K-12 Tours

K-12 Guided Tours

Guided tours last 90 minutes for grades 2-12, 60 minutes for Kindergarten and first grade, and include a 20-minute hands-on art activity that relates to a theme or artwork from the tour. On their tour, students will discuss 4-6 artworks in multiple exhibitions. Guided tours engage students in discussions about the artwork on view while encouraging critical thinking and the development of higher-order processing skills. All tours will feature artwork from the The Collection Galleries. Beginning March 28th, tours will begin featuring contemporary pieces from the collection in All Matterings of Mind: Transcendent Imagery From the Permanent Collection.

Winter & Spring 2017

People and Portraits
Recommended for grades K-5
Available January 24 through June 2, 2017

Discover cultures from around the world and throughout different time periods by exploring a variety of portraits.  This tour reinforces the English Language Arts Common Core standards of “Key Ideas and Details” and “Integration of Knowledge and Ideas.”  Request a tour.

Art History 101 at the Nasher
Recommended for grades 6-12
Available January 17 through June 2, 2017

Students will experience the history of art through the lens of the Nasher’s Collection. Tours will be interactive and discussion based, using visual thinking strategies and critical thinking skills to draw conclusions about the artwork and its significance. Request a tour.

Critical Conversations with Contemporary Art
Recommended for grades 9-12
Available March 7 through June 2, 2017

Using the contemporary paintings of Nina Chanel Abney, students will learn to look critically and to participate in provocative conversations about a diverse array of topics – from politics and protest to social media and celebrity. This tour will provide space for discussion and diverse opinions in a safe and conducive environment. Limited to groups of 30 or less. Request a tour.

Double Exposure: Connecting Science and Art at the Duke Gardens and Nasher Museum
Especially for 2nd grade classes
Available March 1 through June 2, 2017

 Students will sharpen observational skills, practice collecting data, discover connections between science and art, and engage in hands-on discovery as they visit both the Duke Gardens and Nasher Museum in a single day. This program includes 80 minutes of guided tours at each venue with a 50 minute lunch break. Students/schools bring their own lunch. Request a tour.

Español en el Museo
Recommended for grades 6-12
Available through June 2, 2017

Using the Nasher’s collection, students will explore the artistic legacy of Spanish art and culture, as well as native cultures before Spanish conquest. Tours will be interactive and discussion based, and include a hands-on activity and a Spanish language written activity. Request a tour.

Requesting a K-12 Guided Tour

Before requesting a K-12 Guided Tour, please check this calendar for tour availability. Tour times listed on the calendar are currently available for the number of students listed in parenthesis.


This calendar will be updated as often as possible, but it does not reflect a “real-time” schedule of K-12 tour reservations.


Self-guided groups or teacher-led school tours are permitted in all of our galleries. Admission fees apply for self-guided groups visiting the exhibition.

Self-guided visits must be scheduled in advance. Complete this form to schedule your self-guided visit or call 919-684-9244.

We highly recommend that educators preview exhibitions prior to the student visit to assure the content in each gallery is age appropriate.


What to Expect during a Guided Tour at the Nasher Museum of Art

  • Inquiry-based tour approach where students and Gallery Guide discuss artworks.
  • Opportunity to practice critical thinking skills.
  • Focused discussions on a selected group of about 6-10 works of art.
  • All guided tours meet multiple North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Standards.
  • Tours engage multiple learning styles.

Special Needs
Help us create an inclusive program. Please inform us in advance of any students with cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities in your group. We will do our best to adapt the program to best meet everyone’s needs.

Class Size
Classes will tour the museum in groups of 10 -15 students. Usually we can accommodate a maximum of 60 students per tour time.

Chaperones for Guided Tours
Grades K-5: 1 chaperone for every 5 students.
Grades 6-8: 2 chaperones for every 15 students.
Grades 9-12: 1 chaperone for every 15 students.

Chaperones for self-guided groups: We require 1 chaperone for every 5 students.

K-12 school groups may eat lunch or snacks in the Community Classroom only if this space is reserved in advance. The Community Classroom seats a maximum of 32 people. Weather permitting, school groups may picnic on museum grounds in designated areas only. Outside food and drink are not permitted anywhere else in the museum or on museum grounds.

K-12 Classroom Activities
Use these classroom activities with your students before or after a guided tour of Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art. These activities and lesson plans were developed with local educators who served on our Teacher Advisory Council.

Can’t make it on a tour of the exhibition? Many of these lessons could also be utilized as stand-alone activities utilizing projected images from the exhibition. Most images can be found online by searching for the artist and title or email nashered@duke.edu and we will send you a file of images.

Download a PDF of the lesson plans:

Collage – Romare Bearden & Collage Making (K-2)

Collage – Romare Bearden & Collage Making (3-5)

Collage – Romare Bearden & Collage Making (6-8)

Geography – Exploring the South through Photographs (K-2)

Geography – Exploring the South through Photographs (3-5)

Nature Watercolors, Walter Anderson (K-5)

Storytelling with Art (K-5)

The Art of Communication (6-12)

Identity and Place (K-5)

Opinion Writing (9-12)


Bus scholarships are available for a limited number of K-12 guided field trips to the museum. Please contact nashered@duke.edu, or call 919-684-9244, to find out if your school qualifies.


Contact the Education Associate
nashered@duke.edu / 919-684-9244