SPECIAL ADVISORY: To safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, the Yale University Art Gallery will remain closed until further notice. Learn More

School and Youth Groups

School and youth groups can explore the Gallery’s collection, buildings, and exhibitions on interactive visits. Guided visits are led by the museum’s Gallery Teachers, Yale graduate students trained as museum educators. Classroom teachers and group leaders are also welcome to lead self-guided visits, based on availability. All groups must register at least three weeks in advance.

Guided Visits for School and Youth Groups

Tours stress critical thinking, observation skills, and creative evaluation through close examination and discussion of works of art and meet Connecticut State Learning Standards. Teachers and group leaders are encouraged to choose one of five special themes listed below, which can be explored in a single collection area or in up to three areas of the museum. All themes are available for all ages. The tours can connect to school curriculum and can be adapted for all subject areas, if needed.


Guided school and group visits typically last one hour and may be scheduled to take place Tuesday through Friday at 10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, and after school, based on availability. Reservations are available November through August and must be made three weeks in advance. To request a guided tour for a school or youth group, please complete and submit the registration form.


Group Size

Guided Tours for school and youth groups can accommodate a maximum of 45 people, per hour. Groups will be divided into smaller groups of 10 to 15 students within the galleries, and one chaperone is required per every smaller group.


There are no fees for groups. Please bring a copy of your confirmation letter on the day of your visit.


The Art of Looking: Elements of Art

Through formal observation and creative evaluation of paintings, sculpture, and other objects, students will learn to discover the multiple meanings of art in The Art of Looking. Students will discuss and compare the formal elements (color, value, line, shape, form, texture, and space) and materials of each of the objects viewed, and they will be encouraged to explore the various meanings or interpretations of any given work of art.

Place and Time: Understanding History and Culture through Art

In this lesson, students will learn about different cultures and historical periods through the study of works of art. Objects discussed in Place and Time will be explored in both their artistic and social contexts, resulting in a deeper understanding of history and cultures around the world. This lesson can easily be adapted for specific requests.

Expression and Gesture: Body Language and Mark Making

Expression and Gesture introduces students to finding emotion in art through analysis of form, figure, and gesture. Students will discuss how body stance, facial expressions, hand gestures, and physical motions are used by artists to depict subjects from the past and present in portraiture and sculpture.

Writing about Art: The Language of Art

In Writing about Art, students will explore how artists and writers tell stories. Through a visual exploration of mood, setting, plot, and character, students will articulate the narrative aspects of works of art at the Gallery. Lessons may include point-of-view or descriptive writing or drawing.

The Museum: The Building, Display, and Design

The Museum is designed to help students understand the role of the museum in our culture and how art is displayed in various contexts. Students may focus on architecture, display, and decisions made in a museum.

Self-Guided Visits for School and Youth Groups

If your group prefers to visit the Gallery without one of our teaching staff leading the tour, you may also schedule a self-guided visit. Scheduling your visit helps us ensure that the galleries and collection areas you want to see will be available to you. Self-guided visits may be scheduled Tuesday through Friday at 10:00 am, 11:15 am, 12:30 pm, and after school, and Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. All groups of ten or more must register at least three weeks in advance. Acceptance of your reservation request is based on availability. Groups who show proof of registration at the Information Desk will have priority in the galleries. Unregistered groups may be asked to return at a later time. This policy is designed to provide a pleasurable learning experience for everyone, and to ensure the safety and security of both museum visitors and art objects. To schedule a self-guided visit, please complete and submit the registration form.

Group Size

Teachers or group leaders may schedule a self-guided visit for a maximum of 45 people at no charge. Groups must be divided into smaller groups of 15 within the galleries and one chaperone is required per every smaller group.