Engaging with original works of art offers your students the chance to experience the diverse ideas and creativity embodied there, and to improve their visual literacy.
At the museum, students are encouraged to investigate ideas. Through dialogue with each other and in response to works of art, they practice skills needed to participate in an increasingly diverse and dynamic world. Docent-led tours include a range of activities designed to appeal to different learning styles. Tours foster critical thinking and assessment, communication, collaboration, creativity, and interdisciplinary thinking. Above all, an experience at the Hood Museum of Art is designed to nurture wonder and curiosity in students of all ages.
We offer docent-led tours for groups of eight or more, free of charge, Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:00 am-4:30 pm. Tours are planned in 90-minute blocks for maximum flexibility and last about 70 minutes. We request that you schedule your tour at least three weeks in advance.
To schedule group tours of the museum, please use our School and Group Registration form here. Teachers are encouraged to choose from the five tour themes listed below. All tours may be adapted to different subject areas and ages. You may also choose a tour based on a collection area. Please use the form to schedule tours of public sculpture and the Orozco mural also. See the registration form for details. Questions? Please contact us at [email protected] or call (603) 646-1469.
Artists Challenging History
History in the West has traditionally privileged North American and Western European narratives. This tour will introduce students to the perspectives of Indigenous, African, African American, Asian, and Latinx artists as they explore identity and challenge Western representations of their histories and cultures.
Art of Engagement
Can art inspire social change? This tour explores the artist as activist. Students will discuss and evaluate works intended to provoke, highlight injustice, or motivate change. Additionally, students will consider what issues are important to them today.
Artists as Innovators
How do visual artists innovate and disrupt norms? This tour focuses on artistic thinking and practice—how artists experiment with ideas, materials, and processes to create works that surprise and challenge.
Across Cultures and Time
How does art help us embrace our differences and recognize our shared humanity? Students will compare universal themes expressed in works across cultures and time. Themes are tailored to the group's interest; examples could include identity, spirituality, and power. Students will be invited to reflect on their own experience in relation to the themes explored.
How do works of art preserve and sustain cultural identity? This tour explores the role of art in cultural preservation, continuity, and evolution through close examination of art from one or two cultures.
Contemporary Native American Ceramics, Sculpture, and Design
From April to August, the museum will feature spectacular historic and contemporary Native American ceramics. The North American Indigenous artists featured here draw not only on the materiality of the clay but also on the knowledge embedded within it. The works, ranging from small-scale vessels to a full-sized ceramic bison skeleton, address important themes involving community, identity, gender, land, and responsibility, and ultimately come together to ask the question: How do we create a world in which future generations can thrive?
Ongoing tours include the following:
The Orozco Murals
José Clemente Orozco, one of the three most famous Mexican muralists, came to Dartmouth in the early 1930s and painted the fresco cycle The Epic of American Civilization in Baker Library. In this mural, Orozco depicted his interpretation of the history of the Americas, from ancient Aztec culture through the arrival of Cortéz and into the early 20th century. Tours of this dynamic work addresses issues of class, cultural conflict, education, religion, and power.
This tour is recommended for students in grades six and above.
- View related Teacher Resources.
Tours of outdoor sculpture are available in fall, spring, and summer.
Outdoor sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly, Clement Meadmore, Kiki Smith, Mark di Suvero, Allan C. Houser, Beverly Pepper, Joel Shapiro and others dot the campus. These works are primarily abstract and address many curricular topics, including Native American art and culture, women's rights, and concepts in geography, math, and science. Each work enlivens the surrounding space and draws our attention to the architecture of nearby buildings. Tour experiences will feature a selection of works and can include looking, sketching, creative writing, and art activities.
This tour is recommended for students of all ages.
Our workshops equip teachers to integrate learning through the visual arts into their classrooms. We supply a range of resources to help connect our current exhibitions with New Hampshire and Vermont state curricula. Participants are also eligible for contact hours toward teacher recertification.
If you would like to receive information about our workshops directly via our mailings and email announcements, please contact the Education Department.
Native American Ceramics, Sculpture, and Design
Saturday, April 4
11 am-12:30 pm
Join your colleagues for a preview of historic and contemporary Native American ceramics. The workshop will include an overview of the exhibitions and a sampling of teaching strategies students will experience on tours. Space is limited.
The Hood Museum of Art offers two multiple-visit programs for elementary school students: ArtStart (for grades 1–3) and Images (for grades 4–6). Each program offers a journey of discovery, creativity, and expression. Guided explorations and interactive teaching in the museum enable students to develop critical-thinking skills for interpreting works of art and relating them to their lives.
Images is a program offered for regional elementary school students in grades 4 through 6 that brings groups to the museum five times during the year. Each visit includes time in the galleries, where students learn from and discuss original works of art with a professional museum educator. Afterward, in the studio, students complete a hands-on art project that relates to what they looked at and learned in the galleries.
Images is an innovative art education program that provides students with valuable skills for analyzing and interpreting works of art and increases their understanding and appreciation of the history, customs, beliefs, and artistic traditions of cultures and peoples from around the world.
Our Images program guide provides additional information about the program, including the topics of the five museum visits.
ArtStart is a multiple-visit program designed for students in grades 1 through 3. Participants visit the museum four times during the year. During each visit, students spend time in the galleries exploring art objects from around the world and in the studio creating their own works of art.
Our ArtStart program guide provides additional information about the program, including the topics of the four museum visits.