Stories in Art (Ages 4–7)

Stories in Art introduces children to artists through careful looking, storytelling, and hands-on experimentation. Led by museum educators, each program includes reading a children’s book, exploring one work of art in the galleries, and completing a simple hands-on activity.  Each program is approximately 60 minutes.

The summer series is presented in a four-year cycle—Explore Italy, Discover Dutch Art, Tour de France, and American Adventure—where each topic highlights a different part of the West Building permanent collection.  The winter series investigates modern art in the East Building.

These free drop-in programs are designed for individual families, and we cannot accommodate groups.  Space is limited.  There is no advance registration; participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.  As a courtesy to the group, we will only accept sign-in for children in the age ranges listed. 

Sign-in for Stories in Art will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Mondays and at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Summer Story Series: Explore Italy

Would you like to visit Italy this summer? Pack your imagination and travel to the National Gallery of Art! You’ll meet Italian artists, investigate paintings and sculptures from Italy, and make a souvenir to document each adventure. Ride a gondola through the canals of Venice, meet a mysterious giant, learn how artists painted with gold, and tour ancient buildings of Rome. You will receive a passport to the Summer Story Series and a stamp for each program attended. Collect three or more stamps to receive a prize!

Multiple-Visit Program

The Gallery offers a series of programs—Stories in Art (ages 4-7) and Artful Conversations (ages 8-11)—designed to engage families across the developmental spectrum of their child.  Both programs aim to inspire curiosity and strengthen observation and thinking skills, which develop over time and through multiple encounters with works of art.  By slowing down and closely examining one work of art during each program session, families deepen their understanding of art.  The programs aim to provide models for families to explore art together on their own in the museum.

Stories in Art and Artful Conversations are organized into a summer series (four consecutive weeks in July and August) and winter series (monthly programs from January through March).  Over the course of eight years, a child has the opportunity to participate in seven programs a year, for a total of fifty-six different topics. 


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