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Reserved Experiences For Schools

While the Freer is closed for renovation, some of your favorite works might not be on view. When the building reopens in 2017, we will resume tours of our Chinese art including bronzes and jades, arts of Japan and Korea, ancient Egyptian art, manuscripts, and Whistler's Peacock Room. In the meantime, enjoy your experience at the Sackler, where you can view our special exhibitions as well as selections from our collections of South Asian and Himalayan art and Cambodian ceramics.

Sackler tours will be conducted until July 9, 2017.

Tours for the 2017-2018 school year for the Freer and the Sackler will resume October 23, 2017.

For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.

Making a Reservation | Our Approach | Tour Topics

Making a Reservation

  1. Choose an experience and day that works for your group.
  2. Review the Terms and Conditions.
  3. Submit a request at least four weeks in advance using the online form.
    • If you are unable to submit the form online, print and fax it to 202.312.1930.
    • Submitting a form does not guarantee a reservation.
    • Please note: Reserved Experiences for Schools are limited to a maximum of 45 students. If you are planning to come with more than 45 students, please visit the self-guided experiences page.
  4. If your group is planning to visit in less than four weeks, complete the request form on the self-guided experiences page.
  5. Plan your visit.


In our tours at the Freer|Sackler, we aim for students to:
  • Be inspired by works of art
  • Understand commonalities across cultures
  • Appreciate differences between cultures
  • Understand the world through disciplinary and interdisciplinary study

All tours are highly interactive, incorporating a variety of learning opportunities such as:

  • Close looking
  • Describing
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Developing questions
  • Making choices
  • Creating visual, written, and/or kinesthetic responses to artworks
  • Engaging with hands-on objects

Tours support the following Common Core/national standards of learning:
Social Studies National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (National Council for the Social Studies)

K–12 themes:
Time, continuity, and change
People, places, and environments
Global connections

Visual Arts National Standards for Arts Education (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations)

K–12 standards:
Using knowledge of structures and functions
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

English Language Arts English Language Arts Common Core Standards
K–12 strands:
Speaking and listening

*Tours support these standard strands if writing activities are included in the experience.

Global Competence Framework National Education Association

K-12 Matrix for the Arts
Students investigate the world beyond their immediate environment
Students use the arts to recognize their own and others’ perspectives
Students communicate their ideas effectively with diverse audiences using art


Visit our educators' resource page for an overview of events, online guides, and print materials.


Animals and Nature in Asian Art

45 students
Recommended for grades K–3
Description How do people create art to express their relationships with nature? In this engaging tour—designed for our youngest school visitors—students look closely at flowers, plants, and creatures (both real and imagined) in the arts of Asia. Students will broaden their knowledge and ideas about the natural world by comparing and contrasting depictions of nature across cultures. They will be able to make connections between their previous knowledge about nature and animals and what they see in the galleries.

Exploring the Arts of Asia

45 students
Recommended for grades 3–12
Description The creation of art is a universal human endeavor, but what connects artworks across cultures and what sets them apart? Students investigate art objects from across Asia, exploring commonalities and differences in cultures, aesthetics, and ideas.

Look and Discover

45 students
Recommended for grades K–8
Description How can we learn to see more when looking at art? Students will explore the museum’s galleries and spend time looking closely at artworks depicting various styles and cultural traditions. They will have the opportunity to describe what they see and consider how the elements of art—line, color, shape, pattern, etc.—help us to understand where, when, why, and how these artworks were created.

Perspectives around the World

45 students
Recommended for grades 6–12
Description What can artworks from around the world tell us about cultural interaction and artistic expression? Using a selection of artworks from Asia, students will explore how cultural interaction affects the development of artistic products, ideas, concepts, knowledge, and aesthetics. They will explore how, despite differing access to information, technology, and resources, individuals and groups produce meaningful art that enables human connection and expression around the world.

Links to Online Resources by Area

Related information

Self-guided groups

If your group of ten or more plans to visit the galleries on its own, we ask that you register a week in advance using the online form. Space in the galleries is limited, and advance registration for groups helps us avoid crowding.


To request a reservation for an adult or university group, here's what you need to know.


For questions about tours that are not answered here, call 202.633.1012 or e-mail asiatours@si.edu.

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.