Book Your FREE School Tour Today

and Receive 100% Reimbursement for Transportation!

 

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offers a variety of tours to engage students of all grade levels and abilities, and connect to classroom practice. In addition, we want to be sure that every student gets to experience a fieldtrip to Crystal Bridges. Thanks to the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, we can provide 100% reimbursement for your bus and 100% reimbursement for a substitute teacher.

The Museum’s collection encompasses 300 years of American art. Every school tour offered by Crystal Bridges reveals the unfolding story of America and inherently includes language arts, social studies, and visual arts standards. Crystal Bridges tours use the dialogical model, a process of student-centered exploration that is designed to deepen critical thinking and discussion skills. That process allows each tour to be conducted at the appropriate level for the class while still promoting student growth.

 


What is Provided with Your Guided Tour?

Thanks to the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program, Crystal Bridges will provide your students with a tour, goodie bag, and a healthy lunch for free! In addition, the program reimburses your school for costs associated with transportation and substitute teachers up to $250 per classroom.

*please contact school programs if due to special circumstances your transportation and/or substitute teacher invoices total more than $250 per classroom.

Learn More



Tours Offered

Tours are organized by theme and connect to Common Core Anchor Standards.
Each tour is developed for a specific range of grades, but all tours can be adapted for your specific grade level and class as needed.
In addition to these tours, we can incorporate specific artworks* or subjects to meet the needs of your students.

*subject to those artworks being on view at the time of your visit

Introductory Tours

Me and My Museum

This introductory tour, designed for young students, will explore what a museum is and what you can see and learn while on a visit. Students will interact with a variety of paintings and sculptures and learn how to make the Museum their own through conversation, movement, stories, and hands-on group activities.

Recommended for grades K-2
(Language Arts, Art, Social Studies, Psychomotor Skills, Speaking and Listening Skills)

The Writing is on the Wall: Stories in Art

Every work of art has a story to tell. On this tour, students will learn how to “read” works of art in a museum. By gathering clues about character, plot, and setting in paintings and sculptures, students will work together to create their own unique narratives and bring works of art to life.

Recommended for grades 3-12
(Language Arts, Art, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Special Exhibition Tour: The Art of American Dance

Dates offered: October 26, 2016, through January 13, 2017

The Art of American Dance  tour offers your students a fresh approach to understanding the many elements that went into the development of American culture through the history of art and dance. Whether through farm dances on the American frontier, African American bebop at the Savoy Ballroom in 1955, or Native American traditional dance today, dance offers a unique glimpse into the history of class, gender, and race in American society. Bringing together visual art, music, dance, and history, the Art of American Dance brings American history and culture to life in a whole new way.

Recommended for grades 3–12
(Language arts, Social Studies, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Special Exhibition Tour: Border Cantos

Dates offered: February 22 - April 24, 2017

Border Cantos, a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, harnesses the power of art to explore, share, and humanize the complex issues surrounding the borderlands between the United States and Mexico. On this tour students will engage in facilitated discussions of the artwork of Misrach and Galindo and the issues surrounding immigration as expressed in these works of art.

Recommended for grades 3–12
(Language arts, Social Studies, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Artistic Process Tours

Materials and Techniques

How do artists work with specific materials, and how do they create some of their effects? This tour uses hands-on props and activities to reveal techniques that artists use to achieve the results we see in their finished works of art.

Recommended for grades 9-12
(Language Arts, Art, Science, Speaking and Listening Skills)

In the Round

When artists design three-dimensional works of art that step into our space, we interact with them in ways that are different from the ways we interact with two-dimensional paintings. This tour will examine different ways of exploring a variety of sculptural works, including writing, sketching, movement, and conversation.

Recommended for grades 3-12
(Language Arts, Art, Science/Engineering, Architecture, Sculpture, Speaking and Listening Skills)

American History Tours

The American Frontier

A frontier way of thinking has long inspired American artists and pioneers to seek new ways of understanding the unknown. On this tour, students will journey through American history to discover the American spirit of exploration and how that is reflected, both literally and abstractly, in works of art.

Recommended for grades 2-4
(Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Looking Back on America

Rather than creating works of art to record historic events, artists have shaped interpretations of history by adding their own perspectives. Students will become active participants in understanding the many interpretations of the past by analyzing works of art to uncover the artists’ viewpoint. Through conversation and writing, students will begin to form their own perspectives on history.

Recommended for grades 7-9
(Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Perseverance

How do people persevere in times of struggle? How is this depicted in the visual arts? Students will study historic events and explore characters who persevered through challenging moments in American history.

Recommended for grades 5-8
(Social Studies, Language Arts, Art, Speaking and Listening Skills)

STEAM Tours

Art and Science
Throughout history, artists and scientists have shared a passion for discovery and innovation. Students on this tour will practice scientific thinking to develop connections between science and visual art. Through discussions of the subject matter of works of art, as well as artists’ materials and processes, students will gain understanding of the visual effects we see in painting and sculpture and how they were achieved.

Recommended for grades 3-8
(Language Arts, Art, Science/Engineering, Architecture, Speaking and Listening Skills)

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Art of Architecture

This outdoor tour will explore the trails and grounds of Crystal Bridges to consider the built environment in relationship to the natural world. Students will discover and reflect on some of the choices that humans have made in an attempt to live in harmony with nature.

Note: This tour explores the exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House, but does not include entrance to the house.

Recommended for grades 8-12
(Language Arts, Art, Science/Engineering, Architecture, Speaking and Listening Skills)


Self Guided Tours

Custom Self-Guided tours give you the ability to create a tour specifically for your class’s needs. You will have the opportunity to work with a Museum Educator to choose objects and help you craft questions that will encourage deeper looking and conversation. Custom Self-Guided tours occur when the Museum is open to the public, and school groups must be with a chaperone in the galleries. The program reimburses your school for costs associated with transportation and substitute teachers up to $250 per classroom. Self guided tours do not include lunch.

Please review museum guidelines prior coming to Crystal Bridges.

Self-Guided Tours

College Group Tours

If you are a college or university student group, and would like to schedule either a self-guided or guided visit, please complete the following form.

College Tours Form




Reimbursement Process

The Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program provides your students with a school tour, goodie bag, and a healthy lunch. In addition, the program reimburses your school for costs associated with transportation and substitute teachers up to $250 per classroom.   *Please download the Reimbursement Form and follow the procedures specified to receive your reimbursement.



How Can I Prepare My Students?

Crystal Bridges produced a short video that will help to prepare your students for their school visit.

This video provides them with some insight to the history of Crystal Bridges, fun and informative facts, and museum etiquette 101.

Our museum was the subject of a 2012 study that demonstrated the benefits to students of a museum field trip, which included significant increases in knowledge acquisition, critical thinking, tolerance, and historical empathy.

Click here to learn more about this groundbreaking study.



Sponsors

Thanks to a generous gift from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, K-12 school groups are able to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art without the cost barriers associated with off-campus field trips such as transportation, substitute teachers, and lunch. School Tours are sponsored by Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Kimberly-Clark, and KIND Healthy Snacks.

  • willardpatwalker
  • kimberlyclark
  • KINDHealthySnacks