Suggested pre-visit activities are listed here. For information on works of art and artists represented in the museum please visit our Collections, for information on special exhibitions see our Exhibitions.
Suggested pre-visit activities
1. Learning to Look
The development of observation skills is a primary objective of a museum visit. To test observation skills in the classroom, have students close their eyes and ask them to describe your clothing or answer specific questions about objects in the classroom.
Encourage students to exercise their imaginations by telling a story about an image (use a postcard, photograph, or book illustration). Begin by having students explore the image through their five senses. If they were to enter the image, what might they see, hear, taste, smell or touch?
Illustrations are images designed to accompany a written text. Read your students a short story or poem and ask them to illustrate it. Compare the finished works, and discuss the choices an artist must make in creating an illustration.
4. Still Life
Ask the students to select objects from their desks to use as a still life. What qualities, if any, do the objects have in common: color, shape, purpose? Have them arrange the objects and then do a quick sketch.
Forming Opinions about Art
As a follow-up activity to the museum visit, discuss students' opinions about art. Which paintings did they like or dislike, and why? Which one would they choose to hang in their home? Would they choose the same one to hang in the classroom?
A pre-visit vocabulary sheet is available for grades K–12: