The Barnes Foundation
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School District of Philadelphia programs

School District of Philadelphia programs

The Barnes Foundation is pleased to offer the following programs, which are completely grant-funded and include all materials, transportation and admission for participants.  Registration is required.

The Barnes Foundation smART Fund for Education, established by GSK, provides generous annual support for K-8 education outreach programs in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP)

Pictures and Words (2nd Grade)
This engaging, interdisciplinary program advances and supports career goals and skills in art and literacy.  Led by teaching artists and Barnes educators, it includes an in-classroom lesson followed by a gallery visit and a second in-classroom lesson. Students will respond to examples of art from the Barnes collection through narrative writing, poetry, and art-making activities. Each participating class receives a teacher’s notebook of pre- and post-visit literacy and art activities, as well as two teaching posters.

Sponsored by 
GSK  Hamilton Family Foundation     TD 

Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Arts Education Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation

Art Speaks! (4th Grade)
Developed in collaboration with several Philadelphia art institutions, this program helps students practice literacy skills while exploring works of art.  On a visit to the Barnes Foundation, students discuss the collection and record their responses to it in a journal.  Each class receives a teacher’s notebook with an orientation DVD, teaching posters from five art institutions, and pre- and post-visit literacy and art activities.

Art Speaks! is organized and administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in partnership with the Barnes Foundation, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Art of Looking (5th and 6th Grades)
The Art of Looking shows students how the elements of composition (light, line, color, space) are connected to other subject areas.  Led by Barnes educators, this program consists of an in-classroom lesson and a visit to the Barnes.  Fifth graders examine light and shadow from artistic and scientific perspectives, and sixth graders use mathematical vocabulary to analyze paintings.  At both grade levels, students compare and contrast works of art and participate in a hands-on project in their school classrooms before visiting the Barnes Foundation to continue the discussion in front of the works of art.

Sponsored by

Additional funding provided by the Connelly Foundation and the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust.

Crossing Boundaries (7th and 8th Grades)
Crossing Boundaries integrates art appreciation with social studies, mathematics, and literacy.  Seventh graders learn about African sculpture traditions and observe the influence of African sculpture on the innovations of European modern artists. Eighth graders use the Barnes Foundation’s unique ensemble displays (wall arrangements) to analyze art across geographic regions and create their own ensembles using proportional reasoning.  Students in both grades participate in two in-classroom lessons and visit the Barnes Foundation to explore the art they have already studied in depth.

To apply, click here.

Sponsored by  

Additional funding provided by the Connelly Foundation.

Subaru of America. Inc., has generously supported educational outreach programs at the Barnes Foundation by providing a vehicle for our faculty to use for classroom visits throughout the School District of Philadelphia.


Support for Outreach Programs in the School District of Philadelphia is provided in part by



Kline and Specter

The Syde Hurdus Foundation

wells fargo

Additional support for Barnes education programs is provided by

K-12 Group Visit

Request a visit for your K-12 group online.

Contact Us

For more information about any of our education programs, contact the Education Department at 215.278.7300.

Teacher Resources

Teachers and educators, learn more about how you can enhance your skills as an arts and humanities educator at the Barnes.

Learn more about the new Philadelphia campus.

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