Gallery Tours & Art Projects for Grades 3-12

Come to the Bowers Museum to experience world art, history and culture in nearby Orange County! There are so many treasures at Bowers Museum, you can’t see them all at once. With our docent-led gallery tours, Bowers Museum offers an in-depth exploration of one of our permanent galleries or special exhibitions. You also have the option of participating in a hands-on art project to give your experience an ample slice of creativity. Our ever-expanding collections provide exciting new ways for our guests to interact with world art, history and culture. It's easy, accessible and fun for all ages and learning styles.

Educational Experiences include:

Docent Guided Tours of Permanent and Changing Exhibitions

Self-Guided Museum Experiences

Hands-on Art Making

Teen Career Development Programs

Afterschool Programs

Teacher Professional Development Programs


SPECIAL EXHIBITION Tours & Art Projects 2017-2018

ENDURANCE: THE ANTARCTIC LEGACY OF SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON AND FRANK HURLEYThe Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley

September 30, 2017 - January 28, 2018

Endurance: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley features rare images documenting of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial
Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917, as captured by the expedition's official photographer, Frank Hurley. Newly digitized from the original glass plates and celluloid negatives, these images survived the extraordinary journey undertaken by Shackleton, Hurley and the other members of the crew, revealing previously unseen details of the crew's epic struggle for survival both before and after their ship was destroyed. Accompanied by select artifacts from the expedition and a narrative comprised of the logs and diaries of Shackleton and his crew, Endurance brings the incredible story of human survival and the drive to explore unreached territories to life.

Art projects for this exhibition are currently being developed.

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit

Image credit: The Long, Long Night'

This image was taken by Hurley during the winter of 1915,
using 20 flashlights to create a 'spectre ship' effect.
(RGS-IBG S0000143) Artist / photographer: Frank Hurley
Date: 1915
© RGS-IBG

DRAGON LADY: EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI; SELECTIONS FROM THE SUMMER PALACE

Empress Dowager CixiNovember 18, 2017 - March 11, 2018

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) stands in the center of modern Chinese history. Cixi not only led politics, but also art of China at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. The exhibition reconstructs the matriarch's everyday life in the Summer Palace, presenting her multi-faceted roles of politician, matriarch, and connoisseur of the arts.

Art Classes: Chinese Watercolor Scroll Paintings, or Clay Dragons

Special exhibition rates apply. Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit

Image credit: “H.I.M The Empress Dowager of China, Cixi”

戴泽 after the original by Hubert Vos, 1905


AMERICAN VISIONARY: JOHN F. KENNEDY'S LIFE AND TIMES

March 10, 2018-June 3, 2018

This exhibition celebrates the life, political career, and extraordinary vision of one of the country’s most admired and most charismatic presidents through over 70 photographs--from his direct congressional bid as a decorated war hero in 1948, to his fairy tale marriage, his run for the White House to his role as commander-in-Chief, and the final tragedy in Dallas.

Art projects for this exhibition are currently being developed.

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit

Image credit: Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, 1957.
© Philippe Halsman, (Courtesy Magnum Photos)


FIRST AMERICANS: TRIBAL ART FROM NORTH AMERICA

April 7, 2018-August 19, 2018

includes a variety of artwork representing native people from five distinct regions of North America: the Arctic North, the Northwest Coast, California, the Southwest and the Great Plains. Learn how art forms were shaped by the environments, folklore and spiritual traditions of the numerous tribes in these regions, and how those art forms transitioned with the arrival of the European settlers. Several of our collection’s most important works will be on display in the exhibition for the first time in the US, including what may be the earliest example of a transitional Navajo First Phase Chief 's blanket, an early Hopi katsina doll, and a rare Seri feathered kilt from Baja, California.

Art projects for this exhibition are currently being developed.

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


Bowers Museum - general admission gallery TOURS & ART CLASSES

THE FIRST CALIFORNIANS

First Californians

The region of California has the first evidence of Indigenous peoples as early as 17,000 BCE, and, in countless villages across this ecologically diverse land, had the highest population density north of Mexico in the Pre-Columbian eras. Come celebrate these rich and enduring cultures through this extensive collection of Native Californian art and material culture. Explore the history, lifeways and customs of California’s First Peoples, how they thrived, and the ways they shaped their cultural identities that still survive today.

Art Projects for this exhibition are currently being developed.

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


CALIFORNIA LEGACIES: MISSIONS & RANCHOS

BOWERS KIDS 106

The Missions and Ranchos Gallery illustrates the vibrant, diverse, and colorful history of the people who settled the West Coast and Orange County. It begins with the conquest, Christianization and colonization of California during the Spanish Mission period (1768-1822) and carries through to the Mexican Rancho period (1832-1848). Our artifacts tell local stories of a borderland culture where Indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, California and Yankee traditions jostled together in a world both old and shockingly new.

Art projects for this exhibition are currently being developed

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


CALIFORNIA BOUNTY: IMAGE AND IDENTITY, 1850-1930

california-bounty.jpg

Viewers will take a rambling journey through California’s visual history, a history shaped by a unique mixture of Mexican and Anglo traditions as well as the state’s position on the Pacific Rim. Each painting epitomizes California’s land, people and offerings as a place of produce and plenty. The exhibition brings together many of the museum’s most cherished paintings, including works by early artists documenting the Mission and Rancho periods; landscapes by plein air painters portraying California’s coasts and canyons; sumptuous portraits and still-life paintings of flowers and paper-wrapped fruit; and a small selection of works indicating California as a continued place of possibility.

Art Project: Watercolor Landscape Paintings

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


ANCIENT ARTS OF CHINA: A 5,000 YEAR LEGACY

Ancient-Arts-of-China-A-5000-Year-Legacy.jpg

Journey back 5000 years across time in masterworks of the world's oldest living civilizations. Witness the breathtaking evolution of Chinese art and culture spanning from the Neolithic Era to the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. This feast for the eyes includes a tomb demon from the Warring States period (475-221 BCE), a laughing trio of terra cotta horses prancing out from the early Ming Dynasty (960-1460 CE), and many other Chinese treasures that can only be seen here. You may also participate in hands-on activities with real artifacts!

Art Classes: Chinese Watercolor Scroll Paintings, or Clay Dragons

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


SPIRITS & HEADHUNTERS: ART OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS

Spirits and Headhunters Art of the Pacific Islands

Venture into the magic of Oceania, where over 2,400 artifacts weave stories of birth, marriage, war, death, and the spirit world. Masterworks in this comprehensive exhibition originate from Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Particular focus is placed on New Guinea, land of the headhunter. These shadowed halls conjure sights of wooden totems, fire masks, tools of the shaman, and sounds of a living rain forest. Come immerse yourself in the rich artistic traditions infused into daily and ritual lifeways.

Art Class: Clay Spirit Masks

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit


CREATE YOUR OWN TOUR

Is your class studying a particular culture, theme or topic? We would be happy to work with you to develop a customized tour and art project to accommodate your student’s needs. Contact the Tours Office for more information on how to create your unique and specialized museum experience.


Pricing

School Tour & Art Class Pricing – General Admission Galleries

Pricing for regularly priced galleries, including Endurance, is $13 per student for tour and an optional art project.
1 chaperone for every 10 students is required, and is free, with additional chaperones at $13 each.
All teachers and special needs aides are free.
Pricing includes admission to one gallery.


School Tour & Art Class Pricing – Special Exhibitions

Pricing for special exhibitions, including Empress Dowager Cixi, is $15 per student for tour and an optional art project.
1 chaperone for every 10 students is required, and is free, with additional chaperones at $15 each.
All teachers and special needs aides are free.
Pricing includes admission to one gallery.


Are you a title I school?

Your school may be eligible to receive grant funds to cover all or part of a tour, art class, and up to $250 reimbursement per bus. For more information on our grant program, click here


Scheduling

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 75 students per visit date.
School tours can be scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays starting at 9:30am.
We recommend allowing at least 2 1/2 hours for tour, break and art project.

Please arrive 10-15 minutes early.


QUESTIONS? Ready to schedule?

Please contact the Tours Office at 714-567-3680 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.