Groups can explore UMMA’s collections and exhibitions on guided tours led by our docent corps or on self-guided tours on their own. Whether you are interested in a collection-based tour, an architecture tour highlighting the story of the Museum’s recent transition and history, or a themed examination of a specific topic, UMMA provides a variety of ways to engage with art.
Group Tour Types
UMMA’s collection of nearly 20,000 works of art is available for the teaching and research needs of all higher education instructors and researchers. In addition to guided and self-guided tours of the museum’s galleries and temporary exhibitions, UMMA is equipped with object study classrooms and study cases that allow us to display selected artworks specifically for class or research visits.
UMMA’s creative and experienced docents will always work with teachers to tailor tours to make them appropriate to the individual classroom curriculum.
Academically enriching and great fun, docent-led tours enable K–12 students to understand art, history, culture, geography, and much more. Tours may also focus on a particular culture such as monuments of China, ceramics in Korea, or American history. Alternatively they may be thematic and address units like neighbors and communities, shapes and colors, friends and family.
UMMA’s creative and experienced docents will always work with teachers to tailor tours to make them appropriate to the individual classroom curriculum. A docent will contact the classroom teacher to discuss the theme, content, and logistics of the tour. Docent tours develop observation skills and visual literacy, confidence and critical thinking.
UMMA Docent tours are always free. Tours for school groups are available by request at least three weeks in advance. The Museum can accommodate up to sixty students in one visit.
Subsidies to defray school bus charges are available. Please see Bus Parking and Reimbursement.
UMMA's docent-guided school tours are supported by the Richard and Rosann Noel Fund for Museum Education, Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, the Dr. Albert Bennett UMMA Education Fund, and other generous donors.
Families with children are invited to look, learn, and create together.
Through the generous support of the University of Michigan Credit Union, UMMA's Lead Sponsor for Student and Family Engagement, two family-centered programs are available most months throughout the year.
For children ages three to five, Storytime at the Museum invites families to hear a story in the galleries, incorporating short activities responding to the art on display.
Designed for families with children ages 6-12 to experience art together, Family Art Studio allows local artists and UMMA docents to lead participants on an exploration of the exhibition followed by a hands-on workshop.
Explore the museum with friends and peers. Adult groups of 10 or more are invited to request a docent led tour based on our collections or a special topic of their interest. Advance notice of three weeks is required. Please note we ask for a donation of $25 per docent: these donations support the K-12 school bus reimbursement fund. You will find space at the end of the request form to provide additional information or ask questions.
Lively and engaging conversation and active looking are features of UMMA public tour offerings. Docent led tours of current exhibitions and the permanent collection galleries are offered regularly. Artist talks, gallery conversations, dialogues with curators or special guests are great ways to engage with art on display. Special Meet Me at UMMA tours serve people with memory loss and their families.
To enrich a visit to UMMA for individuals, clubs, classes, or others, we offer many resources for a wide variety of audiences including K-12 educators and students. When you arrive be sure to pick up a Visitor Guide, which includes floor plans. To ensure the best experience for all gallery visitors, please schedule your self-guided tour three weeks in advance.