Tour Options

Student tour group in east hall

Tour Options for Student Visits at PEM

Please note: Student tour slots for fall 2015 are nearly sold out. The remaining spots are primarily for groups with 30 students or fewer. Complete the online reservation form (see below) to add your school to the waiting list. We encourage you to book now for winter/spring. Tours for larger groups are available beginning January 2016.

Self-guided visits are still available for fall 2015 at select times for groups of 45 students or fewer in grade 6 and above. Self-guided visits require reservations and must be planned in collaboration with PEM staff.

To make a reservation or add your school to the waiting list, please use the online reservation form or contact schoolservices@pem.org or call 978-542-1514.

To learn about our Educator Open Houses and professional development programs, click here. New England educators are always granted free admission to PEM! Just show your ID. Other educators planning to bring students to the museum can contact teacherprograms@pem.org to arrange a free visit.

The following tour options are available for winter/spring 2015. All tours are designed to foster critical and creative thinking, promote discovery and wonder and align with the Common Core and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Asian Art and Culture
American Art and Culture
English Language Arts
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

 

Asian Art and Culture

 

Yin Yu Tang, A Chinese House
Recommended for Grades K-12

Yin Yu Tang InteriorStudents have the unique opportunity to explore a traditional Chinese home in the United States. Built late in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in a rural village in China’s Anhui Province, this residence was home to the Huang family for more than 200 years. It was moved piece by piece and re-erected at the Peabody Essex Museum over a seven-year period. Whether your students are studying art motifs, Chinese culture or world history, this program is certain to be a unique and exciting educational experience.

Grades K-5 explore the everyday life of a Chinese family living in rural China for the last 200 years by examining household objects, architecture and decorative art.

Grades 6-12 explore the architecture and symbolic decorative elements of a traditional Chinese home and how the impact of economic and political upheavals in China over the last century affected Yin Yu Tang and led to its relocation to the Peabody Essex Museum.

Students can preview the house online. When you book a school visit to Yin Yu Tang, you will receive a DVD to preview in your classroom.

Tours of Yin Yu Tang can be paired with a number of other program options. For groups visiting for just one hour, one half of the group examines the everyday life of the Chinese merchant's family in Yin Yu Tang, while the other half explores celebration in Chinese art in the exhibition Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art.

A Two Merchants' Homes tour is also available. Compare and contrast Yin Yu Tang and the Gardner-Pingree House – two homes built for merchants 200 years ago and thousands of miles apart. Students consider why the houses look the way they do and what that tells us about their inhabitants and the times and places in which they lived.

Time: One hour | 45 students maximum

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 2–4 Standards 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4
Grades 9–12 Standards 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 7.7, 7.10

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 2 Standards 2,1, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9
Grade 4 Standards 4.1, 4.2, 4.7
Grades 8–12 Standards WHI.23, WHI.24, WHII.13, WHII.32, WHII.33, WHII.34

 

Exploring Asian Art
Recommended for Grades K-8

Jan Ken PoWhat are some of the important ideas, symbols and designs in art made in China, Japan and India? Students closely examine paintings, sculptures, photographs and objects from everyday life and work collaboratively in gallery activities to gain a deeper understanding of artwork from these countries. The tour includes stops in Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art, the Japanese Art Gallery, MegaCity: India and the Culture of the Streets and select Asian Export Art galleries. For curriculum materials related to Chinese and Japanese art, please click here.

Time: One hour to 90 minutes | 60 students maximum

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 5.5, 5.6, 6.3, 6.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 4 Standards 4.3, 4.7

 

American Art and Culture

 

Native Fashion Now
On view November 21, 2015-March 6, 2016
Recommended for Grades 3-12 and University

Native Fashion NowExplore design, self-expression, identity, politics and more through an interactive tour of Native Fashion Now. From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, this exhibition celebrates the visual range, creative expression and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 100 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to today's mavericks. Featuring contemporary garments, accessories and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, these designers traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expressions and cultural borrowing. Also examined is how non-Native designers adopt and translate traditional Native American design motifs in their own work.

 

Alchemy of the Soul: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
On view January 9-April 7, 2016

Alchemy of the Soul: Maria Magdalena Campos-PonsThis immersive exhibition presents the most ambitious collaboration between the Afro-Cuban artist and her husband, musician and composer Neil Leonard. Through large-scale blown glass sculptures, paintings, photographs, and evocative soundscapes, the artist draws on the structural forms found in the abandoned sugar mills and rum factories of her childhood island home. Incorporating the sweet smell of rum, this multi-sensory exhibition creates an intoxicating reconceptualization of the often-brutal history of the Cuban sugar industry, offering a visceral experience that ignites the senses and our emotional awareness of place, memory, identity and labor.

 

Life in the 17th Century
Recommended for Grades 3-8

John Ward HouseStudents focus on the daily life of a family living in 17th-century Salem through the examination of everyday objects and architecture, and make connections between decorative features in the John Ward House, built in 1684, and objects in the museum’s American art galleries. Students also learn to relate past and present through comparisons with their own domestic environment and furnishings.

Time: One hour | Not recommended in winter

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standard 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 3 Standards 3.5, 3.9, 3.12

 

At Home in Salem: 1785-1820
Recommended for Grades 3-8

Gardner Pingree HouseStudents envision what it might be like to live in a historic Salem family through guided tours of the Crowninshield–Bentley House, built in 1727 but restored to reflect 1794, and the Gardner-Pingree House, built in 1805. Through careful analysis of American portraits, landscapes and sculptures in the museum’s American Art galleries, students develop an understanding of the conditions of daily life during the height of Salem’s prosperity, identify with people of the past and learn how art and culture reveal clues about the early American Republic.

Time: One hour | Not recommended in winter

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standard 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 3 Standards 3.9, 3.12
Grade 5 Standards 5.10, 5.11, 5.33

 

Global Trade and Cultural Exchange
Recommended for Grades 5-8

Attention: Massachusetts fifth-grade teachers! This program is especially recommended for your students.

Moon BedAfter the Revolution, America’s international trade flourished. Salem’s seafarers competed to reach Asia in pursuit of tea, silk, spices and porcelain and other fine goods craved by the citizens of a fast-growing nation. Along the way they stopped in the Pacific Northwest to acquire furs to sell in China. Students trace the trade routes plied by Yankee ships from Salem to China, and learn about trade, world geography, art and culture. They also learn how the exchange of goods and ideas began a dialogue between nations that to this day mutually influences their economies, cultures and people.

Beginning in March 2016, this tour will prominently feature the exhibition Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age.

This tour currently features PEM's maritime art galleries, the Chinese Export art exhibition Importing Splendor: Luxuries from China, FreePort [No. 005]: Michael Lin – a contemporary installation that animates the history of trade between China and the West and explores artistic production in the past and present, and the installation Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast.

Time: One hour to 90 minutes

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 5 Standards 5.10, 5.11, 5.15, 5.33
Grade 8 Standards WHI.24, WHII.13

 

English Language Arts

 

Artful Tales
Recommended for Grades K-5

Mrs. WaldoStudents take on the role of detective, artist and author in this interactive exploration of the elements of story writing. Using open-ended questions, sketching and vocabulary activities, students discover how art reveals stories about people, places and time periods. Group storytelling and self-directed learning are included in this tour. This tour can be adapted to feature a variety of exhibitions and galleries.

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standards 5.2, 6.1
Grade 5 Standard 6.3

 

Images and Words: Writing in the Museum
Recommended for Grades 6-12

Southern CrossLink visual and verbal literacy as well as creative expression in this activity-based investigation of artworks from around the world. In this gallery tour, students sharpen critical-thinking skills by creating poems and narratives in response to critical analysis and observation of captivating works of art. This tour features a variety of exhibitions and galleries, including MegaCity: India and the Culture of the Streets and the American art galleries.

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Writing (W) Anchor Standards 3, 4, 10
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 6–8 Standards 6.3, 19.15, 19.20
Grades 9–12 Standard 19.25

 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM)

 

SOLD OUT - Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen
Recommended for Grades K-12 and University

StrandbeestEmbodying the essence of STEAM education, Theo Jansen's kinetic Strandbeests ("beach animals") blur the lines between art, science and storytelling. Explore the Strandbeests' carefully engineered construction and unique locomotion, discover how they have "evolved" over time and see how the beests are in touch with their natural environment on the Dutch seacoast. Hands-on experiences and discussion in this touchable exhibition provoke curiosity, imagination and problem solving. See videos of the beests and learn more at pem.org/strandbeest.

Time: One-hour exhibition experience | Two hours with art activity

45 students maximum in the exhibition, 90 students maximum for two-hour program

 

Building Blocks: Math in Art
Recommended for Grades K-2

Shapes in ArtStudents explore the basic concepts of shape, pattern, and measurement through close looking at art from across PEM's collection. Through hands-on discovery, group discussion, and art-making, students will gain a better understanding of how visual art and math use many of the same building blocks. The tour features a range of artwork, from landscapes and portraits to sculptures and decorative arts.

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

Common Core State Standards for Math
Grade K: Standards K.G3, K.MD1-3
Grade 1: Standards 1.G1, 1.MD2
Grade 2: Standards 2.G1, 2.MD1-4

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K-2 Standards 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 5.1, 5.3, 10.1

 

Natural Engineering: a STEAM* tour featuring Sizing It Up: Scale in Nature and Art and the Art & Nature Center
Recommended for Grades 4-8 | Tour available through September 18, 2016

Explore engineering and art concepts in this interactive tour while discovering the ways artists have used trees as artistic muse and medium. Through hands-on activities and discussion, students explore how the natural environment provides inspiration and solutions to the challenges facing artists, designers and architects. Students also consider the skills and processes shared by engineers and artists.

Time: One hour | 40 students maximum, unless paired with another program

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy
Literacy (Grades 4-6): Speaking & Listening SL.4.1, 6.2; Reading Informational Texts RI.4.1, 5.3, 6.7
Science & Technical Subjects (Grades 6-8): Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: RST.6-8.7, 6-8.8, 6-8.9

Massachusetts Technology and Engineering Standards
Grades 3-5: Materials and Tools 1.1, Engineering Design 2.4

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 4-8: Methods, Materials, and Techniques 1.2; Elements and Principles of Design 2.4; Observation, Abstraction, Invention, and Expression 3.7; Critical Response 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6; Inventions, Technologies and the Arts 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4; Interdisciplinary Connections: 10.1, 10.2

 

Creative Expression: Artists, Inspiration, Materials
Recommended for Grades 2-12 and University

Mega Mega PlanetWhat inspires art making? What choices do artists make? How do artists create connections to the larger global community? Can looking at art change the way you perceive the world?

These questions and others are addressed as students explore a variety of art forms, materials and techniques used by artists as a means for creative expression. Guided through a multidisciplinary approach, students sharpen their visual perception and critical thinking skills while experiencing art through a variety of perspectives. Focused on building 21st-century skills and exploring contemporary art on view in the museum, the tour features changing exhibitions and favorites from the PEM collection. This tour can highlight either sculptures in the galleries such as Josh Simpson's Mega Mega Planet and Deborah Butterfield's Willy, or selections from special exhibitions.

Time: One hour or 90 minutes with art activity

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

 

Animals in Art
Recommended for Grades PreK-2

crouching rabbitCome see mammals, reptiles, sealife, amphibians, insects and more through the eyes of artists. Discover representations of animals from different cultures and in various artistic media. Students build valuable observation skills while learning about animal characteristics through stories and art. After the tour, students create collaborative artwork based on their experience with specific objects. In the process of discovery, students employ cooperative learning in natural science and art-based concepts.

For Educators and Students: Download Animals in Art Student Guide »

Time: 90 minutes with art activity

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–2 Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1

Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
Grades K–2 Standards 2, 4

 

Don’t miss PEM's first environmental installation!

Stickwork: Patrick Dougherty
Through December 31, 2016

In collaboration with a team of local volunteers, artist Patrick Dougherty bent, weaved and flexed saplings into an architectural sculpture known as a Stickwork. The installation, What the Birds Know, provides dramatic counterpoint to the highly finished wood-frame Crowninshield-Bentley House that dates to the early 18th century. Visitors of all ages can walk in and around the built structure.

To make a school visit reservation for your class please click here.

Image credits: Students from the Bates School with Emergence of the Clowns, 1988, Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo). Heard Museum, Phoenix, IAC2344A-D. Also pictured: Chilkat blanket, c. 1832, Tlingit artist. Peabody Essex Museum, E3648. Shaman's Tree of Life, 1985, John Hoover (Aleut). Anchorage Museum, 1985.50.1. Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM. | Students from the Bates School with Waterfall, 1999, Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk). Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, 1999.6.4. Also pictured: Structural Landscape, 1952, George Morrison (Grand Portage Band of Chippewas). Joslyn Art Museum, JAM1955.187. Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM | Students from the Bowditch School (North Shore Camp Fire program) with Orpheus Charming the Animals, c. 1640, Aelbert Cuyp.The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM. | Students from the Bowditch School create artwork inspired by Fiery Pool: the Maya and the Mythic Sea. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM. | Arts Adventure Club participants in Yin Yu Tang, A Chinese House. Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.