Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Museums are natural destinations for the shared interests of schools and families. These visits enrich traditional classroom education and help children place their knowledge within a larger context. The R.W. Norton Art Gallery is a teaching museum. Using the art as textbooks, the entire curriculum for an academic school day can be taught in a rich and rewarding environment. Educators are encouraged to contact the museum for help in designing a personalized instructional experience for their next visit.

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Education Department Mission Statement

Our mission is to work in tandem with dedicated teachers to provide an enriched education for children through an arts based curricula with an emphasis on humanities.

Education Department Philosophy

The R.W. Norton Art Gallery Education Department believes that there is nothing more important than the education of a child. We see the purpose of this education as twofold: as a tool to help a child realize his or her own potential individually and that child, when grown, help his or her country realize its potential. To this end, we focus on the humanities as the best tool to promote cognitive and character development, critical thinking skills, and the joy of learning. Specifically, we offer a unique introduction to and exploration of the humanities provided by the arts through the creation of a museum arts-based curricula. This program is designed to support dedicated teachers who recognize the need to enrich public education and are willing to work with us in a team effort to achieve this goal.

Educational Programs

A Field Trip Request Form MUST be completed for all types of Norton educational programs.

If you have submitted a Field Trip Request Form and you have not received a confirmation within three working days, you should call (318) 865-4201 ext. #128 to verbally confirm.

Self-Guided Visit
Time of Activity: At your discretion

Schools are encouraged to make use of the museum’s resources at any time. We offer several Self-Guided tour brochures, which are available in the lobby, PDF form, or can be mailed in advance. We also have several activity guides for students of all ages. The most popular of these is the Norton Navigator, available online here. We also have "Mentor & Mentee" backpacks.

All visits need to be scheduled in advance. One chaperone per ten students is still required, even for a visit. Self-Guided Tours must be split into groups of ten, each with their own chaperone to guide the students’ experience in the Gallery. Admission to the gallery is free. Details of our permanent collection are available online here or by calling (318) 865-4201 ext. #128.

Self-Guided Tour Information
Traces the evolution of painting styles in America from Birch to Bierstadt and beyond
A journey through early American History which includes our Civil War Gallery and the conquest of the West
Takes a look at great American sculptors, including Borglum, Farnham, Russell, Remington, Saint-Gaudens, and others
Covering Russell and Remington, but also the works of other significant "cowboy" artists like Stanley, Shreyvogel, and A.D.M. Cooper
An appreciation of the decorative arts including our collections of Steuben glass, colonial silver, Cybis porcelain, and Wedgwood
A look at significant European works including our tapestries, paintings by Dutch masters, Les Animaliers sculpture, and works by Rodin
Explores Barye to Barbizons, Romantics to Rodin, complete with French art terminology
Explores French sculpture from neo-classical to the Romantic to the Modern using the works of Barye, Dalou, Rodin and others in the permanent collection
A complete walk through the first significant American art movement from Cole and Durand to Bierstadt and Sonntag
Answering the question, "How did they do that?" this tour explores several works of art and their techniques and terminology
Uncovering the artistry and history of color and divulging the dangers of painting
An in-depth look at two of America's premier western artists in galleries dedicated to their work
Docent Led Tour
Time of Activity: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Appropriate for tourists and tots, seniors and students, and even experts and ignorami, the Norton’s tour program offers a wide range of topics, themes, and possibilities to enhance your group’s visit. You can explore American History from the colonial period through the closing of the frontier or see art in the New World evolve from the colonial Limner tradition through to 20th century Post-Impressionism. Gain insight into highlights of our European collection or focus exclusively on 19th century French Art History. The scope and breadth of study for your students is entirely up to you!

Tours may even be customized for your specific studies or needs. These tours are lead by one of our trained docents and are designed to encourage and challenge the participants in a new way to view art with open-ended questions and classroom discussion highly encouraged.

Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour with time for questions at the end. Guided tours are available by appointment only for groups of 10 or more people. To schedule a guided tour, call the Norton at (318) 865-4201 ext. #128 or email at least three weeks in advance of a planned visit. Scheduling is limited to availability.

T.E.A.M. Event
Time of Activity: 2 or 4 hours

T.E.A.M. stands for “Tour And Education Activity Merge” and combines a hands-on lessons in our new classroom space with a docent-led tour in the Norton’s Galleries. In the past students have learned the Japanese tradition of fish printing, made quilts using symbology from the Underground Railroad, and replicated the early American plight of Taxation without Representation within their class group. The Norton also conducts writing prompt sessions in the art galleries using our own Norton Navigator.

T.E.A.M. Events are available by appointment only, limited to groups of 60 or less. There is no charge for a T.E.A.M. event. School groups are required to provide one chaperone for every 10 students. T.E.A.M. Events are specially designed to cater to your class’ need.

Some examples of past T.E.A.M. events are listed below:

Colorful Creations is an exploration of primary and secondary colors, how rainbows come to be, and how colors affect our emotions. During the lesson we make secondary colors from primary colors using color paddles, explore the illustrations of Dr. Seuss and the messages they convey. We also enjoy making and catching rainbows in our Fairy Tale Gallery.

Those Old People is a tour that allows children to explore the ordinary person behind the extraordinary person. Individuals like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Clementine Hunter were much like the students when they were children. The choices and decisions each made in their life elevated them to the pedestals they sit (or stand) upon today. In this tour we observe artworks throughout the museum and discuss the subjects featured in the pieces as well as the legacies they leave behind.

A Lesson in Louisiana encompasses many aspects of Louisiana History and Culture. The lesson can include a Native American Folktale, a discussion on Captain Henry Miller Shreve, an exploration of Shreveport-Bossier history, a foldable activity in Louisiana History, or a discussion on the Louisiana State insect. All of theses smaller lessons can be mixed and matched to create a two or four hour rotational activity that brings Louisiana History to life.

Treasures and Pirates explores the history of treasures. We discuss what makes items treasured, take a look at our 16th century trunk that doubles as a treasure chest, and create maps to the things that are most treasured by us. This lesson allows students to take census of the things in their life and debate what makes them the most valuable while hearing interesting tales of pirates of days past.

Are you looking for ways to motivate and engage your students in the study of biographies and/or historical figures? Portraits are often considered merely a reflection of what a person looks like, when in actuality, they can be read as biographies that communicate significant information about a person’s life while teaching students how to deeply observe, infer, and inquire. Join one of our museum educators to help students unlock the symbolism in portraits, connect biographies with portraiture, use portraits as a point of inquiry for biographical research, and create portraits and writings to deepen and assess student understandings.

Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish. Gyotaku also serves as a great way to teach children and adults about basic fish anatomy. During this activity, we will talk to students about the fins, gills, eyes, and lateral line and explore the Gallery’s gardens and ponds discussing fish habitat.

The Norton Navigator is an activity that allows the students to see the parallels between the visual arts and the literary arts. This foldable activity assists in the teaching of genre, actions, mood, settings, character, theme, and foreshadowing. By integrating the use of strong vocabulary, we allow for the development of word origin recognition as well as the use of context clues. We also provide dictionaries and thesauruses for the students while they work on their Navigators in the Gallery. The final task of the Navigator is a prediction exercise. The use of tense is very important in this task and highly emphasized by the staff.

The late nineteenth century was a rough period in American History. In spite of the challenges of slavery, The Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on American morale, amazing artistry still escapes from this time period. In this lesson we discuss the heartache of this time period in American History and explore the way that African American slaves read symbols in quilts to escape using the Underground Railroad. As the activity to pair with this lesson, the students will make their own quilt sections following the patterned symbols that African American slaves used. The teacher may then assemble her class’ quilt if he/she so desires.

How was America born? Where did her people originate? What challenges did they face? Using paintings, porcelain, and sculpture, students explore the timeline of American History from the first Native American inhabitants to the closing of the frontier in 1890. Works by Thomas Sully, Rembrandt Peale, Charles Russell, and Frederic Remington are included in this tour. Following the tour the students can participate in a “Taxation without Representation” activity in our classroom space to better understand the position of the colonists.

Immersion Programs
Time of Activity: 2 - 3 days

Immersion Programs are a new offering at for the R.W. Norton Education Department. We have found great success with working closely with schools and teachers on devising a two to three day intensive program for students here in the museum.

Essentially, we move the students’ full school day learning experience into the halls of the museum. Within their school day we teach English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies using theatre, engineering, music, and the visual arts as the textbook. Our staff and the grade level teachers coordinate the intensive programs. If you are interested in an Immersive Program for your students, please call the Norton at (318) 865-4201 ext. 128 or email at least a month in advance of a planned visit. Scheduling is limited to availability.