K–12 School Tour Topics

Special Exhibition Tours

Slip Zone: A New Look at Postwar Abstraction in the Americas and East Asia Limited to 30 students per hour. Featuring works from the Museum’s collection, Slip Zone charts the significant innovations in painting, sculpture, and performance that shaped artistic production in the Americas and East Asia in the mid-20th century. The exhibition reevaluates the art historical legacy of the era to encompass the simultaneous and intersecting strands of international movements. Slip Zone also highlights the integral influence of Black and women artists working in abstraction in this period, complicating common understandings of the canonic Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Color Field movements in the United States. Tours offered March 1–May 20, 2022. 


Octavio Medellín: Spirit and Form Limited to 20 students per hour. Octavio Medellín (1907-1999) was an influential Mexican American artist and teacher whose work helped shape the Texas art scene for seven decades. The DMA is proud to present Octavio Medellín: Spirit and Form, the first-ever museum retrospective for the noted sculptor. The exhibition will include approximately 80 works, exploring the evolution of Medellín’s sculptural practice, his public art commissions, and his legacy as a beloved and respected teacher. During the more than 40 years he lived and worked in the Dallas area, Medellín influenced generations of students as an instructor at the school of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and as founder of the Creative Arts Center. Tours offered March 1–May 20, 2022. 

Rooted Limited to 20 students per hour. This new installation of art from the DMA’s collection looks at the complex relationship between people and the natural world. Through groupings of works that span centuries and global cultures, Rooted shows how people both shape and adapt to a changing environment, traverse the planet, and rely on the land for nourishment and sustenance. The exhibition debuts Poisoned by Zip Code, an installation by C3 Featured Artist Ari Brielle that centers on South Dallas resident Marsha Jackson and her fight for environmental justice in the Floral Farms neighborhood. Tours offered March 1–May 20, 2022. 

Bamana Mud Cloth: From Mali to the World Limited to 10 students per hour. Mud cloth, or bogolanfini, originated among the Bamana peoples of Mali and its designs can be spotted in products across the world, although the source is not always credited. The culturally significant designs on bogolanfini are painted by women with a dye made from fermented mud onto cloth handwoven by men. This exhibition explores the complete labor-intensive process and identifies how the distinctive patterns have been used in Western products, from designer clothing to home furnishings. Tours offered March 1–May 20, 2022. 

The Keir Collection of Islamic Art  Limited to 20 students per hour. The long-term installation will showcase over 100 works from the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, which is recognized by scholars as one of the most geographically and historically comprehensive of its kind. The collection spans three continents and 13 centuries of Islamic cultural production and includes masterworks in various mediums—from rock crystal to metalwork, ceramics, textiles, carpets, and works on paper. Tours offered March 1–May 20, 2022. 

Spirit Lodge: Mississippian Art from Spiro Limited to 20 students per hour. Spirit Lodge: Mississippian Art from Spiro is the first major exhibition dedicated to the art and culture of Mississippian peoples. Although underrepresented in history, they created one of the most exceptional societies in North America, characterized by the construction of large earthen mounds that served as important cultural and ceremonial centers. Spiro in Oklahoma is the only known ancient site in North America where thousands of extraordinary ritual objects from across the Mississippian world were amassed together in a hollow chamber dubbed the Spirit Lodge. Bearing images of people, deities, culture heroes, animals, and symbolic creatures, these objects demonstrate the complexity and expanse of Mississippian society. Tours offered April 19–May 20, 2022. 

If you are interested in bringing your students to see a paid exhibition for free, you must request this on your original form (either Guided Visit Request Form or Self-Guided Visit Request Format least three weeks before your requested date. With less than three weeks' notice, students will have to pay the ticket price to visit a special exhibition. 

Docent-Guided Tour Topics for 2021–2022
Once you have selected your tour type, submitGuided Visit Request Form. 


Kindergarten–5th Grade Visits: 

  • Recipes for Art  Recommended for K–1st grade; limited to 30 students per hour. Learn how artists use line, shape, and color as their "recipe" to create endless varieties of art. Tours include multisensory activities, sketching, stories, movement, and more. 

  • Me and My World  Recommended for 1st–2nd grade; limited to 30 students per hour. Explore people and places in art through stories, clues, and gallery activities.  

  • Stories in Art  Recommended for 2nd–3rd grade; limited to 30 students per hour. Have fun learning to "read" stories in art from a variety of times and places. 

  • A Looking Journey  Recommended for 4th grade; limited to 60 students per hour. Take an interactive journey through the magical world of art by looking carefully, thinking critically, and paying attention to what you feel. 

  • Arts of the Americas  Recommended for 5th grade; limited to 60 students per hour. Explore the arts of ancient American peoples, American Indian cultures, the Spanish and British colonies, and modern Mexico and the United States.  

Museum Collection Visits; recommended for 4th–12th grade: 

  • Arts of Mexico and Central and South America  Limited to 30 students per hour. Ancient times to the 20th century. 

  • Ancient American Art  Limited to 30 students per hour. Ancient art from Mexico and Central and South America. 

  • Colonial to Modern American Art  Limited to 30 students per hour. 17th- to 20th-century United States. 

  • Arts of Europe  Limited to 60 students per hour. Classical times to 20th-century Europe. 

  • Arts of the Ancient World  Limited to 30 students per hour. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Asia, and the Americas. 

  • Arts of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific  Limited to 30 students per hour. Ancient to 20th-century Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.  

  • Contemporary Art  Limited to 30 students per hour. 1945 to the present. 

  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)  Limited to 30 students per hour. Explore the connections between science, technology, engineering, art, and math throughout the Museum’s collection. 

  • Collection Highlights  Limited to 60 students per hour. Learn about notable highlights throughout the Museum's encyclopedic collection. 

Special Education Visit 

The DMA offers guided tours for special education classes and groups with special needs. Trained Access Docents guide groups through a one-hour tour of the Museum's collection, utilizing multisensory activities that foster an inclusive learning environment meant to engage a range of abilities. Limited to 30 students per hour. 

K–12 Self-Guided Visits 

The Museum provides opportunities for self-guided groups to independently explore the Museum's collection and special exhibitions. Teachers are encouraged to visit the Museum prior to their student group visit as galleries and the artworks on view change throughout the year. Self-guided visits are available year-round during regular Museum hours only: Tuesday–Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Friday, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Saturday –Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., closed Mondays. Click here to sign up for your self-guided visit. 

Please note, some Museum programs take place in the galleries. If your group plans to visit a gallery space where a public program is scheduled or underway, we ask that your group please return to that gallery after the program is over.