Self-guided visits are perfect for teachers who want to lead their own tours of the Museum. Groups are welcome to explore the MFAH art collections and any nonticketed exhibitions. All visits are free of charge with two weeks' advance registration. To register for a self-guided visit, click here.
What to Do During a Self-Guided Visit
The MFAH offers resources to assist you as you guide your group through the galleries. From sketching supplies to downloadable resources, these options will deepen students' experiences with art.
With So Much to See, How Do You Choose?
Focus your students' experience with the following downloadable resources, which will guide you in selecting works of art to see on a self-guided visit.
The Power of Objects
Designed for secondary school students, this resource engages students in thinking about the many ways in which objects are powerful. Print a copy for each educator and chaperone in your group to use in the galleries as they guide students.
The Artist's Toolbox
Designed for elementary school students, this resources explores a few of the many “tools” in the Artist’s Toolbox, such as scale, color, line, shape, figures, setting, and emphasis. The Artist’s Toolbox includes a pack of gallery activities, such as creating a composition, exploring a work of art using the five senses, and sketching, that encourage students to look closely and think creatively about what they see. Print the Artist’s Toolbox guide before your visit and share with the educators and chaperones who will lead your group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance to reserve the packs which will be delivered to you at check-in on the day of your visit.
UIL A+ Art Resources
Are your students preparing for the UIL A+ Art competition? Visit the MFAH and study UIL selected works of art in person. This guide leads you to UIL selected paintings in the MFAH collection, giving you and your students the opportunity to engage with original works of art. Stop by the Kinder Foundation Education Center or visit www.mfah.org/KFEC to learn more. Download the UIL A+ Art Resources from The Kinder Foundation Education Center PDF for a list of KFEC publications that include UIL selected paintings from the MFAH.
Guide by Cell Audio Tour
Tired of telling students to put their cell phones away during class? Let cell phones inform students' learning experience with the Guide by Cell Audio Tour (every student will need a cell phone). Educators can also use this audio tour as a resource to plan a self-guided visit to see the MFAH collections of antiquities or European art.
Sketching in the Galleries on a Self-Guided Visit
Sketching from original works of art encourages students to look closely, while recording ideas and observations for further exploration in the classroom or studio. The Kinder Foundation Education Center provides free sketching materials to self-guided groups. To arrange to pick up sketching paper, hardboards, and pencils for your students at check-in, email email@example.com two weeks before you visit. Please note that all self-guided materials are for in-museum use only.
Explore more gallery resources in the Kinder Foundation Education Center.
Teacher Workshop: Making the Most of Your Self-Guided Visit
Are you thinking about bringing your students to the MFAH on a self-guided visit? Explore ways to design a meaningful and engaging experience for your students with the “Make the Most of Your Self-Guided Visit” workshop. Learn about resources to use both in your classroom (before and after your visit) as well as in the Museum galleries, including sketching materials and theme-based guides to the MFAH collections. Also, practice discussion-leading strategies with Museum educators to encourage your students to look closely and think deeply about works of art. These workshops are free, and each participant receives a certificate of completion. To find out more, call 713.639.7320.
The ExxonMobil School Tour program receives generous funding from ExxonMobil.
Additional support is provided by the Junior League of Houston, Inc.
All education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by Caroline Wiess Law; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.