School Tours

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Join us for guided tours! MAG offers exciting ways to bring our collection to life and to connect students and teachers with art from around the world. We offer in-person tours of temporary exhibitions and the permanent collections, and we also offer synchronous virtual tours of the permanent collections via a video conferencing platform during regular school hours. All school tours complement the New York State Standards: K-5 and 6-12. If accommodations are needed for any student, please let us know! Requests for tours in American Sign Language, French, German, and Spanish are welcome.

To book a tour or to ask questions, please email tours@mag.rochester.edu or call 585.276.8974.

In-Person Tours

  • Available Tuesday through Friday
  • Fees: $7 per person (students and adults), scholarships available upon request
  • Tours are 45 minutes long for K-1st grades and 60 minutes long for 2nd grade and up
  • Tours are led by docents, and one will be in touch to plan the tour after it is booked
  • Self-guided tours are welcome, but must be booked in advance
  • Students are welcome to visit the Gallery Store with an adult chaperone when the store is open
  • Additional time beyond the tour for drawing and writing exercises must be requested in advance
  • Please review the museum guidelines before arriving

Virtual Tours

  • Available Monday through Friday
  • Fees: $3 per person
  • Tours can be up to 45 minutes long
  • Virtual tours are led by MAG educators and/or docents, and one will be in touch to plan the tour after it is booked
Directions

New York State Thruway (I-90) from the east: From Exit 45, follow I-490 West to Goodman St. exit; turn right on Goodman and continue on past University Ave.; enter the parking lot on the left.

New York State Thruway (I-90) from the west: From Exit 46, follow Routes I-390 North to I-590 North to I-490 West; from I-490, take Goodman St. exit; turn right on Goodman and continue on past University Ave.; enter the parking lot on the left.

  • Buses should proceed from the Goodman Street entrance to the Tour Entrance at the rear of the building. Students must remain on the bus until the time of the tour.
  • Buses should be parked in Lot C after the students are dropped off.
  • Buses should be boarded immediately after the tour at the Tour Entrance, unless special arrangements have been made in advance for additional time in the Gallery.

Tours of the Permanent Collection

While each tour is personalized according to your class’s needs, we have some popular themes to build upon.

Animals Tour

Animals in Art

Virtual and In-Person

Discover the Gallery’s own animal kingdom through artworks that explore animals’ amazing attributes, homey habitats and roles in significant stories from many cultures. Come armed only with keen senses and animal facts.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Science, Social Studies
Grade Level: Elementary

Shown: Egyptian, Saite Period (664–525 BCE), The God Horus as a Falcon [1953.44]; Martin Johnson Heade, Hummingbird with Cattelya and Dendrobium Orchids, (detail) 1890 [1976.3]; Chinese, Camel, 700–750 CE [1931.14]; Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, Oxen on the Beach, (detail) 1910 [1914.8]; John Steuart Curry, Oak Tree, (detail) 1939 [1996.97]

Story Telling

Art and ELA: Storytelling

Virtual and In-Person

How do artists tell stories? Look for clues to setting, characters, plot, action, and outcome in artworks, and use critical thinking skills to “read” the story in a work of art. Developed especially for 3rd and 4th grades by MAG and the Rochester City School District.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA
Grade Level: Elementary

Details shown: John Sloan, Chinese Restaurant, 1909 [1951.12]; Franz Snyders and workshop, The Fox and the Heron, 1630–1640 [1972.75]; Roy De Forest, The Dipolar Girls Take a Voyage on the St. Lawrence, 1970 [1986.134]; Lilly Martin Spencer, Peeling Onions, 1852 [1988.6]

Art History

Art History

Virtual and In-Person

Trace the numerous styles, themes and materials explored by artists of many cultures using representative artworks in the Gallery’s collection. Tours may focus on any aspect of art history; please discuss your objectives and plans with the docent during the pre-visit call.

Curriculum Connections: Art
Grade Level: Secondary

Details shown: Rachael Ruysch, Floral Still Life, 1686 [1982.9]; Jean de Marville, Mourner’s Niche from the Tomb of Philip the Bold, ca. 1384-1390 [1949.51]; Walter Goodman, The Printseller’s Window, 1883 [1998.75]; Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, Veiled Sun, 1903 [1953.6]; Egyptian, Mamluk Period, Section from a Qur’an endowed by Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri, late 15th century [2008.69]

Genesee Journey

Genesee Journey

Virtual and In-Person

Follow the stories of upstate New York, Rochester, and the Memorial Art Gallery itself through artworks in the Gallery’s collections. Portraits, landscapes and decorative objects all provide a glimpse into aspects of American life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies
Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

Details shown: American, 19th century, Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, before 1831, [1934.1]; Asher Brown Durand, Genesee Oaks, 1860 [1974.5]; Colin Campbell Cooper, Main Street Bridge, Rochester, 1908 [1926.20]; John Frederick Peto, Articles Hung on a Door, after 1890 [1965.3]

Learning to Look

Learning to Look: An Introduction to the Gallery

Virtual and In-Person

What is an art museum? What can you learn by looking at an artwork? Students of all ages explore the Gallery’s collections through finding details, learning new vocabulary and sharing their own observations.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies
Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

Details shown: Fernand Léger, Footed Goblet, 1924 [1946.11]; Chinese, Funerary Urn, 2500-1700 BCE [1999.56]; Charles Looff, Merry-Go-Round Goat, ca. 1900 [1971.40]; Fritz Trautmann, Galaxy, 1942 [1956.65]; Sir Henry Raeburn, Lieutenant-Colonel Hay MacDowell, ca. 1795 [1968.102]

Many Faces Many Places

Many Faces, Many Places

Virtual and In-Person

Travel through time and space and hone observational skills on a cross-cultural world tour. Come face-to-face with artworks such as masks, paintings and statues representing cultures from major world regions, including the Arctic, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, ancient Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies
Grade Level: Elementary

Details shown: Makonde Culture, Mozambique, Crest Mask (Lipiko), ca. 1950-1960 [2006.71]; Indian, A Royal Couple on a Terrace, 1800–1850 [2007.20]; Greater Nicoya, Costa Rica, Jaguar Vessel, 1000-1350 CE [1969.90]; Flemish, Allegory of Vanity: Lady with a Mirror, ca. 1600 [1955.132]; Jerome Myers, Sunday Morning, 1907 [1998.74]

Passport to the Past

Passport to the Past

Virtual and In-Person

Explore universal themes of civilization such as writing, religion, and burial customs through artworks and artifacts 500 to 5,000 years old, representing the MAG’s Mesopotamian, Egyptian, East Asian, Greek, Roman and Medieval, and Renaissance European collections.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Social Studies (Grades 6, 9, AP World History)
Grade Level: Secondary

Details shown: Egyptian, Inner Coffin of Pa-debehu-Aset, 332–30 BCE [2000.11.1]; Greek, Corinthian Helmet, late 7th century BCE [2008.70]; Roman, Fresco Fragment with Cupid Holding a Mask, before 79 CE [1928.75]; Sharaf al-Abawani, Sgraffiato Ware Pot, 14th century [1951.350]; Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Portrait of a Boy of the Bracciforte Family of Piacenza, ca. 1560 [1976.13]

Myths

Sacred Stories, Myths, and Legends

Virtual and In-Person

“Listen” to artworks with a story to tell, “hear” how culture influences art and “see” how beliefs and stories pass down through narrative and symbolic art. Compare and contrast ancient beliefs and living traditions from diverse cultures, including Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies
Grade Level: Secondary

Details shown: Thai, Ayudhya Period (1350–1757 CE), Head of a Buddha [1930.33]; Francesco Solimena, The Triumph of Judith, 1704–1708, [1980.43]; Bamana Culture, Mali, rest Mask: Male Antelope (Chi Wara) [1969.107]; Peter Paul Rubens, Ulysses Landing on the Island of the Phaeacians, after 1625 [1961.27]; Egyptian, The God Osiris as a Mummified Man, 1069–332 BCE [1951.116]

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

In-Person Only

Based on the popular book by E.L. Konigsberg. Explore a real art museum like Jamie and Claudia (but only for an hour, not for a week), view and compare artworks similar to those described (but no bathing in the fountains) and imagine being a character in the story. This tour is particularly appropriate as a culminating activity for a class reading project.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA
Grade Level: Elementary

Tours of Temporary Exhibitions

In-Person Only

Broaden your students’ vision, as well as your own, through tours of special exhibits drawn from museums around the world and from MAG’s own collections. Preview current & upcoming exhibitions and then email tours@mag.rochester.edu or call 585.276.8974 to schedule a tour.

Gallery Guides

Download guides to these areas of the collection:


The Memorial Art Gallery’s 2021-22 School Programs are sponsored by ESL Charitable Foundation, Anne O’Toole, Jane Colangelo, and an anonymous foundation. Funding is also provided by Monroe County and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Additional support for School Programs is provided by the John C. and Elsa C. Beach and Eileen M. Sullivan Education Endowment, the Docent Endowment Fund, the Emma Jane Drury Education Fund, the Patricia S. Fishman Educational Endowment, the Joanna M. and Michael R. Grosodonia Fund, the Frank Grosso and Diane Holahan Grosso Fund, the Mary Sue Jack Endowed Fund, the Memorial Art Gallery Community Access Endowment,  the Mary Ann Monley and William D. Rice Education Endowment, and the Josephine Tota Endowment.

The McPherson Director of Academic Programs is partially endowed by an anonymous donor and supported by the Joan Feinbloom School Programming Fund. Support for the Estelle B. Goldman Assistant Curator of Academic Programs is provided by the Estate of Estelle B. Goldman.

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