Museum Tours and Art Lessons

Interactive, skill-based activities led by professionally trained art educators

Museum tours are grounded in PAFA's collection of American art from the 18th century to the present. Each tour is centered on developing visual thinking strategies  and utilizes academic concepts to engage and understand works of art, meeting goals in the National Common Core curriculum standards. 

Art Lessons are designed to complement and deepen the Museum tour experience and also can stand alone offering hands-on activities involving variety of artistic media and include instruction and materials.

Museum tours and art lessons must be scheduled in advance. Details are below.

Reserve your tour

For additional information or questions, email or call 215 972-2054

Tour and Art Lesson Details

Gallery Guide with a group of students

Museum Tour 

Children making art

Art Lesson

90 minutes- total experience

Group size -Up to 60 students. For larger groups please inquire.

60 minutes

Group size -Up to 60 students. For larger groups please inquire.

Available Tuesday–Friday
10:00 AM–3:00 PM
Available Tuesday–Friday
10:00 AM–3:00 PM

$6 per student - General School Student Admission

$3 per students - Philadelphia Public and Charter Schools

$5 per student
FREE admission for 1 chaperone for every 10 students. Additional chaperones pay  student Museum admission rate 

Available Museum Tours

Titles & DescriptionsGrade LevelPair with Art Lessons

Let’s Look 

Discover a variety of American art masterpieces presented in PAFA’s collection and learn about the museum. Students analyze subject matter, discuss color, line, and shape, and apply a range of techniques to engage with art works. 

Grades K-2 
Special Needs & Autistic Support classes 

Mixed Media 

Telling Tales 

Immerse yourself in stories from art that draws on mythology, literature, history, imagination, and everyday life. Students analyze visual narratives, observe the use of symbolism and personification, and engage through writing with the ways artists conveyed emotions. 

Grades K-5, 6-8 

Mixed Media, Printmaking 

American History in Art 

Engage your critical thinking, observation, and discussion skills focusing on the theme of, "Who gets to tell the story?" in American art and history. The tour visits PAFA’s collection and explores some of the historic genres of art, namely, portraiture, history painting, still life, genre scenes, and landscape. Juxtaposing artworks from different time periods, the exhibition layout provides striking visual counterpoints that encourage new dialogues about who makes American art, and thus, American history and identity.  

Grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 


Mixed Media, Printmaking, Figure Drawing (9-12 only) 


Innovations and Art 

Explore how art and science have worked together for centuries to create artistic masterpieces. Students will trace the innovations of art making tools, learn how different pigments are made and the science of why colors in some great artworks last for hundreds of years while others are fading away. 

Grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 

Mixed Media, Printmaking 

Race, Gender, and Diversity in Art 

Observe and discuss the diversity of American artists in PAFA’s collection. This tour addresses central social themes such as race, social justice, and gender throughout American History and how a museum challenges dominant narratives in our society. 

Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12

Mixed Media, Printmaking, Figure Drawing (9-12 only) 

Engaging Contemporary Art 

Discover the ways artists use new techniques and approaches to translate important social and cultural issues into their art. Students will analyze works to develop their own arguments and interpretations. 

Grades 6-8 and 9-12 Mixed Media, Printmaking, Figure Drawing (9-12 only)  

Special Exhibitions

till July 7, 2024

Artists As Cultivators examines how artists have fostered and sustained critical social dialogues over three centuries through their use of nature as a subject, theme, and material. 

Artists as Cultivators | PAFA - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 

June 27, 2024–November 7, 2024

Layers of Liberty: Philadelphia and the Appalachian Environment is an exhibition that explores Philadelphia’s relationship to the Appalachian region. 

Layers of Liberty: Philadelphia and the Appalachian Environment | PAFA - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

July 18, 2024–December 1, 2024

The exhibition of the Atwater Kent Collection (former Philadelphia History Museum)

Philadelphia Revealed: Unpacking the Attic is a large, interactive display of over 600 authentic objects, telling the story of Philadelphia’s city history collection. Inspiring pride in our great city, this major exhibition reflects 350 years of Philly history.

Philadelphia Revealed: Unpacking the Attic | PAFA - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

All ages Mixed Media

School of Fine Arts Tour 

Learn more about PAFA’s exceptional facilities, faculty, and student life by touring the facilities and studios. Only available for High School students. It is possible to schedule as a short addition to another tour or activity for no additional cost. 

Grades 9-12 only 

Available Art Lessons

Titles & Descriptions

 Grade Level 

Pair with Field Trip

Mixed Media 

Through experimentation and play, students work with multiple mediums of art to uncover how they react with each other and create a special work of art to take home! Art projects will reflect subject matter related to offered tour topics or special exhibitions. 

Grades K-12 


Meditative Art through the Continuous Line 

Through observation and experimentation, students will discover a variety of meditative art practices including the long-standing artistic tradition of continuous line drawings. They will explore examples from PAFA’s collection as well as their own environment and follow along on a series of guided observational drawing activities that are fun for all skill levels! 

Grades 6-8, 9-12 

Race, Gender, and Diversity in Art, Rising Sun Special Exhibition Tour 


Experience the process of relief printing using a matrix, paper, ink, and brayer. Students design and print their own pieces to bring home. 

Grades 3-12 


Cast Hall Drawing (Grades 9-12 only, limited to 30 students) 

Sketch from casts of famous sculptures from antiquity to the present in PAFA’s unique and prized Historic Cast Hall. Availability is limited. 



Figure Drawing 

Learn about the principles of composition and utilize key drawing skills like shading, perspective, and value. Instructors may focus on still life objects, portraits, or human figures. 



Common Questions

Museum Etiquette

To help students prepare for their museum trip, we suggest to introduce them to our interactive guide on museum etiquette.

Launch the Interactive Guide

Group Size

Reservations up to 60 students. For larger groups, please inquire using the contact form below or emailing


Allow at least  90 minutes for complete Museum experience.  


Lunch space may be arranged and must be requested at time of booking. Subject to availability and limited to 60 kids max.


Subsidized transportation may be available. Book in advance to secure fund availability. 


School groups are required to bring 1 chaperone for every 10 students, however with recent changes to the Pennsylvania State requirements for all chaperones to have background checks and clearances, PAFA understands the financial burden this can have on Parents and Guardians. Please email to inquire in regards to this policy should your school find it difficult to have this ratio. Chaperones are admitted free of charge. (Additional chaperones are welcome and will be charged student museum admission rate.)


High school groups are welcome to self-guide, reservation is required. Self-guiding students must be with a chaperone at all times.

Contact Us

PAFA offers programs for artists and art lovers of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about and make art.