High School Seminar 2.0

With the renovation of the East Building and limited access to some collections, we are taking  the opportunity to revamp the High School Seminar. Drawing on the rich collections of the National Gallery of Art as a resource, this multiple-session program introduces upper-level high school students to the skills necessary to study art history and art-making techniques. As part of a community of like-minded students, participants will learn how to interpret works of art through close observation, in-gallery group discussions, and personal reflection. Through art-making activities, they will discover connections between art and life. Students will learn about art and the museum by discussing and responding creatively to original works in the galleries, and by researching themes of their choice. Behind-the-scenes visits with museum professionals introduce career possibilities. The program culminates with both a group project and individual gallery talks by the participants on their chosen themes.

Students must be sponsored by their art teachers. Participation is based on a selective application process. Only one student per school will be accepted. 

Sessions meet for ten Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Attendance at all ten sessions is mandatory. Lunch will be provided.

2015–2016 Schedule

There are currently no seminars scheduled. Please check back in early June for the new dates.


Please review the student requirements and sponsoring teacher responsibilities before applying.

Sponsoring Teacher Responsibilities

  • Explain the components of and obligations related to the program to the potential student.
  • Nominate a potential student using the following factors as guidelines. The nominee should:
    • Be a highly motivated upper-level art or art history student.
    • Have demonstrated a personal commitment to art.
    • Be committed to meeting the attendance requirements (see below).
    • Have parental support.
  • Coordinate submission of your student's application together with the Sponsoring Teacher form.
  • Submit an application with your student's materials.
  • Attend orientation at the National Gallery of Art on October 25, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Work with your student on assignments and studio projects before each seminar session. 
  • Participate in an ongoing dialogue with seminar instructors and staff via e-mail.

Student Requirements

  • Secure nomination and sponsorship from an art teacher whose class you will be taking in the fall of 2014.
  • Submit an application along with your teacher’s materials.
  • Attend the first seminar with your parent or guardian.
  • Attend all ten seminar sessions.
    October 18, 25
    November 15, 22
    December 13
    January 10, 17
    February 7, 21, 28

The student application will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Essays are clearly written, reflecting thoughtful consideration of the content and high level of understanding.
  • Acceptance of the attendance policy.
  • Ability to attend all seminar dates.
  • Submission of a complete application on time.

Student Attendance Policy

After two absences, students will be asked to resign from the seminar.

Sponsoring teacher, parent/guardian, and the student must acknowledge this policy in the completed application.

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Slideshow: High School Seminar

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Slideshow: Student Artwork


Contact Us

For more information, contact the education assistant for the High School Seminar at (202) 842-6683.