The Museum offers a variety of Educator programs and resources.

The annual Educators’ Art Fair and Educators’ Open House, the bi-annual Young Art exhibition, and docent-led programs including Children’s Workshops, and In-School PowerPoint Presentations are just some of the programs and resources offered. Contact us for more information.

K-12 Resources

The Museum’s Education team has created a series of resources to help introduce art into the classroom. The materials found here are designed to help educators create classroom activities that will enhance their students’ understanding of works of art at The San Diego Museum of Art. These resources are designed to be adaptable to any age group, can be developed from inexpensive materials, and are easy to integrate into a variety of disciplines. Explore ways to integrate art and holistic practices into your classroom, no matter your subject matter or skill level.

Educator Guides and Lesson Plans

The guides and lessons presented here can be explored solely in the classroom, but can be enhanced by an accompanying field trip to the Museum, and can be used as a resource both before and after visiting the Museum. Through these lessons, students will be introduced to works of art on view in the galleries, representing a wide array of artistic mediums, styles, and cultures that are most fully experienced in person and through the accompanying projects.

Student Art Workshops

Student Art Workshops are FREE in-depth opportunities for students to pair the processes of observing and interpreting art from the Museum’s galleries with the exploratory process of creating art in workshops led by our Museum Educators. Book a free Student Art Workshop to bring art to life for your class and pair observation with art creation.

Educator Guides

View Educator Guides from the Museum Education team on a variety of art topics. Click on one of the links to view a PDF, which you can easily print or save for later use. Each guide includes the 3-4 different lesson plans detailed.

European Art

  • Renaissance Altarpiece Panel Collage
  • Still-life Floral in 3-D
  • German Expressionism Inspired Prints

Still Life

  • George Braque: Exploring Cubism
  • German Expressionist Pastel Still Life
  • Matisse: Bright and Bold Relief Sculpture

Art of East Asia

  • Cloisonné-Inspired Origami Collage
  • Korean Celadon-Inspired Papier Mâché Vessel
  • Treasured Object-Inspired Still Life
  • Contemporary Deity Collage

Visualizing Music

  • Sound Print Compositions
  • Abstracted Instrument Still Life
  • Constructed Cardboard Instruments
  • Visual Rhythm Collage

Lesson Plans

View lesson plans from the Museum Education team to explore more ways to bring art into your classroom. Click on one of the links to view a PDF, which you can easily print or save for later use.


The Yearly Educators Preview

This once-a-year, free preview of Museum educations programs and teacher resources is designed for educators.

Connect and network with friends and colleagues while learning about the Museum education programs and resources.


The Library & Archives

The Research Library, located next to the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden, is the region’s largest library specializing in the visual arts. The Library’s holdings comprise more than 30,000 volumes covering a wide range of art topics, with a special emphasis on Italian Renaissance, Spanish Baroque, Indian miniature painting, and Chinese art. In addition, 15,000 bound volumes of art periodicals represent 440 different periodicals, with current subscriptions to 25 key periodicals. More information.

The Archives. Located inside the Research Library, the Archives are the repository for a wide range of materials dealing with the history of the Museum and of the arts in San Diego. The collection includes items relating to key figures in the growth of the Museum such as the Bridges and Putnam families as well as the papers and photographs of several important artists including Robert Henri, Donal Hord, William Templeton Johnson, and Alice Klauber. More information.

SDMA at Play

Visit SDMA at Play for digital activities and virtual experiences for your classroom and beyond.

Publications and Tutorials

Myths, Angels & Masquerades: Exploring European Art

Discover the fascinating world of European Art! This publication – the first in The San Diego Museum of Art’s Art Unframed series – is the perfect Museum and classroom companion. Geared towards young readers, this fun book explores themes including religious art, landscapes, still-life painting, and portraiture through forty-seven works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Purchase a copy of Myths, Angels, and Masquerades from the Museum Store or pair it with the second Art Unframed book Peacocks & Palaces: Exploring the Art of India.