School tours at the Farnsworth are designed to introduce students of all ages to the museum’s collection and exhibitions by creating a unique and enjoyable educational experience. Reservations for most tours are required with at least three weeks’ notice.
- Tour admission is free for a school visit with a reservation.
- Docent-led tours last one-and-a-half hours. Self-guided tours may also be scheduled.
- Hands-on studio art projects may be available for some tours. Please inquire when you make a reservation if you are interested.
- Class size is limited to 60 students, with 1 adult for every 10 students (1 adult for every 5 students for self-guided tours).
- You may schedule extra time to visit additional galleries or the museum store. Let us know when you make the reservation if you wish to do this.
- Lunch may be eaten in the Victorian garden or in the studio with prior arrangement and space permitting.
- Pre-visit resources are available.
- For additional information on specific tour ideas, please see the Tour Topics link.
To register for a tour, please call the Education Coordinator at (207) 594-6457 ext. 103.
Tips for a Successful School Visit
- Divide students into groups of 10 before arriving. This will save time once you get to the museum. It is also helpful if students are wearing nametags.
- Allow enough extra time for bathroom visits before your scheduled tour begins.
- Let chaperones know about their responsibilities for keeping their group together and maintaining discipline (see museum rules below).
- Review the museum rules with your students before arrival. Docents will greet your students upon arrival and go over the rules again before starting the tour.
- All school groups should arrive in the museum’s lobby by using the Museum Street entrance, unless other arrangements are made.
Museum Rules for Student Groups:
All of these rules are intended to keep the artwork and visitors safe.
A few things to know
Even the lightest touch can damage a work of art. So please do not touch the art. Be careful to keep your hands, bags, and bodies a safe distance from the artwork. Your great-great-grandchildren will thank you.
Pack a Camera
Personal, non-commercial photography without flash is permitted in our permanent collection areas. Some exhibitions cannot be photographed, including our galleries devoted to the Wyeths. The use of tripods, flash, or video cameras is prohibited in the Museum without prior permission.
Sketch with Pencils
Feel free to sketch with pencil in our galleries. Other art supplies can only be used with prior written permission from the Museum’s registration department. Simply contact them at 207-596-6457, extension 108.
Stow Your Bags & Packages
Speak with our staff about our free lockers. Umbrellas, backpacks, jogger style strollers, and large bags (over 12"x12") are not permitted in our galleries.
Talk About It
We encourage discussion in the galleries, but please be courteous to others. If you need to talk on your cell phone, stay in lobby areas. If a docent leads your tour, please treat them as you would your own teacher. If this is a self-tour, teachers are entirely responsible for students’ conduct while on the museum grounds. Please turn off or set phones to vibrate before entering the galleries.
Don't Eat or Drink in the Galleries
Food, gum, and beverages are not allowed in the Museum.
One adult chaperone must accompany every 10 students. Self-guided tours must have two chaperones for every 10 students. The docents will manage the group during the tour, but chaperones are expected to step in to discipline in the event of misconduct. Chaperones must stay with their groups at all times.
The museum reserves the right to ask any member of your group to leave if our rules are not observed.
Thank you for helping us make a successful museum experience for you and your group.