K-12 Guided Tours

About Our Tours

At the Ackland, we design immersive and engaging guided experiences with art from our exhibitions and collection, in addition to thematic tours. Tours are always planned with your grade level and learning goals in mind and help students “look close and think far.”

A few practical details:

  • Tours and admission to the Museum are FREE
  • Guided and self-guided tours occur Wednesday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. They are typically one hour in length
  • Masks are optional inside the Ackland
  • Larger guided groups are divided into smaller groups of 15 students
  • Each group requires one chaperone for every 15 students
  • Hand-sanitizing stations are available at multiple locations throughout the museum
  • Funding for transportation and substitute teacher expenses are available
  • We offer tools to make planning your visit easy:

Tools for making your visit more meaningful:

Browse the list of tours described below. As you review them, explore the related Pre/Post Visit Materials to use in your classroom before and after a Museum visit.

Spend More Time on Campus

Make the most of your time on campus by combining your Ackland experience with a visit to the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, North Carolina Botanical Garden, or North Carolina Collection Gallery at Wilson Library.

We can’t wait to see you at the Ackland!

Schedule Your Visit


Brightly-dressed people surrounding a group of teepees and a green tree

Past Forward: Native American Art from Gilcrease Museum

Tours offered February 21 – April 28, 2024.
Explore Native American works of art that span over a three-thousand-year period, many from the heartland of the United States, addressing themes of symbolism, ceremony, sovereignty, and identity. Limited to 40 students; recommended for grades K-12.

Image credit:
Stephen Mopope (Kiowa, 1898-1974), Indian Gathering, 1933, oil on canvas, framed: 22 1/2 x 48 in. (57.2 x 121.9 cm). Gift of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation, 1964. Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK.

Sculpture of The Offering of the Four Bowls to Buddha

Arts of Asia and Africa

Examine art from diverse parts of Africa and Asia, and learn about their significance to the people who made and used them in their original settings. Limited to 30 students and recommended for Grades 4–12.

Arts of Asia and Africa Pre/Post Visit materials

Painting of Cleopatra and the Peasant by Eugene Delacroix is often on view at the Ackland

Arts of Europe

Investigate the artistic traditions of European art from classical times to the twentieth century and consider ways the human figure and the natural world are represented. Limited to 60 students and recommended for Grades 4–12.

Arts of Europe Pre/Post Visit materials

Landscape painting of a river by Camille Pisarro

Modern and Contemporary Art

Explore the expressive and experimental ways that artists have responded to changes in society and the environment since the late nineteenth century. Limited to 30 students and recommended for Grades 4–12.

Carving of a woman

World Cultures

Travel the globe as you discover ways that diverse peoples and cultures from ancient times through the twentieth-century communicate their values and beliefs through artistic expression. Limited to 45 students and recommended for Grades 4–12.

World Cultures Pre/Post Visit materials

Chinese porcelain plate painted with blue decoration

Collection Highlights

Experience works of art in the Ackland collection, focusing on their distinctive visual characteristics and historical significance. Limited to 60 students and recommended for Grades 4–12.

Thematic Tours

Triptych painting of Madonna and Child with Saints

AP Art History: Global Connections: Ancient to Twentieth-Century Art

Explore artistic traditions of people and cultures from around the globe and find common themes expressed in objects across time. Ninety-minute tour limited to 45 students and recommended for Grades 10–12.

African mask

AP Art History: Art from Asia and Africa

Discover the central importance of nature, belief, and ritual in art from Africa and Asia. Ninety-minute tour limited to 45 students and recommended for Grades 10–12.

Sculpture of Dancing Ganesha

Stories in Art

Have fun learning to “read” stories in art from a variety of times and places. Limited to 60 students and recommended for Grades K–3.

Stories in Art Pre/Post Visit materials

Painting of Slow Down Freight Train by Rose Piper

Joy of Looking

Discover the joy of looking carefully, thinking critically, and engaging with works of art from around the world. Limited to 60 students and recommended for Grades K–12.

Joy of Looking Pre/Post Visit materials

painting of a person with peaches

Custom Tour

Ackland educators will work with you to create a customized experience for your students to match your curriculum needs or themes you are exploring in your classroom. Limited to 60 students and recommended for Grades K–12.