Teacher Workshops 2015–2016

Please check back this summer for information on 2016-2017 teacher workshops.

Workshops are designed to help teachers find meaning and pleasure in the visual arts. These programs introduce art in the Gallery's collection and special exhibitions, explore interdisciplinary curriculum connections, and model methods for teaching with art. All programs include teaching resource materials.

Teachers of all subjects (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), homeschoolers, and pre-service educators are welcome. Space is limited, so please register early.

J. Carter Brown Memorial Evening with Educators

David Smith, Circle II (1962), painted steel

David Smith, Circle II (1962), painted steel



Celebrate Sculpture!
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
4:30–7:30 p.m.

This annual open house for K–12 educators celebrates modern and contemporary sculpture in the Gallery’s permanent collection. Drop in on short teaching sessions that explore monumental artworks in the East Building’s Atrium through activities that emphasize sketching, visual analysis, and creative writing. Enjoy this opportunity to relax at the end of a school day, converse with colleagues over refreshments and dinner, and sample new ways to integrate art into your classroom instruction.

After-School Weekday Workshops

Joan Miró, The Farm (1921-22), oil on canvas

Joan Miró, The Farm (1921-22), oil on canvas



Thinking Routines to Integrate Art and Support Literacy
Two-part program: Wednesdays, November 4 and December 2, 2015
4:00–6:30 p.m.

Learn to integrate art into your curriculum to support literacy and a culture of thinking in your classroom.  Engaging works of art as visual “texts,” participants will practice careful observation, evidence-based responses, and purposeful speaking and listening. This two-part workshop introduces and deepens understanding of thinking routines: short, easy-to-learn structures designed by Harvard Project Zero. Instructional tools will be linked to Common Core State Standards. An assignment to do between sessions will encourage practice of and reflection upon the pedagogies taught.

Constant Troyon, The Approaching Storm (1849), oil on canvas on board

Constant Troyon, The Approaching Storm (1849), oil on canvas on board



Artful Orchestra
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Repeat date: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
4:00–6:30 p.m.

How does one’s understanding of a work of art develop? This workshop will consider the power of careful observation, attentive listening, imagination and collaboration in exploring a work of art. Using thinking routines and creative storytelling techniques that bring a work to life through sound, the workshop will model ways to cultivate the dispositions of observation and description, interpretation, and curiosity. We will conclude with time to reflect on the experience and consider how these approaches might support learning across disciplines. (No music experience required).

Auguste Renoir, The Dancer (1874), oil on canvas

Auguste Renoir, The Dancer (1874), oil on canvas



Painters of Modern Life/Looking Closely at French Impressionism
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Repeat date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
4:00–6:30 p.m.

This workshop highlights some of the radical innovations of the French impressionist painters while strengthening skills in visual analysis. Focusing on select paintings, participants will work collaboratively to observe, describe, and question what they see while weighing the visual evidence of the object against the viewpoints of French art critics in the 1860s. Strategies emphasize the critical, logical, and flexible thinking skills that are activated whenever learners are challenged to solve problems, engage in thoughtful discussion, and consider multiple points of view.

Saturday Workshops

Louise Bourgeois, M is for Mother (1998), pen and red ink with colored pencil and graphite on paper

Louise Bourgeois, M is for Mother (1998), pen and red ink with colored pencil and graphite on paper



Louise Bourgeois: No Exit
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Repeat date: Saturday, February 6, 2016
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Louise Bourgeois’s art is rooted in subjectivity—her childhood memories, love of literature and myth, and her relentless self-reflection through journaling and psychoanalysis. These inward tendencies allied her early on to the surrealist and existentialist artists of her native France. Her affinities for them are explored in the exhibition No Exit (the title of one of her artworks that references Jean-Paul Sartre’s play of the same name). Drawing upon this select group of drawings, prints, illustrated books and sculptures, participants will use her enigmatic imagery, love of parable, and wordplay as a springboard for their own creative writing.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Shaw Memorial (1900), patinated plaster

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Shaw Memorial (1900), patinated plaste



Art and Remembrance
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Repeat date: Saturday, March 12, 2016
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

This cross-disciplinary workshop focuses on Augustus Saint-Gaudens's Shaw Memorial, commissioned in the early 1880s and dedicated as a monument on Boston Common in 1897. This iconic sculpture commemorates Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts, the first Civil War regiment of African Americans enlisted in the North. Activities will explore the historical significance of the troop by examining primary sources and creative tributes in poetry and music inspired by these men and the monument to their bravery and sacrifice.


Please register for each workshop individually using the link below each workshop description. 


If you are unable to attend, please cancel your reservation using Eventbrite. Log into your account and go to the "My Tickets" page. Click on "View Order" and then click "Cancel Order." Note that if you reserved multiple spaces, this will cancel all reservations. If you need to make a change to the number of participants, please contact teacher@nga.gov. Please cancel no later than 14 days before the start of the workshop so we may fill your space from the waitlist. Refunds are not available. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our policies.


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