The Museum offers guided, inquiry-based tours of both the current special exhibitions and the permanent collection led by museum educators and trained Washington University student docents. Tours are designed to encourage discussion, visual analysis, and cross-disciplinary connections between works of art and university courses in all departments.
Museum hours are 11 am to 6 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Friday. The Museum is closed on Tuesday. It is preferable to schedule class visits during open hours, but exceptions can be made with ample notice.
Each semester, the Museum invites all Washington University Writing 1 classes to visit the collection and exhibitions to explore the process of writing about visual art as a cultural text. A guided Writing 1 class visit includes an introduction to the Museum and an inquiry-based analysis of a few key works. The discussion will focus on the formal elements of a work of art—including subject matter, composition, media, color, gesture, and texture—and how an artist uses those elements to create meaning. Students will discuss how to use these visual analysis skills to interpret a work of art, and how to apply those skills to other media, such as film, literary texts, and advertisements.
The Art of Observation
Collaborations between medical schools and art museums have proved successful in increasing students’ ability to look deeper by using interaction with works of art to develop visual analysis skills. This one-hour program reinforces the importance of the art of observation within the practice of medicine and is open to interested medical school educators and their students. Students will thoroughly examine and analyze a selection of artworks in the Kemper Art Museum galleries, form interpretations using visual evidence, hone their observational and descriptive abilities, and improve their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Lunch & Learn
Washington University faculty and staff are invited to get to know the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum over lunch. Designed to last about an hour, the Lunch & Learn program begins with a buffet lunch, during which education staff provide a brief introduction to the museum, its history and collection. Following lunch, discuss the exhibitions with your colleagues during an interactive, guided tour of the museum.