High School Seminar 2.0

Using the rich collections of the National Gallery of Art as a resource, this ten-session program introduces upper-level high school art students to the skills necessary to study art history, as well as artmaking techniques, publication design, and museum careers. As part of a community of like-minded students, participants learn how to explore the meaning of works of art through close observation, in-gallery group discussions, research on themes of their choice, and visual journaling. Behind-the-scenes visits with museum professionals introduce career possibilities, from curating to education to horticultural management. The program culminates with student-led gallery talks and the creation of a publication inspired by the students’ research that incorporates visual art and creative writing.

Students must be sponsored by their art teachers. Only one student per school will be accepted. Acceptance to the program is based on a selective application process. The High School Seminar is a partnership between schools in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the National Gallery of Art.

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

October 17, 24
November 14, 21
December 12
January 9, 30
February 6, 20, 27


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 24, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 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 2015.
  • Submit an application along with your teacher’s materials.
  • Attend the first seminar with your parent or guardian.
  • Attend all ten seminar sessions.
    October 17, 24
    November 14, 21
    December 12
    January 9, 30
    February 6, 20, 27

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.

Slideshow: High School Seminar


High School Seminar Video (5:44)
Highlights from the 2014–2015 High School Seminar


Applications for 2015–2016 are no longer being accepted.

Contact Us

For more information, please call (202) 842-6683 or email museum educator Marjorie Johnson at ml-johnson@nga.gov.