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Perspective Taking through Art

Grades 7 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

Art can be a powerful tool for cultivating empathy, respect, and self-awareness. On this tour, students will experience two or three works of art from different perspectives using creative writing, visual notetaking, and movement techniques.

Students will be encouraged to think critically, as a group, about the multiple perspectives that exist within and around a work of art. They will attempt to step into the shoes of the artist or a figure represented in a work of art—and to consider the different experiences and viewpoints they discover in the process.

Looking and Learning Skills

On this tour, students will explore two or three works of art from different perspectives using creative writing, visual notetaking, and movement techniques. Students will practice the following skills:

• Making and articulating careful observations.
• Formulating questions that demonstrate curiosity and connection through empathy.
• Examining works of art from the perspectives of peers, the artists, and the people in the art.
• Reasoning with evidence from the works of art themselves—developing narratives based on what's seen in the work of art.
• Connecting new ideas to prior knowledge and personal experience.

Examples of Works Featured on Tour

In-Person Tour Information

Group Size: Up to 60 students
Length: 90 minutes; Offered at 12:30 p.m. or 1:45 p.m.
Meeting Location: West Building Rotunda

Additional Gallery Resources

Art in the Classroom Poster
Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Download poster (PDF 685KB)

The poster offers information and activities to encourage students to consider the perspectives of a famous regiment of African American Civil War soldiers through careful looking at art images and use of creative-writing prompts. It 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.