early 20th century.

Myths, Stories, and Legends | Grades 3–12
Students explore myths and legends from Greece, Rome, Egypt, Asia, and America in both ancient and modern artworks.

Looking to Write | Grades 3–12
Strengthen student writing with this tour that pairs close looking and discussion with a brief writing activity.
Looking to Write tours are 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Artwise | Grades 9–12
Students decode visual imagery, explore innovations in art, discuss the context of artworks, and experience the museum in this “Learning to Look” tour for high school students.

Self-Guided Visits | Grades PreK–12
Teachers may lead their groups in the galleries, but docent-guided tours have priority. Teachers are requested to identify the galleries where they will tour and divide students into groups with one teacher or chaperone per 10 students. For more information call (860) 838-4046.

Studio Programs

Want a hands-on museum experience? Our Studio Programs combine a 45 minute docent-guided tour with a related 45 minute art-making activity with our Resident Teaching Artist. Choose from the themes below! Make your reservation online using our School and Youth Group Reservation form.

Capacity
50 students per session during school hours
25 students per session during after-school hours

Studio Programs Hours & Fees
October–June, Wednesday–Friday
School Hours: 9:30–11 am or 10–11:30 am
New! After School Hours: 4:30–6 pm

School Group Fees: $7.50/student and $5/chaperone
FREE for Hartford School and After-School Youth Groups

Animals in Art | Grades PreK-2
Students discover animal imagery in works of art from around the world and create their own animal-inspired mask!

Colors, Shapes, and Textures | Grades PreK-2
Students explore the elements of art in the galleries; the exploration continues in the studio with a collage activity that engages young learners.

Be the Curator | Grades 3–5
Students explore landscapes, portraits, and still life paintings in the galleries and try their hand at curating their own museum “wall.”

Making Myths | Grades 3–5
Students view works depicting myths from ancient Greece, Rome, and Asia and illustrate their own myth on a two-dimensional vase.

Art and Poetry | Grades 6–12
Students explore connections between art and writing as they compose poems inspired by a work of art. Using watercolors, students create abstract paintings that capture the mood of their poems.

Studio Photography | Grades 6–12
Students learn how artists use light and composition to create powerful works of art. In the studio, students apply these tools and collaborate to produce their own photographs.

Coming in January 2017
STEAM: Sketch Like a Scientist! | Grades 6–12
Students will explore the intersection of science and art in still life paintings. The studio portion will take place in the museum’s Cabinet of Art and Curiosity, where students will sketch from insect and sea life specimens.

Art and Writing Program (Grades 3–5)

The Art and Writing Program is FREE for all participants.
FREE busing is available for this program on a first-come, first-served basis.

Strengthen student literacy skills through art! The Art and Writing Program is a four-part art and literacy curriculum that connects the visual and language arts. Download the Teacher Curriculum Resource for this program here.

Each grade unit focuses on one form of writing and combines art and classroom instruction with an Art and Writing: Classroom Extension Tour at the museum for a deeper learning experience:

  • Tell Me a Story: Grade 3 (Narrative)
  • Detail Detectives: Grade 4 (Descriptive)
  • Compare and Contrast: Grade 5 (Expository)

To participate in the Art and Writing Program, make a reservation using our School and Youth Group Reservation form to reserve your Art and Writing: Classroom Extension Tour. We suggest booking your tour before implementing the first lesson. Teachers who register for the program will receive a hard-copy of the Teacher Curriculum Resource, a disc of program images, and full-color posters of the artworks utilized in the program.

Call (860) 838-4170 to find out more about this program.
Call (860) 838-4046 to inquire about free buses.

Museum on the Move: Art and Literacy Outreach Program (Grade 4)

Museum on the Move is FREE for all participating Hartford Public Schools.
Busing and program materials will be provided.

Museum on the Move is a six-part outreach program available exclusively to Hartford Public Schools. This program includes active group discussions and writing exercises in the classroom and art room, a docent-facilitated lesson at your school, a docent-guided visit at the museum, an art-making activity, and a built-in assessment tool. Teachers must register for Museum on the Move through the Hartford Performs Program Database. Please have your school voucher number ready when making your reservation. Click here to download the Museums on the Move student workbook.

New! Partnership with the Connecticut Science Center

Explore the connections between art and science in this double feature field trip! Tour the Connecticut Science Center‘s exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion and then choose one of two tour options at the Wadsworth Atheneum:

Connecticut Innovators | Grades 6–8
Students will explore advances in the fields of engineering and art through the work of three Connecticut innovators: Samuel Colt, Alexander Calder, and Sol LeWitt. The tour includes an in-gallery design activity.

Art during the Time of Leonardo Da Vinci | Grades 9–12
Students will gain a context for Leonardo Da Vinci’s art through a tour focused on Renaissance and Baroque art.

Call (860) 520-2112 for pricing and booking information.

Partnership with Connecticut’s Old State House

Please note that this program is on hiatus until further notice.

The Place Where You Live Multi-Site Visit | Grades 3–12
Separated by just one city block, the Wadsworth Atheneum and Connecticut’s Old State House represent the vibrant civic, cultural, and artistic history of our community. Students embrace the messages found in objects and architecture illustrating local and state history as they discover their place within this cultural narrative. Visits include hour-long tours at both the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Old State House.

Hartford Free Bus Program – Sold Out for 2016-17 School Year
Hartford schools booking a docent-guided tour or studio program may request free busing to the museum. Call (860) 838-4046 to secure transportation. Buses are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art and Writing Free Bus Program
Schools participating in the Art and Writing Program may request free busing to the museum. Call (860) 838-4046 to secure transportation. Buses are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

East Hartford Free Bus and Admission Program
East Hartford Public Schools booking a docent-guided tour or studio program may request free busing AND free admission to the museum. Call (860) 838-4046 to secure transportation. Buses are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.