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Walker School Tour Program

Young students

Walker School Tour Program on-site and virtual tours connect to Art, History, Science, Math, Social Justice Curriculum, and more!

Crystal Bridges is not just an art museum―we are an extension of your classroom! Join us for an hour-long guided tour in the galleries, on the trails, or virtually. We offer a full menu of tour options encompassing all subject areas,  grade levels, and abilities. Best of all, our school tours are completely FREE!

FAQ for educators

Along with our Walker School Visit Program, we offer After-School Tours. This program facilitates art experiences for community groups and after-school programs.

Fill out the form linked below and provide our educators with your organization’s information. We look forward to hosting you in person or online!

Book A Tour!

On-Site After-School Tour Form

Virtual After-School Tour Form

Tours are designed to meet curriculum standards and 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.

Whether on-site or in a virtual setting, our highly trained Museum Educators will guide your students through an engaging and educational conversation around works of art in our collection.

Thanks to the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, we offer reimbursement for transportation (up to $250 per class) and a substitute (one per class) to every school that signs up as well as a free, nutritious sack lunch for each student. If you need additional assistance, please reach out to

Tours for college students, too!

On-site and virtual tours are available for college and university students. These tour curriculums are catered to older audiences, allowing for collegiate levels of critical thinking about art, history, science, math, and more. For questions about College tours please email

School Tours

In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting

Dates offered: November 8, 2021 -January 31, 2022

Offered on-site only

Recommended for: Grades 3 – 12

In this exhibition, visitors will be transported across time and water on the wave of a diverse range of modern and historical artists, discover the sea as an expansive way to reflect on American culture and environment, and question what it means to be “in American waters.”


Fitz Henry Lane, Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor
Fitz Henry Lane, Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor, 1851, Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 47 x 4 1/2 inches (86.995 x 119.38 x 11.43 cm) framed, Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of the estate of Stephen Wheatland, 1987, M18639. Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Mark Sexton.

Small group touring museum

Introductory Tours

Book an On-Site School Tour

Book a Virtual School Tour

Art and Innovation (offered on-site and virtually)
Art is always changing thanks to the new ideas of bold, creative, and daring artists. In this tour, students will look at the ways in which some artists break away from the past and bring innovation to the art world. Through active looking and discussion, students will discover how works of art can lead us to look at and interpret the world in new ways.
Recommended for: Grades 5-12

Me and My Museum (offered virtually only)
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

The Writing is on the Wall: Stories in Art (offered on-site only)
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

Custom Tours (3 weeks lead time) (currently not offered)
Do you have a curriculum unit you’d like to expand with artworks? Whether you want to explore language arts, social studies, math, science, history, literature, or any other topic through art, we will work with you to customize a tour for your students. We can get as specific as thematically linking artworks to a book your students are reading, or we can elaborate on a historical movement, theme, or era. Give us at least three weeks to communicate with you, research, and write the tour for an experience created specifically for you. Applies for middle school, junior high, and high school.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Tour group studying lifelike sculpture

Artistic Process Tours

Book an On-Site School Tour

Book a Virtual School Tour

Materials and Techniques (currently not offered)
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

In the Round (offered on-site and virtually)
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

In the Round in the Forest (currently not offered)
Sculptures demand that we engage with them; we must walk around them, walk under them, look at them from different points of view to absorb the artist’s work. Even more interesting, each of the works on this tour is located on the North Forest trail, so the sculptures interact with and are changed by the nature around them. Whether moved by breezes, changed by the movement of sunlight and cloud, or surprising in size, all four works on the tour challenge preconceptions about what sculpture is or can be.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Young tour group in museum

American History Tours

Book an On-Site School Tour

Book a Virtual School Tour

American Exploration (offered on-site and virtually)
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 3-12

Perseverance (offered on-site and virtually)
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 7-12

African American History (currently not offered)
Explore the African American experience through a tour of a selection of works of art created by African American artists. This tour allows students to understand, appreciate, and celebrate African American history by exploring art that directly touches on themes and content related to the lives of African American people throughout the history of the United States.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Native North American Art (currently not offered)
Native North American art is extraordinarily rich and diverse. Today, Native artists work in a broad range of media with conceptual and expressive styles. Our Native North American Art Tour examines lesser-known aspects of Native North American art history through artworks from the Crystal Bridges collection. The tour will focus on analysis, interpretation, and critique of Native North American artworks, providing a foundation and common vocabulary to promote intellectual and cultural growth through exploration and discussion.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Latino/Hispanic Tour (currently not offered)
This tour explores the Latino American experience in the US from the colonial period to the present. By examining artworks by Latinx artists or works that touch on the theme of Latinx history and heritage in the Crystal Bridges collection, students will understand how art can illustrate, enhance and challenge the complex, rich history of the Latinx community.
Recommended for: Grades 7-12

Celebrating Women Artists (currently not offered)
Women’s voices have always been a catalyst for positive change in America. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has built a rich collection of female artistic works spanning centuries. On this tour, students will explore the voices of women in art and how their works have confronted various social and political issues, helping to change society for all people.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Young boy interacting with art


Book an On-Site School Tour

Book a Virtual School Tour

Art and Science (offered on-site and virtually)
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 5-8

Art and Math (offered on-site and virtually)
What do art and math have in common? More than we may think. The world is full of relationships, rhythms, correlations, and concepts that both artists and mathematicians have strived to express since the beginning of time. On this tour, students will view four works of art and through discussion and activity, explore the mathematical concepts illustrated in each.
Recommended for: Grades 5-8

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (offered virtually only)
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

After-School Tours

Children in museum looking at sculpture

Crystal Bridges’ After-School Tours provide an engaging and educational conversation around four to five works of art in our collection for youth participating in community-based programs such as after-school centers, camps, or clubs. Our Museum Educators can work with your group to develop an on-site or virtual tour that best suits your needs. If you are an after-school group leader and would like to schedule a tour, please complete one of the following forms.

On-Site After-School Tour Form

Virtual After-School Tour Form

College Group Tours

Visitor taking pictures of art

Virtual and on-site tours are available for college and university students as well! These tour curriculums are also catered to older audiences, allowing for collegiate levels of critical thinking about art, history, science, math, and more. If you are a college or university student group, and would like to schedule a tour, please complete one of the following forms.

On-site College Group Tours form

Virtual College Group Tours form

Sponsored by:

Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Inc

Cardinal Four Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Kimberly-Clark