From the Field

Museums: pARTners in Learning

July 15, 2014

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), in partnership with the United States Department of Education, will present Museums: pARTners in Learning, an exhibition of student art and creative writing resulting from AAMD member museums’ innovative educational programs offered in partnership with their local schools. This year, the exhibition, on view at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., features programs organized by 16 college- and university-based art museums, which underscore the breadth and range of art museum education today.

On view July 1 – August 29, 2014 at the U.S. Department of Education, Museums: pARTners in Learning celebrates the remarkable diligence and creativity of thousands of k–12 students across the country, and highlights the diverse ways in which direct engagement with the arts enriches students’ learning experiences, personal development, and critical thinking. UPDATE: Images from the exhibition opening and ribbon cutting are available on the US Department of Education's Flickr.)



“Museums play a unique role in complementing our schools’ educational resources and provide invaluable access to arts education for students across the country,” said Chris Anagnos, executive director of AAMD. “Art is a powerful tool for encouraging new ways of thinking across disciplines. We are so pleased that these 16 institutions are participating in Museums: pARTners in Learning, and are committed to fostering innovative educational programs to promote student learning, engagement, and personal growth. We are proud to work with the Department of Education to showcase the many ways in which museum-school partnerships can make a broader impact on the quality of k–12 education in the United States.”



The participating museums are:


AAMD’s 239 members serve more than 40,000 public, private, charter, and home schools a year, with programs ranging from single-visit tours to intensive, long-term partnerships that include shared teaching, curriculum design, assessment, and professional development. Museums often pay for students’ transportation, especially those in high-need schools, and offer professional development for teachers, programs for students with special needs, and college preparedness for high school students. All AAMD museums place education at the core of their mission. 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Art Exhibit Program, now in its 11th year, produces seven exhibits each year. Members of the public who would like to visit Museums: pARTners in Learning should contact Jackye Zimmermann (202-401-0762) to set up an appointment.


Image 1: An Art Adventures gallery tour at the Georgia Museum of Art, summer 2013. Image courtesy of the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia.

Image 2: Students from Meadowbrook Elementary School in Gainesville work on watercolor paintings from their Harn art gallery sketchbooks. Linda Zidonik, an outstanding teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary School, formed an extra-curricular art club that took place on one Saturday at the Harn Museum of Art, with sketchbooks in the galleries, and then four consecutive Thursdays after school. Meadowbrook students' artwork is featured in the Museums: pARTners in Learning exhibition. Image courtesy of the Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Image 3: "Drawing Inferences, Reading Color: Self-Portraits as ISAT Prep" at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. This session began with a slideshow of portraits from the Smart Museum's collection. Students were asked to infer what each artist was trying to convey about their subject based on the colors used in each piece. The students were then asked to create self-portraits, and to carefully choose their colors based on what they wanted to say about themselves. Image courtesy of the Smart Museum of Art.