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School Tours

School tours at the Milwaukee Art Museum support critical thinking, creativity, and visual literacy skills. For more information, please review the School and Teacher Programs Brochure or contact Group Tours at 414-224-3842 or grouptours@mam.org.

Register for a school tour »


Planning Your Visit

Be sure to order buses/transportation early! Additionally, please tell us about any special needs when you request your tour. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening technology or an ASL interpreter for people with hearing impairments is available.

Before Your Tour

Confirm your headcount with the Tour Scheduler two weeks before your tour. Please Note: No changes in headcount or program/tour will be accepted after the two-week deadline. The Museum cannot offer a refund if your headcount decreases after your payment has been made, and cannot accept payment at the door.

Prepare students for your trip by watching the Museum Manners video.

Prepare chaperones: You will need one chaperone per 12 students; those chaperones are admitted free. (You will be charged $14 per additional adult.) Make sure they know the Chaperone Responsibilities–or have them watch the Museum Manners video.

Organize student groups: 12 students and one chaperone per group. Each student and adult will need a name-tag; this acts as their admission into the Museum.

What to Bring

Name-tags: Each student and adult in your group must wear a name-tag that you supply. These act as your admission into the Museum.

Clipboards/pencils (Optional): If you would like to have your class write or draw, please bring your own clipboards, pencils, paper, or other drawing materials. Remember only pencils are allowed in the galleries to protect the artwork.

Do Not Bring...Your lunch! The Museum does not have on-site lunch facilities. Please plan your visit accordingly. The Tour Scheduler can supply you with an up-to-date list of alternatives.

When You Arrive

Enter the Museum’s School Group Entrance to the south of the Main Entrance on N. Art Museum Drive unless otherwise directed by the Tour Scheduler. Please remain on bus until greeted by Museum staff.

Your bus cannot park on N. Art Museum Drive but it may park along Lincoln Memorial Drive, in Veterans Park, and at other public locations.

Be on time: Arrive no more than 15 minutes early. Note that if you are late, your tour will be shortened. If you are delayed, please call the Tour Scheduler at 414-224-3842.

Fees and Chaperones

School tours are $5 per student. One adult per 12 students is required as a chaperone; these adults are admitted for free.

Complimentary Family Passes

You will receive one free Family Pass for each student you bring on your school tour! Family Passes provide free admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum for two adults and up to four children 17 and younger.

Family Passes are sponsored by the Terri and Verne Holoubek Family Foundation.

View current + upcoming Exhibitions »


Resources for Your Trip

Prepare your students by watching the Museum Manners video.


Multidisciplinary Tours

Geometry + Art

Grades 1–4 | Time varies | $5 per student

Discover shapes and patterns everywhere you look during a docent-guided, geometry-themed tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum

Optional: Go hands-on at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum with guided exploration and play—additional fees apply. Register with the Milwaukee Art Museum and then call Betty Brinn Children’s Museum at 414-390-5437.


History + Art

Art From Artists of the African Diaspora

Available Year Round
Grades 5–12 | 1 hour | $5 per student

Join the Milwaukee Art Museum for a special tour in honor of the local and national history of African Americans and people of African descent. Explore works of art on a docent-guided tour of Art from Artists of the African Diaspora.


War Memorial Center Tour + Museum Tour

Available Year-Round
Grades 4–12 | 1½ hours | $10 per student

Join the War Memorial Center and the Milwaukee Art Museum for a special tour that examines American stories and resilience from a variety of perspectives. Students will enjoy a 45-minute guided tour of the War Memorial Center and a 45-minute docent-led tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum that looks at diverse American stories on resilience from past to present.

Note: Space is limited. Please be flexible when requesting dates.


Women in Art Tour

Available Year-Round
Grades 4–12 | 1 hours | $5 per student

Explore the lives of women through both the way they have been portrayed in art across time and their contributions as female forces in the art world.


Life Sciences + Art

Grades K–5 | Time varies | $5 per student

Discover connections between art and the life sciences. See how artists use their senses and borrow from the sciences to observe the natural world. View works of arts that cover living things from plants to wildlife and humans.

Optional: Visit Discovery World to continue your exploration of the living world! Examine living fish from Lake Michigan and see firsthand how science uses art for animal identification. Additional fees apply for Discovery World. Register with the Milwaukee Art Museum, and then call Discovery World at 414-765-8625.


Museum Tour + Studio Workshop

Studio Workshop School Program

Available Tues–Thurs, October 2019–May 2020
Grades PK–12 | 2 hours | $10 per student

Be the Artist! Students explore the Museum’s Collection on a tour of your choice, and then complete an art project connected to the tour theme. Note: Space is limited. Please be flexible when requesting dates.


Music + Art

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concert and Museum Tour

Extend your MSO Concert for Schools experience with a docent-guided tour of the Museum’s works that relate to concert themes.

Peter and the Wolf: Music and Me Concert
Nov 5–6, 2019
Grades K–2 | $5 per student

American Reflections: This is Us
Oct 1 & Nov 19, 2019
Grades 3–8 | $5 per student

Beethoven: A Birthday Celebration
Jan 21 or Jan 28, 2020
Grades 3–8

Additional fees apply for MSO. Register with the MSO at 414-226-7886 and then call the Milwaukee Art Museum.


Theater + Art

First Stage Performance Workshop and Animals in Art Tour

Feb 4 or Feb 11, 2020
Grades K–3 | 1½ hours | $10 per student

Enjoy a First Stage performance workshop paired with a docent-guided tour of the Museum’s works related to Animals in Art. Students will discover a menagerie of friendly animals and fantastic beasts in paintings and sculptures throughout the Museum. Their imaginations will help them transform into animals with the help of First Stage Teaching Artists during the workshop. NOTE: Space is limited. Please book early.


Writing + Art Docent-Guided Tour

Available Year-Round
Grades 4–12 | 1½ hours | $10 per student

This tour, inspired by the National Writing Project at Carroll University and grounded in the Six Traits of Writing framework, introduces the Museum as a place of inspiration for writing. After receiving their own Museum journals/sketchbooks, students look closely at works of art, using a variety of writing skills, developing a descriptive word bank, and practicing "low stakes" writing.


Docent-Guided School Tours

Students On a Docent-guided Tour

All docent-guided tours are one hour in length and conducted in English unless otherwise requested. If you would like to request a tour in Spanish, German, French, or American Sign Language, please indicate this at the time of your tour request. Docents and translators for tours conducted in foreign languages are limited.

Preschool–Grade 2

A is for Art Inspired by the book “A is for Art” by Marjorie Nelson Moon, explore art from many cultures while reinforcing language development.

Animals in Art Discover a menagerie of friendly animals and fantastic beasts from different cultures and times in paintings and sculptures.

Art and Activities Awaken your senses and your imagination! Encounter various artists and explore works of art using your senses.

Line, Shape, and Color Interact with line, shape, and color and learn how artists use these elements of art to create works of art.

Storytelling in Art Imagine, tell and listen to stories that artists portray in their work.


Grades 3–5

African American Art and Artists Learn about African American artists and their art, from folk art to fine art, and explore the history and ideas behind these exciting works. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people (available to grades 5 and higher).

American History Through Art Discover art that reflects American history from our colonial past to the present. Group size limited to 60, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 60 people.

Art from Many Places and Times Acquire basic art vocabulary and develop critical looking skills while exploring the making and meaning of art from different cultures. This tour is ideal for first time visitors because it provides an overview of the Museum's Collection.

Explore Color! Through careful examination of works of art, explore the powerful role of color in contemporary paintings and the impact of color on our lives.

Feature or Changing Exhibition Explore the works of art in the Museum’s current feature exhibition or one of the many changing exhibitions

Folk Art Art of self-taught artists will capture your imagination. Themes such as people and places, history, entertainment, animals, and inner visions invite a deeper understanding of folk art and its role in people’s lives. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

Foreign Language and Culture Focus Enhance French, German or Spanish language study by exploring related art and culture in the Museum's galleries. Please specify the foreign language study focus on your tour request form and if you would like part or all of the tour conducted in that language or English. Docents for tours conducted in foreign languages are limited.

Museums Inside and Out (Video) A behind the scenes look at the Milwaukee Art Museum for grades 3-5. This introductory video must be requested and is available for view in conjunction with a docent-guided tour. Plan an additional half-hour to your visit to view the video.

Non-Western Art Discover the art of ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa and Haiti. Space is limited to 50 or less people at a time; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 50 people.

Portraiture Meet the people and animals revealed in portraits throughout the Museum’s galleries.

Weather in Art Link art and science through images that describe weather conditions and seasons.

World Communities Investigate western (European and American) and non-western (Haitian, Asian, and African) art depicting and/or representing everyday life. This tour gives students an opportunity to discover similarities, differences and cross-cultural influences.


Grades 6–8

African American Art and Artists Learn about African American artists and their art, from folk art to fine art, and explore the history and ideas behind these exciting works. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

Architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum Take a snapshot look at the historic architecture of Eero Saarinen and David Kahler, along with an exploration of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Museum addition.

Art from Many Places and Times Acquire basic art vocabulary and develop critical looking skills while exploring the making and meaning of art from different cultures. This tour is ideal for first time visitors because it provides an overview of the Museum's Collection.

Calatrava: Art, Science, and the Creative Design Process Look to the innovative work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and follow the creative design process from idea to final product. Group size limited to 60, maximum.

Feature or Changing Exhibition Explore the works of art in the Museum’s current feature exhibition or one of the many changing exhibitions.

Folk Art Art of self-taught artists will capture your imagination. Themes such as people and places, history, entertainment, animals, and inner visions invite a deeper understanding of folk art and its role in people’s lives. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

Foreign Language and Culture Focus Enhance French, German or Spanish language study by exploring related art and culture in the Museum's galleries. Please specify the language study focus on your tour request form and if you would like part or all of the tour conducted in that language or English. Docents for tours conducted in foreign languages are limited.

Haitian Art Haitian culture comes alive through paintings and sculptures. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

How Did They Paint That? Learn how artists utilize glazing, scumbling, impasto, collage, assemblage and dry brush techniques while exploring the Museum's painting collection.

Non-Western Art Discover the art of ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa and Haiti. Space is limited to 50 or less people at a time; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 50 people.

Portraiture Meet the people and animals revealed in portraits throughout the Museum’s galleries.

Sculpture Discover the materials and techniques artists use to create three-dimensional art while exploring the Museum's sculpture collection.

Which ISM is it? Students compare, contrast, observe, and discuss artworks from the mid-1860s to the present, gathering clues to help them match works of art to an art style.  The “isms” highlighted include Realism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism/Abstractionism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Conceptualism.


Grades 9–12

African American Art and Artists Learn about African American artists and their art, from folk art to fine art, and explore the history and ideas behind these exciting works. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

Architecture of the Milwaukee Art Museum Take a snapshot look at the historic architecture of Eero Saarinen and David Kahler, along with an exploration of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Museum addition.

Art from Many Places and Times Acquire basic art vocabulary and develop critical looking skills while exploring the making and meaning of art from different cultures. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors because it provides an overview of the Museum's Collection.

Calatrava: Art, Science, and the Creative Design Process Look to the innovative work of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and follow the creative design process from idea to final product. Group size limited to 60, maximum.

Feature or Changing Exhibition Explore the works of art in the Museum’s current feature exhibition or one of the many changing exhibitions.

Foreign Language and Culture Focus Enhance French, German or Spanish language study by exploring related art and culture in the Museum's galleries. Please specify the language study focus on your tour request form and if you would like part or all of the tour conducted in that language or English. Docents for tours conducted in foreign languages are limited.

Haitian Art Haitian culture comes alive through paintings and sculptures. Group size limited to 30, maximum; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 30 people.

How Did They Paint That? Learn how artists utilize glazing, scumbling, impasto, collage, assemblage and dry brush techniques while exploring the Museum's painting collection.

How Modern Art Communicates Compare and contrast the communication techniques used by artists from earlier centuries with those of today, including composition, elements of art, and art media.

Non-Western Art Discover the art of ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa and Haiti. Space is limited to 50 or less people at a time; may be combined with another tour for groups larger than 50 people.

Sculpture Discover the materials and techniques artists use to create three-dimensional art while exploring the Museum's sculpture collection.

Which ISM is it? Students compare, contrast, observe, and discuss artworks from the mid-1860s to the present, gathering clues to help them match works of art to an art style.  The “isms” highlighted include Realism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism/Abstractionism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Conceptualism.


School Tour Programs

Junior Docent School Program

10 visits over 3 years
Grades 3–5 | 1–1½ hours per visit | $5 per student per tour

For more than forty years, the Junior Docent School Program has introduced elementary school students to the vocabulary, elements, and history of art while developing critical thinking skills. Over three consecutive years, students visit ten times, contextualizing art into their life. After a culminating project presented to their peers and family, they become official Junior Docents!

To be added to the waiting list for this program, please email . This program is run through schools. If you are a parent looking for art opportunities for your child, please refer to Youth and Family Classes.


Art of Writing Conference

The Milwaukee Art Museum also hosts the Art of Writing Conference which allows aspiring authors and artists to draw experience from the museum's extensive gallery and collaborate to create something personal and truly unique.