Student Group Visits

VMFA opens daily at 10 am and entry is free. K–12 guided tours and self-directed visits of the permanent collection are free. K–12 guided tours and self-directed visits of a special exhibition will have a ticket fee. All visit requests must be submitted at least three weeks in advance and are based on tour guide and gallery availability.

To submit a permanent collection visit request, please submit a K-12 Permanent Collection Visit Request Form.

To submit a special exhibition request, please submit a K-12 Special Exhibition Visit Request Form.

To contact the Tour Services Department, please call (804) 340-1419, or email us at tourservices@vmfa.museum.


K–12 Self-directed Visits—Self-directed group visits are available for booking. Student groups must be limited to 25 or less attendees. This includes students, siblings, teachers and adult chaperones. If you have more than 25 people, you will need to break up into smaller groups of 25 or less and stagger your entry, with each group entering the museum one at a time. Groups should plan to rotate through the galleries and remain separated while on museum grounds.

K-12 Guided Tours—Prior to June 6, 2022, the only guided tours being offered are of our two special exhibitions—Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits, and Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France. These exhibitions have a ticket fee. Please see the Special Exhibitions tab for more information. Additionally, we will begin booking summer guided tours of the permanent collection on May 2, 2022 (with tours beginning Monday, June 6, 2022). Please see Summer 2022 Tour Information below for details. A minimum of 10 participants are needed to book a guided tour.

COVID-19 Guidelines
To keep you safe, masks are strongly encouraged for all visitors, staff, and volunteers. Masks are required in Cheek Theater and in early childhood programs. K–12 tour groups are no longer required to wear masks while at the museum.

Resources
Visit our online Resource Center where students, educators and families can find resources for classes, home, museum visits and more!

VMFA’s Early Childhood Programs is excited to offer a new, virtual program to foster an early appreciation for art and self-expression in young students and to support learning in early childhood classrooms.


Virtual Program Theme
Playful Paint

Explore the many colors, lines, and shapes found in art. Have fun putting these “parts of art” together to create a playful, process-based painting.
(Recommended for ages 4-5 years)


VIRTUAL PROGRAM DETAILS:

  • Join a VMFA Early Childhood Educator online for a live, 30-minute session
  • Students will enjoy learning about the elements of art through music and movement activities and looking closely at works of art from the VMFA’s collection
  • Teachers will receive a link to a prerecorded video with a detailed demonstration of a hands-on, process-based art project to use with their students (along with a list of simple supplies needed to complete the art project)
  • Teachers will also receive ideas for pre-visit and post-visit activities to extend the learning in their classroom

RESERVATIONS:

  • The 30-minute Virtual Preschool Group Visit program is available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the following times:
    9:00 am
    10:00 am
    11:00am
  • The program fee is $30 per class (maximum of 18 students)
  • Payment is due by the day of the program
  • A limited amount of scholarship funds is available for federally funded classes to participate in the virtual program free of charge
  • To register, please email the following information to April Heitchue, Early Childhood Educator at april.heitchue@vmfa.museum
  1. Date/time requesting virtual program
  2. School/Childcare Center name, address, and phone number
  3. Alternate phone number to contact teacher
  4. Number of students in class and their ages
  5. Is your class currently meeting in-person, virtually, or both?
  6. Do you need to connect with us on a platform other than Zoom?
  7. Does your class receive federal funds (ex. Head Start or VPI)?

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS:

Each class will receive a unique link to securely connect with VMFA’s Early Childhood Education Zoom account

Teachers should be able to project the Zoom image onto a larger screen so it is visible to the entire student group

Speakers should be used to enable all students in the class to hear the VMFA educator

To ensure that the program is interactive, a device with a camera and microphone is required to allow the VMFA educator to view students and to hear their responses


A confirmation email and additional program information will be provided once a reservation has been made.
Please email april.heitchue@vmfa.museum with any questions.

ONSITE PROGRAMS FOR K–12

Summer 2022 Tour Information

We will begin booking limited K–12 guided tour offerings on May 2, 2022. Tours will begin on June 6, 2022 and run through August 21, 2022. All guided tours are subject to tour guide availability. A minimum of 10 participants are needed to book a guided tour. Self-directed visits are limited to 30 people per group.

Guided Tours Offerings:

Student Highlights Tour
Maximum group size is 30 (students/kids and chaperones combined).
Learn about VMFA and its extensive collection of art! Students will see art that spans over 6,000 years of history and represents many different cultures.

Dig It!
Maximum group size is 30 (students/kids and chaperones combined).
Become an archaeologist and dig up the past! Trek through VMFA’s exciting collection of ancient artifacts.

From A Zoo: Animals in Art
Maximum group size is 30 (students/kids and chaperones combined).
Find out how animals as subjects have captivated artists for thousands of years. This cross-cultural adventure will take you all over the world!

Heroes and Villains
Maximum group size is 30 (students/kids and chaperones combined).
Whether it is the heroic character or the evil opponent, we simply love to adore them or despise them. Enjoy a guided journey through VMFA’s galleries to meet these engaging personalities.

To submit a permanent collection visit request, please submit a K-12 Permanent Collection Visit Request Form.

Fall 2022 Tour Information

We are not currently booking K–12 tours for Fall, 2022. Please visit this page at a later date for updated information.

Group Visit Guidelines
Please read through these guidelines and share them with your students and chaperones prior to your visit:

  • Following K–12 guidance in Virginia, the museum strongly recommends the use of masks for all participants and faculty/staff in early childhood, youth, and teen classes, programs and tours. Along with mask recommendation, VMFA will mirror K–12 school COVID-19 safety guidelines within studios and classrooms, including social distancing and frequent cleaning.
  • Unvaccinated visitors ages 2 and up should wear a mask while at the museum.
  • The lunchroom may be booked in advance, based on availability. There are sanitation protocols in place. Up to 30 people can use the lunchroom at one time. Once you have received a confirmation email that your museum visit has been booked, please contact Special Events at (804) 340-1590 or specialevents@vmfa.museum to check on reserving the lunchroom. If the lunchroom is not available, please plan on having your bag lunches outdoors in the sculpture garden. Tour Services does not book the lunchroom.
  • Bag lunches may also be enjoyed outdoors in the sculpture garden.
  • Visit the Best Café page for information on purchasing food items to eat in the Café.
  • Items such as backpacks, coats, lunches and umbrellas can be stored in the student coat room.
  • We require at least 1 adult chaperone per 10 students.
  • The Gift Shop strongly encourages no more than 15 students at a time in the Gift Shop, and all student groups must be accompanied by chaperones (ratio of 1 chaperone per 10 students). We thank you for your understanding and patience.

VIRTUAL PROGRAMS FOR GRADES K-12

Thematic Resource Packets (For Grades K–12 & College)

Bring VMFA to your students with these short, thematic online resources. Based on a single, broad theme, these virtual offerings are neatly packaged resources that align with a variety of SOL objectives. By inviting students to observe & discuss specific objects in the collection, these resources encourage creative and critical thinking.

  • Leadership—What does leadership look like? What does it mean to be a leader? In this resource, students will explore various objects from different world cultures in the VMFA collection that deal with this important theme. Through examining different portrayals of leadership, students will make observations, articulate what they see, and learn from different perspectives.
  • Portraits—What is a portrait and what can it communicate? Can they tell us about the person depicted and the society they came from? Can a portrait show someone’s personality or values? By examining many different portraits throughout the museum’s collection, students will use visual analysis to describe a portrait and make connections between personal experiences and a work of art.
  • Economics—What can art tell us about the economy? By exploring scenes featuring themes of goods & services, consumption, natural & capital resources, labor, poverty, wealth and more, students will develop thinking skills that include analyzing real-life situations, economic reasoning, decision making and problem-solving.
  • Optional “Add-on”
    Book an Educator Q & A!—Interested in having your students’ questions answered by a VMFA Educator as a component of the resource? After reviewing the resource with your students, questions may be submitted in advance to be answered by recorded video response. To book an Educator Q & A, please submit five or fewer questions specific to a particular resource to tourservices@vmfa.museum. When you submit your questions, please include the following information in the body of your email:

Contact name:
School:
Name of resource:
Grade level(s) of students:
Number of students to view Q & A video:
Five (or fewer) questions:

It will take two weeks (10–12 business days) for us to process your request, record the response, and provide you with a link to the video.


For grades 3 and up: Give your students the opportunity to exercise their creative and critical thinking skills with a real-time, deep-dive into a single object. Book a session with our Distance Learning Team!

Core Subject Unit Resource Packets (Recommended for Grades 3–12)

Explore a topic in-depth with these well-rounded units that include min-inquiry and object exploration activities for students. Units will include a thorough introduction to each subject, a vocabulary list, video modules, guided-looking modules and object exploration.

Optional “Add-on”
Book an Educator Q&A!—Interested in having your students’ questions answered by a VMFA Educator as a component of the resource? After reviewing the resource with your students, questions may be submitted in advance to be answered by recorded video response. To book an Educator Q&A, please submit five or fewer questions specific to a particular resource to tourservices@vmfa.museum. When you submit your questions, please include the following information in the body of your email:

Contact name:
School:
Name of resource:
Grade level(s) of students:
Number of students to view Q & A video:
Five (or fewer) questions:

It will take two weeks (10–12 business days) for us to process your request, record the response, and provide you with a link to the video.

ONSITE PROGRAMS FOR COLLEGE

Permanent Collection: Self-Directed Visit

All permanent collection self-directed visit requests need to be submitted to tourservices@vmfa.museum at least 3 weeks in advance. Please see below for our self-directed visit Guidelines.

When you submit your self-directed visit request, please include the following information in the body of your email:

Contact name
School/Organization
Grade level(s) of students
Number of students and chaperones (max of 10 people per group)
Date and time of your visit
Galleries you would like to visit

Self-Directed Group Visit Guidelines

  • No bag lunches will be allowed inside the Museum. You are welcome to enjoy bag lunches outdoors in the sculpture garden. Social distancing is required on Museum grounds.
  • Visit the Best Café page for information on purchasing food items to eat in the Café.
  • No bag lunches will be allowed inside the Museum. You are welcome to enjoy bag lunches outdoors in the sculpture garden. Social distancing is required on Museum grounds.
  • Visit the Best Café page for information on purchasing food items to eat in the Café.
  • Click here to view our VMFA policies. Please review the policies prior to booking your visit.

VIRTUAL PROGRAMS FOR COLLEGE

Thematic Resource Packets (For Grades -12 & College)

Bring VMFA to your students with these short, thematic online resources. Based on a single, broad theme, these virtual offerings are neatly packaged resources that align with a variety of SOL objectives. By inviting students to observe & discuss specific objects in the collection, these resources encourage creative and critical thinking.

  • Leadership – What does leadership look like? What does it mean to be a leader? In this resource, students will explore various objects from different world cultures in the VMFA collection that deal with this important theme. Through examining different portrayals of leadership, students will make observations, articulate what they see, and learn from different perspectives.
  • Portraits – What is a portrait and what can it communicate? Can they tell us about the person depicted and the society they came from? Can a portrait show someone’s personality or values? By examining many different portraits throughout the museum’s collection, students will use visual analysis to describe a portrait and make connections between personal experiences and a work of art.
  • Economics – What can art tell us about the economy? By exploring scenes featuring themes of goods & services, consumption, natural & capital resources, labor, poverty, wealth and more, students will develop thinking skills that include analyzing real-life situations, economic reasoning, decision making and problem-solving.
  • Optional “Add-on”
    Book an Educator Q & A! – Interested in having your students’ questions answered by a VMFA Educator as a component of the resource? After reviewing the resource with your students, questions may be submitted in advance to be answered by recorded video response. To book an Educator Q & A, please submit five or fewer questions specific to a particular resource to tourservices@vmfa.museum. When you submit your questions, please include the following information in the body of your email:

    Contact name:
    School
    Name of resource
    Grade level(s) of students
    Number of students to view Q & A video
    Five (or fewer) questions

It will take two weeks (10 business days) for us to process your request, record the response, and provide you with a link to the video.

To submit a special exhibition request, please submit a K-12 Special Exhibition Visit Request Form.

If any of your students have VMFA student memberships, please provide us with a list of student names and membership numbers. This information can be sent via email to tourservices@vmfa.museum after submitting your request. We can then update your invoice accordingly.*

Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits
February 19, 2022–October 16, 2022

Self-directed Visit Ticket Information

Free for museum members. Non-member student tickets are $8 each. We offer 1 complimentary chaperone ticket per 10 students. Additional chaperone tickets are $10 each. Ticket times are every 30 minutes and the maximum group size per time slot is 25. If your group is larger than 25, you will be booked at more than one ticket time. Payment for tickets is required 14 days in advance of your visit. Tickets are subject to availability. For more information, please contact Tour Services at tourservices@vmfa.museum.

Guided Tour Ticket Information

Free for museum members. A maximum of 2 guides with 15 visitors per guide can be booked for a tour. Tours are available at 10 am, 11 am, and noon, daily, excluding Mondays and holidays, and are subject to guide and ticket availability. Later times may be available, depending on tour guide availability. Non-member student tickets are $8 each. We offer 1 complimentary chaperone ticket per 10 students. Additional chaperone tickets are $10 each. Payment for tickets is required 14 days in advance of your visit. For more information, please contact Tour Services at tourservices@vmfa.museum.

Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France
April 16, 2022–July 31, 2022

Self-directed Visit Ticket Information

Free for museum members. Non-member student tickets are $10 each. We offer 1 complimentary chaperone ticket per 10 students. Additional chaperone tickets are $12 each. Ticket times are every 15 minutes and the maximum group size per time slot is 25. If your group is larger than 25, you will be booked at more than one ticket time. Payment for tickets is required 14 days in advance of your visit. Tickets are subject to availability. For more information, please contact Tour Services at tourservices@vmfa.museum.

Guided Tour Ticket Information

Free for museum members. Guided tours begin on April 30, 2022. A maximum of 2 guides with 15 visitors per guide can be booked for a tour. Tours are available at 10 am, 11 am, and noon, daily, excluding Mondays and holidays, and are subject to guide and ticket availability. Later times may be available, depending on tour guide availability. Non-member student tickets are $10 each. We offer 1 complimentary chaperone ticket per 10 students. Additional chaperone tickets are $12 each. Payment for tickets is required 14 days in advance of your visit. For more information, please contact Tour Services at tourservices@vmfa.museum.

VMFA Student Memberships

Learn more about VMFA student memberships here.

You can also contact the Membership Department directly at membership@vmfa.museum, or (804) 340-1420.

* Tour Services does not handle student membership requests.