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Mom looking at a sculpture with her two small boys

School Tours

Support your students’ critical thinking, creativity, empathy development, and visual literacy skills with an on-site or virtual tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Tours are designed to enhance curriculum in accordance with state and national standards for learning.

View tour themes »

For questions, email grouptours@mam.org or call 414-224-3842.


On-site Tours

Choose an experience guided by one of the Museum’s docent educators or lead your own tour with the self-guided option. Choose a theme from the list below and get more information to plan your visit.

  • Tour admission is $5 per student unless otherwise stated.
  • Request a tour six weeks in advance.
  • Guided tours are one hour unless otherwise stated.
  • All students receive a Family Pass for free admission for two adults and up to four children under age 17.
  • On-site school group tours can be requested for March 1, 2022 and beyond.
Request on-site tour »

Plan Your Visit

We look forward to welcoming you and your students to the Museum. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit.

Request a Tour

  • Request a tour. Use the online tour request form, call the Tour Administrator at 414-224-3842, or email grouptours@mam.org.
  • Schedule buses or transportation early, allowing travel time to and from the Museum.
  • Tell us about any accessibility needs. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Headsets or an ASL interpreter are available upon advance request.
  • The Museum does not have lunch facilities.

Fees and Chaperones

  • Tour admission is $5 per student unless otherwise stated.
  • One teacher/chaperone is required for every group of 10 students; those adults receive free admission.
  • Additional adults will be charged the adult group tour rate of $16.
  • Confirm student attendance and final payment with the Tour Administrator two weeks before the tour.
    Please Note: No changes in headcount or tour theme will be accepted after the two-week deadline. The Museum cannot offer a refund if your head count decreases after your payment has been made, and cannot accept payment at the door.

Before the Tour

  • Review the Code of Conduct for Visitors for current Museum safety protocols.
  • Organize student groups: The tour confirmation email will include specifications for organizing students into tour groups. Each student and adult will need a name tag, which acts as admission into the galleries.
  • Prepare chaperones: Communicate the Chaperone Guidelines and Museum expectations.
  • Prepare students:  Review Museum expectations prior to the tour.

Museum Expectations

  • Stay with your tour group. The Museum is a big place.
  • Follow directions of docent tour guides and chaperones; they are helpers.
  • Help protect the art by keeping your hands close to your body, and avoid touching the art.
  • Share your ideas and learn from others in the group; art can make us think and feel deeply.
  • Ask questions along the way, and have fun finding favorite works of art.

Day of the Tour

  • What to Bring
    • Name tags: Please supply each student and adult with a name tag with large printed first names. These act as your admission into the Museum and help docents connect and engage with individuals in the group. Teachers may choose to use colors, numbers, etc., to code name tags for student tour groups.
    • Clipboards/pencils (optional): Students are welcome to write or draw and are encouraged to bring clipboards, pencils, paper, or sketchbooks. To protect the artwork, only pencils are allowed in the galleries.
  • What NOT to Bring
    • Backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Purses and small bags (under 13 × 17 in.) are acceptable. Necessary backpacks can be worn frontwards.
    • Food, drink, and gum are also not permitted in the galleries. Please dispose of these items before arriving.
  • When You Arrive
    • Arrive at the Museum’s school group entrance, north of the main entrance on Art Museum Drive, unless otherwise directed by the Tour Administrator. Please remain on the bus until greeted by Museum staff who will aid in guiding groups off the bus and pairing them with a docent tour guide.
    • Be on time; arrive no more than 15 minutes early. Note that if you are late, the tour will be shortened to conclude at the original end time. If you are more than 20 minutes late, the tour will become a self-guided tour. If you are delayed, please call the Tour Administrator at 414-224-3842.
    • Buses may park at the south end of Art Museum Drive, along Lincoln Memorial Drive, in Veterans Park, or at other public locations.

Virtual Tours

Bring the Museum to your classroom with a themed virtual tour led by Museum docent educators. Each tour is 45 minutes, with inquiry-based conversations and activities using works of art in the Museum’s collection. Look for indication in the list below to choose a virtual tour theme.

  • Tour cost is $150 for one class with up to 35 students.
  • Request a tour three weeks in advance.
  • Virtual tour is hosted on Google Meet or Zoom.
  • All students receive a Family Pass for free admission for two adults and up to four children under age 17.

Before Your Virtual Tour

Virtual tours offer engagement opportunities for a variety of learning styles. We recommend that students have a sketchbook, notebook, or scratch paper, and a pencil for drawing or writing activities during the tour. Museum educators will open or join the virtual tour platform 10–15 minutes prior to the start of the tour to test audio and visual access with the teacher and decide on student response procedures.

Request virtual tour »

Tour Themes

All Ages

Swirl of pastel colors

Art from Many Places and Times

Explore highlights from the Museum collection and discuss the making and meaning of art from different cultures while honing art vocabulary and critical-looking skills.


Grades K–3

Gray, shaggy dog with its tongue out

A Is for Art

Take a tour with the alphabet! Inspired by the book A Is for Art by Marjorie Nelson Moon, this experience explores art from many cultures while reinforcing language development.

Virtual available
Dog pawing at a hedgehog

Animals in Art

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

Virtual available
Crowd of people at an outdoor market

Experiencing Art through the Senses

Take a journey with art using your senses and imagination. Explore how works of art might smell, taste, feel, and sound.

Virtual available
Large squares side-by-side in red, yellow, and blue

Line, Shape, Color

Learn how artists begin to create masterpieces by getting to know the building blocks of art: line, shape, and color.

Virtual available
Mixed, bright-colored textures forming two women

Storytelling in Art

Engage visual and verbal language skills to imagine, tell, and listen to stories that artists portray in their work.


Grades 4–12

Two tugboats out on the ocean

American Stories

Hear about American stories, places, and people from across the United States, as represented by paintings, sculptures, and decorative artworks in the American art collection at the Museum.

Virtual available
Egyptian face in the foreground with a group of people climbing a hill to the city

Art by Artists of the African Diaspora

Take a closer look at artists of African heritage in the Museum’s collection. From folk art to fine art, explore connections between Africa, Europe, the United States, and beyond.

Large group of people dancing and talking under a large tree

Communities and Traditions

Investigate the customs of people who live both near and far, discovering the differences, similarities, and cross-cultural influences portrayed in their art.

Virtual available
Abstract art

Modern and Contemporary Art

Get to know distinct art movements (the “-isms”), from Realism to Abstract Expressionism, while comparing works from the mid-1860s to the present day.

Two young men wearing powdered wigs with one holding a tennis racket

Portraiture

Discover the stories of people and animals by looking for visual clues in portraits from diverse times and places.

Virtual available
Tiled squares with scribbled facial expressions

Social Concerns + Social Justice

Use a social justice lens to examine concerns such as poverty, racism, gender inequality, and representation while considering the perspectives of the artists and the impact of their stories.

Virtual available
Box with legs in yellow detailed with black pattern

Writing + Art

Discover works of art as inspiration for writing with activities from our book Look, Write, See: Activities for Teaching Writing and Learning About Art. For on-site tours, students receive a sketchbook for this 90-minute experience ($10 per student).

Virtual available

Teaching Resources

Whether you have five minutes or an hour for arts-integrated activities, we have online resources to complement your curriculum and support a flexible schedule. Share a pre-recorded mini tour or curator talk, writing and art-making activities, or a 360° tour with your students.

See resources »
Image:
  • Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887–1986), Series I—No. 3, 1918 (detail). Oil on board. Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, M1997.192. Photo by Larry Sanders. © Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Alex Katz, Sunny #4, 1971 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1975.143. Photo by John R. Glembin © 2021 Alex Katz/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Edwin Landseer, Portrait of a Terrier, The Property of Owen Williams, ESQ., M.P. (Jocko with a Hedgehog), 1828 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Erwin C. Uihlein, M1967.79. Photo by Larry Sanders.
  • Sénèque Obin, Clugny Market [Marché Clugny], 1966 (detail). Oil on Masonite. Gift of Richard and Erna Flagg, M1991.145. Photo by Efraim Lev-er.
  • Ellsworth Kelly, Red, Yellow, Blue II, 1965 (detail). Acrylic on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1977.113a-c. Photo by Malcolm Varon. © Ellsworth Kelly.
  • Reginald Baylor, On Duty, Not Driving, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. Purchase, with funds from the African American Art Alliance in honor of its twentieth anniversary, M2011.16. Photo by John R. Glembin © Reginald Baylor
  • William James Glackens, Breezy Day, Tugboats, New York Harbor, ca. 1910 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald B. Abert and Mrs. Barbara Abert Tooman, M1974.230. Photo by John Nienhuis.
  • Loïs Mailou Jones, The Ascent of Ethiopia, 1932 (detail). Oil on canvas. Purchase, African American Art Acquisition Fund, matching funds from Suzanne and Richard Pieper, with additional support from Arthur and Dorothy Nelle Sanders, M1993.191. Photo by John R. Glembin. © Lois Mailou Jones
  • Ludwig Knaus (German, 1829–1910), Dance under the Linden Tree, 1881 (detail). Oil on canvas Gift of the Ren´ von Schleinitz Foundation M1962.31. Photo credit: John R. Glembin
  • Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011), Hotel Cro-Magnon, 1958 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley, M1966.153. © 2010 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Attributed to Georg Anton Abraham Urlaub, Portrait of Two Young Men in Powdered Wigs, ca. 1770 (detail). Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Laskin in memory of their daughter Elizabeth, M1966.61. Photo by John R. Glembin.
  • Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Audience, 2017 (detail). Ceramic tile, soap, and wax. Purchase, with funds from Mark and Debbie Attanasio, Marianne and Sheldon Lubar, Joanne Murphy, the African American Art Alliance, and the Modern and Contemporary Art Deaccession Funds, M2017.60. Photo by Martin Parsekian. © Rashid Johnson.
  • Wendell Castle, Walking Cabinet, 1988 (detail). Painted wood, cast aluminum, and mappa burl veneer. Gift of Karen Johnson Boyd, M1989.112.