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Come to the Barnes, or we'll come to you. Our programs will nourish your students’ imaginations and serve your curricular goals.

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Free Programs

Grant-funded programs are available for the School District of Philadelphia (K–12) and some Catholic schools (grades 5–7 only). They include materials, transportation, and gallery admission. Space is limited; if sponsored programs are full, Philadelphia school groups can participate in our fee-based programs.

Pictures and Words (Grade 3)

Students respond to works of art through narrative writing, poetry, and art-making activities. We provide a teacher’s notebook filled with pre- and post-visit literacy and art activities as well as a teaching poster.

Format: two in-classroom lessons, one gallery visit.

Art of Looking (Grades 5–6)

This program is an exploration of the elements of composition—light, line, color, and space—and their connection to other subject areas. Fifth-graders examine art from artistic and scientific perspectives; sixth-graders use mathematical vocabulary to analyze paintings. Students compare works of art and participate in a hands-on classroom project before their gallery visit.

Format: two in-classroom lessons, one gallery visit.

Sponsored by the Connelly Foundation.

Crossing Boundaries (Grades 7–8)

An integration of art appreciation with social studies, math, and literacy. Seventh- and eighth-graders learn about African sculpture and observe the influence of these traditions on the innovations of European modern artists. 

Format: two in-classroom lessons, one gallery visit. 

Sponsored by:

Additional support provided by the Connelly Foundation.

The Barnes Foundation smART Fund for Education, established by GSK, is an endowment that provides generous annual support for K–8 education outreach programs in the School District of Philadelphia.

Education outreach programs for School District of Philadelphia students are generously supported by gifts made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. The Barnes Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their support.

Subaru of America has generously supported K–12 outreach programs by providing a vehicle for Barnes educators to use to travel to city schools.

Fee-Based Programs

General gallery programs are available to K–12 students. We tailor lessons to meet the needs, abilities, and grade level of each group. Gallery lessons run October–June; register at least 30 days in advance. $5 per person, including chaperones.

General Introduction

Explore highlights of the history and collection of the Barnes Foundation. Using the concepts of line, light, color, and space, learn to analyze ensembles and individual works of art.

Impressionism and Post-impressionism

Learn about the qualities of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Using color, light, and brushstroke, evaluate the artistic representation of the world in a selection of pieces.


Using color, light, line, and space as well as the ideas of balance, symmetry, and unity, consider how works in ensembles fit together. Learn to make comparisons and see connections between art of different cultures, mediums, periods, and styles.

Landscapes in Art and Nature

View and compare landscape paintings in a lesson that focuses on the visual qualities of nature and how artists capture nature in their art.


Through a close look at images of people, discuss how artists use tools and materials, including color, brushstroke, and composition, to express identity.

Self-Guided Visits

High school students are permitted to self-tour the collection. Pre-visit materials are available, and admission to the special exhibition is included in the ticket price. Admission is $5 per person, including chaperones.

Free Sundays for Educators

On Sundays, the Barnes offers free general admission to K–12 educators working in the School District of Philadelphia or Philadelphia parochial schools. Tickets can be redeemed on-site only, by presenting a valid school-issued ID. Limit one ticket per educator. This benefit is made possible by an anonymous donor.