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Self-Guided Groups

Teachers are welcome to guide their students through the museum independently. Please complete the self-guided group form at least four weeks prior to your visit. This assists museum staff in preventing overcrowding in the galleries. Be sure to indicate whether you would like to receive information about Gallery teaching resources. All registered self-guided groups will receive a free poster.

Planning Your Visit

Our pre-visit video and presentation (PPT, 4MB) can help orient and introduce your students to the National Gallery of Art. Learn about the collection, preview the free kids' West Building audio tour, see which exhibitions will be on view, explore floor plans, read visitor information, and check the Calendar of Events. Access online educational materials and borrow free teaching resources.

Remember that exploring a few works of art in depth can be more rewarding than quickly surveying many works. Also, please be aware that some works of art may change gallery location or be removed from view before the website can be updated.

Students learn more during a museum visit when they feel comfortable in the environment. Prepare your students with pre-visit activities. Reviewing key vocabulary terms and introducing an artist or theme from the tour can help students come to the museum ready to learn.

Policies for Self-Guided Groups

Students under ninth grade must be accompanied by an adult. Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of students.

Self-guided groups must yield to tours organized and scheduled by the Gallery. There should only be one group in a gallery at a time.

Do not touch the art. A distance of 12 inches must be maintained between visitors and works of art at all times.

Writing and sketching are allowed in the galleries using dry media only. Do not lean on walls, cases, or pedestals, or use them as writing surfaces.

Please complete this form at least four weeks prior to your visit. This assists museum staff in preventing overcrowding in the galleries.

Tour groups must be accompanied by one adult chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones must remain with the group at all times. It is the responsibility of chaperones to maintain orderly student behavior at the Gallery. Chaperone information cards outlining Gallery visitor policies may be printed in advance.

Tour  scheduler Jennifer Cross is available to answer questions Monday through Wednesday (September through May). Please contact her at (202) 842-6249 or  [email protected].

Also see our Frequently Asked Questions about School Tours.