School Programs

School Programs

Docent-Guided Visits
Through inquiry and lively discussion, guided tours engage students in an active exchange of ideas about art, culture, and personal experiences within a framework of building 21st century skills. Students exercise and build observational, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills as they learn to look at and interpret works of art from our permanent collection and special exhibitions. Tours link the visual arts to various curricula, including language arts, history, science, social studies, and fine arts.

View a list of the Common Core and CT State Standards our docent-guided tours address.

To select a tour that aligns with your students’ interests, grade level, and curricular needs, browse our tour themes then schedule your tour online! You may also call our Group Visit Associate at (860) 838-4046 to book a tour today. Consider scheduling multiple visits, which offer an opportunity for students to build upon knowledge and skills established on previous tours. All teachers who book a tour will receive a complimentary Teacher Discovery Pass to explore the museum prior to their students’ visit, enabling them to better plan cross-curricular connections. Free Family Passes will also be distributed to all students who participate in a docent-guided tour to encourage a return visit with their families.

Hands On! (Formerly known as Art Matters)
Artistic themes, materials, and techniques are used to stimulate imaginative thought, dynamic discussion, and creative expression in this program, which includes a one-hour docent-guided tour of our galleries, and a one-hour hands-on studio art experience with our Resident Teaching Artist. All projects go home with students. Who says you can’t touch at an art museum?

Maximum capacity: 50 students/session
Fees: $5/student; FREE for students attending a school with a Hartford zip code
Call (860) 838-4046 to book this program.

Climbing Up the Beanstalk: Art and Tall Tales (Fall 2013) - Sold Out!
October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15, 22 | 9:30–11:30 am
Students depart on a flight of fantasy to discover exhilarating stories in our galleries. They won’t believe their eyes . . . and ears! The adventure continues in the studio, where students will experiment with the art of storytelling by illustrating whimsical texts.

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh, My! (Winter 2014) - Sold Out!
January 22, 23, 29, 30; February 5, 6, 12, 13 | 9:30–11:30 am
Students encounter creatures of every shape, size, and personality as they learn how artists employ the basic elements of art—color, line, shape, and texture—to depict furry, friendly, and sometimes ferocious animals. Back in the art studio, imagination and creativity run wild as students construct their own mythical beasts.

Art and Writing Initiative: The 1,000 Words Experiment
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and judging by our dynamic collection, we believe it! Explore our new Art and Writing Initiative, which provides educators with rich curriculum-based programming that develops a wide range of students’ literacy skills through the process of carefully looking at and thoughtfully writing about art from our permanent collection.

Figuratively Speaking (grades 3-5)
Using the aesthetic and expressive qualities of figurative artworks, this program cultivates students’ narrative, descriptive, and expository writing skills while promoting state and national curriculum standards in the language and visual arts. Artworks viewed throughout the program serve as students’ texts to be closely observed, critically analyzed, and thoughtfully interpreted, and subsequently act as inspiration for their own compositions.Each grade-specific experience provides free pre- and post-museum visit lessons plans for both the classroom and the art room and also includes a Figuratively Speaking Art and Writing tour for a nominal fee for non-Hartford schools.

The Figuratively Speaking program themes and lesson plans are as follows:

Download these free curriculum materials today!

It is advised that teachers book and confirm their museum visit before administering the program’s lesson plans to students. Call our Group Visit Associate at (860) 838-4046 to reserve your tour. Mention that you are utilizing these curriculum materials when placing your call to receive a complimentary disc of images used in this program.

Reproduction, including downloading of Rivera or Avery works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Special Opportunities for Hartford Schools

Free Admission for Students
Students attending a school with a Hartford zip code enjoy free admission to the museum year-round.

Free Bus Program - Sold Out
Hartford teachers calling to reserve a docent-guided visit may request free bus transportation for themselves, their students, and their chaperones to the museum. Call (860) 838-4046 on or after Tuesday, September 3, to secure transportation. Buses are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Summer Scholarships for High School Students
We are pleased to partner with the Hartford Art School in providing scholarships for the 2014 Summer High School Visual Arts program on the campus of the University of Hartford. Scholarships are available to rising junior and senior student artists enrolled at a high school with a Hartford zip code. Scholarships cover the cost of the entire program, including tuition, art supplies, transportation, and a weekly stipend. For more information about the program and associated scholarships, and to receive application guidelines, call (860) 838-4170. The number of scholarships awarded is contingent upon funding.

Museum on the Move (grade 4): Art and Literacy Outreach Program
Available September – November 2013
Developed collaboratively between the museum and Hartford Public Schools, this four-week outreach program uses landscape imagery from our permanent collection to develop students’ descriptive writing skills. Students learn to “read” and describe works of art through the lenses of visual arts terminology and their own unique perspectives, imaginations, and feelings. This program includes active group discussions and writing activities in the classroom and art room, a docent-facilitated lesson at the school, a docent-guided visit at the museum, and a built-in assessment tool. All six lessons promote state and national curriculum standards in language and visual arts. Busing as well as teacher curriculum materials and student workbooks are provided free of charge. Each participating school will also receive a complimentary disc of images used in this program.

Eligible schools must be members of Hartford Performs, the arts education collaborative serving the Hartford Public School District. Please have your school voucher number available when making your reservation. Schools not participating in this initiative can take advantage of our other art and literacy programs for both teacher and student development.

Museum on the Move Student Workbook

Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
IMG_0056April 12 – May 18, 2014
Join us to celebrate the 41st anniversary of our ongoing partnership with the Hartford Public School District to produce this exhibition of student artwork from prekindergarten through twelfth grade. More than one hundred two- and three-dimensional works of art will be on display at the Hartford Public Library. Works created by the grand prizewinners at each participating school will proudly be on view in our galleries, accompanied by an audio guide of students’ reflections on their masterpieces. Come revel in the artistic excellence of our Hartford youth and leave inspired!

View artwork from previous exhibitions here.


From Our Collection

1730, Largilliere 1749, Panini 1863, Boudin Morris, 1978

Upcoming Events

1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Jul 26 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
2:30 pm Tour: Portraiture in the Collection
Tour: Portraiture in the Collection
Jul 26 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Tour: Portraiture in the Collection: Free with admission, meet outside the Museum Shop.
7:00 pm Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Jul 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land: Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, is now sheriff in Erbil, the capital city. No longer feeling useful in this [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Jul 27 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
2:00 pm Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Jul 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land
Film: My Sweet Pepper Land: Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, is now sheriff in Erbil, the capital city. No longer feeling useful in this [...]

View Calendar


Hours & Admission

Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5