School Tours

Docent-guided tours at the Speed Art Museum invite everyone to look closely, engage in conversations, and explore connections between artworks and the world. Our school tours are designed to help inspire curiosity, build visual literacy skills, and encourage students to connect personally with art. They also support the work that teachers are doing in their classrooms by aligning with Core Learning Standards in Arts and Humanities, Social Studies, and English Language Arts.


General Information:
– Tuesday – Friday, beginning at 10:30 am
– Cost: $5 per student, free for Title 1 students
– A minimum of 10 students is required for a docent-guided tour
– We can accommodate 60 students per tour, per hour. Groups larger than 60 students must book a two-hour visit.
– A docent-guided tour can be combined with self-guided time in the Museum.
– Teachers and chaperones are free (one chaperone per ten students is required; additional chaperones are $10 each)
– Reservations are required at least three weeks in advance for both guided and self-guided tours
– All K-12 students that visit the Speed for a guided or self-guided school tour will receive a Family Voucher, allowing them to return with their family free of charge on any day the Speed is open
– Questions about School Tours? Please contact us at 
– Register!

Need additional funding to cover the cost of your School Tours at the Speed Art Museum? The Speed is sometimes able to provide transportation funding for Title I schools. Schools can apply for funding through our Transportation Funding Application.

Fund for the Arts also provides several options for schools and community centers located in Kentucky. Find more information and applications here.

Support for transportation costs for Title 1 Jefferson County Public Schools provided by an Arts Fund grant from Louisville Metro Government

Grades Pre-K – 2: Making Friends
Tour: 1 hour
Capacity: 60 students per hour

Find new friends in works of art! As our youngest visitors explore the galleries on this dynamic tour, they’ll discover both familiar faces and people they’d like to meet in works ranging from the ancient to the contemporary. Designed to stoke creative thinking and inspire collaboration, students will also explore elements of art like color, line, and shape.


Grades 3 – 5: Where in the World?
Tour: 1 hour
Capacity: 60 students per hour

Pack your bags, grab a friend, and get ready for an around-the-world adventure! On this interactive tour, students will travel the galleries and explore the relationship between works of art that span the globe. Through writing, drawing, and movement activities—as well as a special “passport” they’ll fill up along the way—students will come to better understand the fascinating differences and beautiful similarities between works of art from far-away places.


Grades 6 – 8: Museum Mysteries
Tour: 1 hour
Capacity: 60 students per hour

Why do the eyes in that portrait seem to follow you? What do those symbols on the sculpture mean? Just what is that creature in the center of the painting? Join us on a tour where we learn to stop, look closely, and unravel mysteries that the average visitor might not solve! Middle school students will explore unusual works from across the world with an eye toward what qualities make those pieces so unique. As they work closely with their peers and engage in interactive gallery activities, students will also examine principles like proportion, texture, and dimension to understand various artists’ unconventional choices.  

Grades 9 – 12: Changing Perspectives
Tour: 1 hour
Capacity: 60 students per hour

Our lives can change quickly: one day we might wake up to find that things suddenly look different. On this tour designed specifically for high school students, we’ll look at the way art has changed over time, the way our perspectives can shift when it comes to art, and the way art changes us. A diverse group of works will fuel our inquiry: students will explore everything from how the Speed’s architecture has evolved to how the Kentucky gallery portrays our ever-changing home to the way artistic movements respond to one another. Using their creativity, critical thinking, and close-looking skills, students will also examine their personal responses to art, asking themselves why they feel the way they do about a piece…and what might change their minds.


Grades 5 – 8: Picking Up STEAM
Tour: 1 hour
Optional Hands-On Art Making: 1 hour
Capacity: 60 students per day

Discover how art can be used to explore concepts related to science, technology, engineering, and math. On this tour, students will have an opportunity to analyze ancient feats of engineering, predict the weather based on a painting, discover the science of mixing pigments and more, all while making connections to artworks in the Speed’s collection. Students will also work collaboratively, both in the galleries and in the art making studio, to develop  their critical and creative thinking skills.


Special Exhibition Tours
Teachers can also schedule a one hour docent-guided or self-guided tour of our special exhibitions.

Through September 15, 2019: Yinka Shonibare CBE: The American Library

Through January 5, 2020: Ebony G. Patterson …while the dew is still on the roses…

July 17, 2019 – January 12, 2020: Kentucky Women: Enid Yandell

November 15, 2019 – March 1, 2020: Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse


Self-Guided Tours
Explore the collection at your own speed by scheduling a self-guided tour. This option is ideal for teachers who have specific assignment for students to work on in the galleries. We also have self-guided materials available at the Museum for your group to use in the galleries.


Additional Resources
Below you will find several resources intended to help you make the most of your visit. The Important Visit Information packet gives details on what to expect before, during, and after your visit. Each Chaperone Guide contains useful tips for accompanying chaperones. Our Pre-Visit Materials, which match each of the themed tours listed above, are designed to help teachers prepare their students for their visit to the Museum.

School Tour Chaperone Guide – Guided Tours

School Tour Chaperone Guide – Self-Guided Tours

School Tour Important Visit Information

Tour Pre-Visit Making Friends

Tour Pre-Visit Where in the World

Tour Pre-Visit Museum Mysteries

Tour Pre-Visit Changing Perspectives

Self Guide: Grades K – 5

Self Guide: Grades 6 – 12