School Visits & Programs

We welcome pre-K-12 classes to the Museum for gallery and studio instruction. Consistent with NYS P-12 guidance, we encourage participants to “Stay Home When Sick.” Consistent with Cornell policy, masks will be required of students, teachers, and any chaperones for gallery and studio instruction sessions. (Updated April 6, 2022)

Our school programs support student and teacher learning in pre-K through Grade 12, emphasizing connections with art from diverse cultural traditions, geographic regions, and time periods. Students participate in object study, gallery activities, writing, discussion, and studio workshops linked to curricula in art, social studies, language arts, music, science, and math. Class visits develop visual literacy and encourage close looking and critical thinking skills, while meeting curricular goals and New York State Learning Standards. Our experienced educators can adapt our programs to meet your teaching needs, through both in-person and virtual programs.

To arrange for your program please begin by emailing Carol Hockett. Visit our Learn at Home page for sessions made for families as well as homeschool groups and learning pods.)

Major funding for the Museum’s school programs has been provided by Evalyn Milman, Class of 1960, and Stephen Milman, Class of 1958, MBA 1959, as well as grants from the New York State Council on the Arts ​and the J. M. McDonald Foundation..

Learn with Us: In Our Galleries

Guided by our experienced museum educators, your class will engage deeply with a carefully selected group of artworks on display in our galleries. Explore broad themes by connecting works of art from different time periods and parts of the world, or choose to focus on the artistic traditions of one culture. Tours last approximately one hour and are organized for groups of 10 to 25 students. Studio activities can be designed by request and allow us to incorporate creative, hands-on activities into museum programs. Studio sessions can expand the visit to two hours.

Select a theme or topic from the following list, or get in touch with us to design a program tailored to your curricular needs:

  • Storytelling
  • Art & Nature
  • Elements and Principles of Design
  • Expressing Culture (China, Exploring Japan, Africa, Mesoamerica)
  • Rotating themes based on special exhibitions

The Museum’s displays are continually changing, offering special exhibitions, works on loan from other institutions, and curricular installations designed in collaboration with Cornell professors. Certain works of art may not be on view when your class visits. We have the flexibility to supplement our time in the galleries with resources including 3D-printed objects, high-resolution digital images, and touch cart materials.

Many in-person programs may be modified and offered fully virtually.

Learn with Us: In Your Classroom

Our educators can visit your classroom! Following the same guided inquiry and close looking methods we use in the Museum, our discussions will center on high-resolution digital images and outreach objects we can take to your school.

Select a theme or topic from the following list, or get in touch with us to design something tailored to your curricular needs:

  • In Focus: Terra-cotta Warrior Figure
  • In Focus: Jaguar Effigy Jar
  • Climate Change
  • Immigration
  • Social Justice
  • Exploring Egypt
  • Masks
  • Coding
  • Face-to-Face
  • Four-Footed Friends
  • Storytelling
  • Art & Nature
  • Elements and Principles of Design
  • Expressing Culture (China, Japan, Africa, Mesoamerica)
  • Rotating themes based on special exhibitions

Learn with Us: Virtually

Virtual visits emphasize interactive discussions and energetic pacing. We adapt the guided inquiry and engagement methods we use in the Museum to work with any class, anywhere. 

Select a theme or topic from the following list, or get in touch with us to design something tailored to your curricular needs:

  • In Focus: Terra-cotta Warrior Figure
  • In Focus: Jaguar Effigy Jar
  • Climate Change
  • Immigration
  • Social Justice
  • Exploring Egypt
  • Masks
  • Coding
  • Face-to-Face
  • Four-Footed Friends
  • Storytelling
  • Art & Nature
  • Elements and Principles of Design
  • Expressing Culture (China, Japan, Africa, Mesoamerica)
  • Rotating themes based on special exhibitions

Self-Guided Tours

Teachers are welcome to bring classes to the Museum on their own, with adequate chaperones. There is no charge for classes visiting the Museum on their own. However, advance notice is appreciated to reserve a place in the schedule.