Families at the Corcoran
Tips for Families Visiting the Corcoran
The Corcoran Gallery of Art encourages families with children of all ages to explore the museum through interaction and participation. Here are some tips and ideas for families visiting the Corcoran:
BEFORE your Visit
- Determine which exhibitions will be on view during your visit. Plan your time based on your child’s age. Aim for 30–45 minutes, and take breaks. Choose a few things you are interested in seeing instead of trying to walk through the entire Gallery.
- Discuss with your children what they think they might see at a museum of art, as well as their own experiences with art. What has been their favorite art project?
- Talk about museum manners with your children. Explain that while they are not allowed to touch the art in order to protect it from harmful fingerprints, they are welcome to talk, sing, or draw what inspires them about the artwork!
- Download our current Family Exploration Guide before you arrive.
DURING your Visit:
Use our family guide to explore highlights of the Corcoran. This resource offers questions for guided looking, activities, and suggestions for further exploration. Pick up a copy at the admissions desk!
As a family, explore basic questions about the artwork such as
• What is going on in this picture?
• What do you see that makes you say that?
• What more can we find?
Play I Spy!
Find specific shapes, colors, lines, and objects in the artworks or galleries.
Pretend you can jump inside the painting and describe what you might see, hear, and smell.
Create your own scavenger hunt!
Visit the Corcoran Shop and purchase postcards of works currently on view in the galleries (you can ask a shop attendant to help you with this). Then explore the galleries to find the works that match your postcards. Afterward, you can mail the postcards to your friends and family to show them what you saw!
Write a story or poem about the artwork, or write a conversation between the characters in an artwork. Or just use a pencil and paper to doodle!
Most works are given a title by their artist. As a viewer, what would you title the artwork?
AFTER Your Visit:
- Create artwork inspired by what you saw during your Corcoran visit. Think about a theme or a specific art material that was interesting.
- All of the artwork in the Corcoran is part of a collection. Start your own collection at home from objects around your house, such as buttons, dolls, trains, toy cars, leaves, or rocks, and display your collection.
- Visit your local library or the gift shop for books about an artist or artwork your child especially liked. Look online for artists or art terms you would like to know more about.