School and Group Tours

School and youth groups are invited to register for a docent-led tour or self-guided visit. All docent-led tours for school groups at the Yale Center for British Art are inquiry-based. Docents’ questions are designed to give students the experience of talking about a work of art and the chance to support subjective conclusions using visual evidence. While some tours are designed with specific curriculum connections in mind, other tour themes focus on the development of visual literacy. On all school tours, through conversations with the docent, students will:
 

  • Enhance their observational skills.
  • Develop descriptive vocabulary.
  • Engage creatively with works of art.
  • Make connections.
  • Develop conclusions and support those conclusions using visual evidence.
  • Construct meaning from works of art.
  • Understand the value of visual objects as sources of information.


It is our goal to provide each student with a positive museum and learning experience.

Scheduling a Tour

Tours are conducted Tuesday through Friday‚ 10 am to 4 pm, and are 45 minutes to one hour in length. Two weeks advance notice is required to arrange a school or youth group visit. 

All groups must register at least two weeks in advance: scheduling is contingent on staff availability and gallery capacity.

Confirmation
Upon submitting a registration form, an automatic reply will be sent to the email you have provided. This does not guarantee your registration. Our staff will contact you regarding your visit within 72 hours of receiving your request. You may check on the status of or change your registration by emailing ycba.education@yale.edu.

Please show your confirmation email at the front desk when you arrive on the day of your tour.

Register Now

Tour Guidelines

Group Size
Our museum can accommodate groups of up to 45 students.

Chaperones
Each group of 12 students must be accompanied by at least one adult chaperone.

Fees
Admission and all tours are free.

Cancellations
To cancel a tour please email ycba.education@yale.edu or call 203.432.7192. If you are canceling on the day of your tour, please also call the Front Desk at 203.432.8678 as soon as possible.

Late Arrivals
Please be prompt. Groups that arrive late may receive a condensed tour due to scheduling limitations. If a group arrives more than a half-hour late, a guided tour may no longer be available.

Creating a Tour that Fits Your Group’s Needs

The Education department staff and docents are dedicated to providing the best learning experience possible for all school visitors. All tour topics for school groups are available to all students and can be adapted to meet the needs of each class. Each lesson incorporate a variety of learning strategies, such as multi-sensory experiences, movement and sound activities, storytelling, and sketching. If you would like to ensure that a particular type of learning strategy or activity is incorporated into your lesson, please let us know when scheduling your tour.

Click here for more information about accessibility at the museum.

Possible Tour Themes
The following possible tour themes are appropriate for students of all ages and will be tailored to fit the needs and curriculum of your group. If you would like to suggest a topic that you do not see covered below, we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Learn more

Self-Guided Group Visits

Groups may decide to visit the YCBA on their own without a docent-led tour. To avoid conflicts with scheduled tours and classes‚ please email: ycba.education@yale.edu or call 203.432.7192 two weeks in advance to register. Chaperones must accompany students at all times. Please note that YCBA docents have priority in the galleries.

Visiting the Museum

Getting Here

The YCBA is located at 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, between High and York Streets. The main entrance is on the southwest corner of Chapel and High Streets.

Parking

Busses can drop students off at the corner of Chapel and High Street. 

Lunch
The YCBA does not have dining facilities. A variety of restaurants are within short walking distance from the museum.

Museum Guidelines

  • Please share examples of good museum behavior with your class before you visit.
  • The most important rule is to not touch the art: Even the touch of a fingertip can damage art and leave dirt and oil behind.
  • We encourage you to remind your students to use their “indoor voice” out of respect for other visitors.
  • Security staff will be present in the galleries to make sure the artwork and visitors stay safe. Please be respectful if they ask you or your students to move back from the artwork.
  • Food, beverages, and chewing gum are prohibited in the galleries.

Yale University Art Gallery

The Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG) are in close proximity to each other. If you plan on scheduling tours at both museums, we ask that you consider your possible dates for a tour well in advance, as there is a limit to the size of groups that can be accommodated in both museums.