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American Connections

Grades 4 through 12

The National Gallery of Art will offer a selection of in-person and virtual tours (using Zoom) for fall 2022.

Requests for all tours (October 3 – December 2) will be accepted from August 1 – November 4, 2022

Works of art are primary sources that can illuminate American history and culture. On this tour, students will look carefully and explore landscapes, portraits, and scenes of everyday life. They will actively engage with works of art through discussion, creative writing, and sketching. This tour can be tailored to connect with different periods in American history.

Looking and Learning Skills

Students will practice these looking and learning skills:

  • Making and articulating careful observations.
  • Formulating questions that demonstrate curiosity and engagement.
  • Comparing and connecting different works of art.
  • Connecting new ideas learned on the tour to prior knowledge about American history and culture.
  • Interpreting works of art as primary sources about American art and society.

Virtual Tour Information

Length: 60 minutes

Examples of Works Featured on Tour

Additional Resources

Uncovering America

19th-Century American Art
Online interactive unit; printable learning resources and guides

American Art
Free-loan DVDs and teaching packets

Art in the Classroom Poster
"The Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial," 1900, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Download poster (PDF 685KB)

Images and creative-writing prompts will encourage students to consider the perspectives of a famous regiment of African American Civil War soldiers. This poster explores the artistic challenges of creating a meaningful memorial and tasks students with conceptualizing their own memorials.

Learn more about how the poster links to Common Core State Standards (PDF 71KB).

Tours must be scheduled at least four weeks in advance. Groups must contain at least 15 students.

Once your tour has been scheduled, you will receive an email confirmation in 10 business days.

Watch a video (grades 1-4) or download a presentation (grades 4-12) (PPT, 4MB) to show your students what to expect on their tour. Please review museum policies, location, parking, accessibility, security, lunch options, and other important visitor information.

Our tour scheduler is available to answer questions on Monday through Wednesday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. (September through May). Please contact her at (202) 842-6249 [email protected].

Also see our Frequently Asked Questions about School Tours.

We greatly value your feedback about your school tour experience. Please submit this form to share your feedback.