Come one, come all: Student Tours at NMWA!

Ever wondered what the gritty tires might feel like in Chakaia Booker’s Acid Rain? What about the instrumental sounds echoing in The Concert by Judith Leyster? Is the espresso smell continually lurking in the air around Céline Marie Tabary’s Terrase de café?

Celine Tabary, Terrase de café, Paris, 1950

Celine Tabary, Terrase de café, Paris, 1950; Oil on canvas, 31 x 39 1/2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Corinne Mitchell. Painting conservation funds generously provided by the Southern California State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Wonder no longer! NMWA’s engaging and interactive tours offer students the chance to discuss works of art and answer their own questions (with a little help!).  These thematic tours coincide with specific Standards of Learning and use the permanent collection to expand students’ knowledge. Whether students are writing about a portrait, using all five of their senses, or interpreting works of art, they are sure to have a great time exploring our collection in a new way!

Tours include:

A school group examines Lavinia Fontana's Portrait of a Noblewoman with a NMWA docent

A school group examines Lavinia Fontana's Portrait of a Noblewoman with a NMWA docent

Come to Your Senses (grades K–2)
Awaken your students’ interest in and understanding of visual arts and social sciences through an interactive, multisensory tour of works in the museum’s collection. This program engages students with various learning styles through open-ended inquiry discussions and hands-on experiences.

Seeing through Writing (grades 4–6)
In a fun, interactive tour, students will use art as inspiration for their own creative writing! Combining group discussion of portrait, landscape, and narrative paintings with individual and collaborative writing activities, this tour fosters students’ visual literacy and language skills.

You be the Critic (grades 3 and up)
Step into the role of art critic in this engaging tour that explores the permanent collection and special exhibitions. Students will actively describe, interpret and evaluate works of art on an emotional and aesthetic level through a series of discussions and writing exercises.

These tours last 60–90 minutes and are limited to no more than 30 students. All materials are provided.

To book a tour, please contact the Education Department at 202-783-7996 or  Please note: student groups must have one chaperone for every 10 students. Student tours are free of charge. Tours must be booked at least four weeks in advance.

—Jacqueline Witkowski is an education fellow at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.