Permanent Collection Tours
PreK: My Outdoor World
This hands-on tour is a fun first visit to the Cummer Museum. Students will learn about the world around them through a combination of art, music, literature, and movement, while exploring their relationship with animals, plants, and the river.
Kindergarten: The Art of Portraiture
This visit concentrates on self-discovery through portraiture. Students will view portraits from various cultures and time periods and learn to identify focial features and clues to feelings through facial expressions.
First Grade: Types of Paintings
This tour will focus on two-dimensional works of art in varying styles. Students will learn the classifications of paintings by examining still lifes, landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits.
Second Grade: The World Through Art
This visit will examine social studies, science, and math through the use of art. Students will see these subjects come to life through interaction with paintings, sculpture, gardens, and hands-on art making.
Third Grade: Elements of Art
Students will explore the art elements of line, shape, pattern, and form in a variety of paintings and sculptures. Explorations include a search for lines and shapes in an abstract painting and a discovery of the characteristics of three-dimensional art objects.
Fourth Grade: The Art of Florida
Students will explore the history of Florida and the First Coast through various works of art. With subjects ranging from Andrew Jackson to the Timucuan Indians, this tour will reinforce specific state standards and further enrich students in the history of their community.
Fifth Grade: Art in 3 Dimensions
This visit will introduce students to the world of sculpture, both in the galleries and gardens. Standards in science and math will contribute to an intense look at the dynamic art form of sculpture.
Third Grade through High School: Touch Tours
Students who are low vision or blind can experience the collection through a variety of hands-on expereinces in the galleries and gardens.
Middle School and High School: General Art History
Students will spend time exploring our permenent collection, special exhibitions, and historic gardens. These docent-led tours will travel through time and see works of art from Antiquities up to the 21st century and can be catered to focus on any specific subject matter that students may be studying in the classroom. Teachers can choose free exploration, a drawing activity in the gardens, a docent-led writing activity, or a school-based project to accompany the tour.
PreK Garden: Exploring Nature
Students explore nature through hands-on activities while experiencing the Cummer Gardens. They learn respect for the environment and the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Kindergarten Garden: Diversity of Nature
Students will discover the diversity of the natural world. Through exploration of the Cummer Gardens and hands-on activities, students will learn about different landforms, life forms, times, and ways to percieve them.
First Grade Garden: Being Part of Nature
Students will observe and interpret their environment, while learning their place within it and responsibility for it, while exploring the Cummer Gardens through hands-on activities.
Second Grade Garden: Patterns in Nature
Students recognize patterns in nature through hands-on activities and examination of the Cummer Gardens. Students will observe natural patterns of shape and form as well as discussing the cyclic nature of the natural world, including weather and life cycles.
Third and Fourth Grades Garden: Community and Nature
Students will learn about how people can affect the environment or be affected by it, while exploring the Cummer Gardens through hands-on activities.
Fifth Grade Garden: Your World by Design
Students will explore Landscape Architecture as a career and as a design tool to meet the needs of the world around them, while enjoying the Cummer Gardens through hands-on activities.
Special Exhibition Tours
Mediterranea: American Art from the Graham D. Williford Collection
This exhibition looks at how American artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries captured the diversity and distinctiveness of the Mediterranean region including Italy, Spain, the Middle East, and North Africa. Artsits drew on the richness of the flora, the legacy of the Greco-Roman past, and the influence of Christianity and Islam to create beautiful landscapes and genre scenes. Available to PreK through Fifth Grade students; tours offered October 17 through February 2 , 2018.
Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy
This exhibition presents a heroic period in American history as captured by one of the quintessential American painters of the era. Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy is an exhibition of steel, smoke, saltwater, and strength all captured in a signature style. Benton was deeply moved by the attack on Pearl Harbor and shortly thereafter he completed The Year of Peril, a series of grim and powerful war paintings financed by Abbott Laboratories. Available to PreK through Fifth Grade students; tours offered February 20 through May 25, 2018.
School Tour Sponsors
Ida Broward Boyd and Crowther Mann Boyd Endowment
Duval Country Public Schools
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Grimes
Holland & Knight
Main Street America Group
The Rayonier Advanced Materials Foundation
The Dianne T. and Charles E. Rice Family Foundation
J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver
Booking a School Tour
- School tours are available September through May.
- Tours are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
- Tours start at either 9:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and will last 90 minutes.
- School tour pricing is $5 per student with one free teacher or chaperone required for every 10 students. Additional teachers and chaperones are $5 each.
- A $50 deposit is required to secure your tour date(s).
- Please submit the Date Request Form at least 30 days in advance of your desired tour date; dates are limited and fill quickly.
- Please consider testing and school schedules when choosing dates.
- Depending on the size of groups, multiple dates may be required.
School Tour FAQs
Is there material to help me prepare my students for our visit?
Tour packets are available in the teacher resources section below. The packets will include an overview of what you and your students will see while at the Cummer Museum. Pre- and post-visit activities are included for you to complete before and after your visit. We also suggest sharing with students the following museum etiquette before your visit:
- Please do not touch the works of art in the galleries as it can damage them.
- Always use walking feet.
- Inside voices (voice level 2) will make sure all visitors to the Museum have a good visit.
- No food, drink, or candy is allowed in the galleries, but can be checked in with a staff member if brought into the Museum.
- Always listen and follow directions from your teacher and Museum guide.
What if the date, time, or number of students on my contract is wrong?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904.355.0630 immediately if anything on your contract is incorrect. Please let us know if the number of students booked drops from your original number at any time.
What time is my tour and what time should I arrive at the Museum?
Tours are scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and will last 90 minutes. We advise that groups arrive 15 minutes before tours are scheduled to begin. Unfortunately if your group arrives late, we will need to shorten your tour to fit within the time allotted. If you need to leave earlier than your scheduled time, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may adjust your curriculum for optimal results.
Where do I unload my students and where do I park?
Buses, vans, and cars can drop students off at the north end of the Museum at the Education Entrance under the grey awning. A member of our staff will meet you at the Education Entrance and will assist you with parking.
Will I need to divide my class or group?
Every attempt is made to keep classes together; however, splitting or shifting may be required to maximize your tour experience and to accommodate our smaller spaces and scheduling restrictions. We typically include an average of 20 students per group but can reach as high as 25 students per group. A member of our Education team will coordinate with you when you arrive at the Museum to split or shift groups if needed. Since multiple schools can be scheduled at each time slot, please have students wear nametags with the student’s name, school name, and homeroom teacher.
When and where do I pay for my tour?
If your tour has a balance due (minus the $50 required deposit), a member of our Education team will assist with final payment on the day of your tour at the admissions desk in the Art Connections area. Final numbers will be updated, and payment in full will be required, which can be paid by cash, check, or credit card. If chaperones need to pay individually, please advise them that a member of our Education team will let them know when and where to pay on the day of your school tour.
Does the Museum have a picnic area?
The Museum does not have picnic or lunch facilities; however, two local parks are nearby. Riverside Park is located on the corner of Margaret and Park Streets and has picnic tables and a playground. Memorial Park is on Riverside Avenue, about a half-mile south of the Museum and is on the river. Neither park has public restrooms. An amphitheater-style space is available under the Fuller Warren Bridge, located within walking distance to the north of the Museum.
Can I take my students to the Cummer Shop?
Students are welcome at the Cummer Shop, but must be accompanied by teachers or chaperones. A visit to the Shop is not included in the 90 minutes allotted for your tour, so you will need to plan accordingly.
Can I stay in the Museum once my tour is finished?
School groups are welcome to stay in the Museum and visit any of the galleries, gardens, or Art Connections. As other school groups may be in the Museum, we do ask that you please respect the spaces that are needed for those students and yield to any guided group.
Still have questions? Email email@example.com or call 904.355.0630.
Want to book a school tour? Click here.
Please click on the tours below to access the tour packet with information about your visit to the Cummer Museum, as well as pre- and post-visit activities to use in your classroom.
Connecting to Art at the Cummer: Art Integration for Teachers
This in-service uses multiple intelligence teaching strategies to introduce teachers to integrating the visual arts, music, creative movement, and performance into academic classroom subjects. Using a developmental approach that emphasizes both visual and critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills, the course will support state standards in the visual arts, math, science, language arts, music, and social studies and is appropriate for grades pre-kindergarten through five. This in-service is currently only available to teachers that are participating in Cummer in the Classroom and the Weaver Academy of Art programs.
Start with the Arts: Early Childhood Education Program
Start with the Arts is an instructional program created by VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, for preschool and early elementary school learners that uses the arts to assist young children, including those with disabilities, in exploring themes commonly taught in early childhood classrooms.
The Cummer Museum periodically holds trainings for area teachers on how they may incorporate the themes and lessons of Start with the Arts into their classrooms. These hands-on trainings demonstrate art-making activities, literacy exercises, adaptive materials, and classroom modifications, as well as other techniques to make art learning accessible to all students, regardless of ability.
The entire Start with the Arts curriculum is available for free through The Kennedy Center.