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School of Fine ArtsThe William Benton Museum of Art

University Tours

First Year Experience

The Benton invites First Year Experience Instructors:
The William Benton Museum of Art encourages the use of its collections by the University community. The Museum offers Docent Led Tours and Self-Guided Tours for classes and organizations.

Docent Guided Tours  Students with little or no prior experience at an art museum will enjoy  learning why The Benton is important to UConn and how they may make use of museum resources, events and programs. The Benton’s knowledgeable docents provide history and context, leading groups in an interactive analysis and understanding of artworks on view. Docent Guided Tours of current exhibitions can be tailored to suit course curriculum or special interests with an interdisciplinary approach.

Groups of 5 to 45 individuals can be accommodated and last approximately 50 minutes.Larger group visits may also be arranged with sufficient notice.

Please make reservations 3 weeks in advance of your requested tour date and have an alternate date in mind to ease scheduling.

Guided tours are available Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Self-Guided Tours are also welcome during regular Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. 

Please schedule your Self-Guided Tour in advance to avoid conflict with scheduled tours and events In the galleries.

All tours may be scheduled by contacting the education department at benton.education@uconn.edu or calling 860-486-1711 (Tuesday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) To cancel or reschedule your tour, please contact the Education Office at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled tour

Suggested in-class Preparation for FYE students: Discussion: ask your students if they have ever been to an art museum? Where? What type of art did they see?  How did they like it?  Why or why not?  Were they comfortable in the museum? Why or why not? Why is a museum an important part of campus life?

Review basic museum etiquette:

  • No backpacks large bags or umbrellas are allowed in the galleries. There is a coatroom in the lobby, laptops may be left with Visitor Services staff.
  • No drinks or food (including candy and chewing gum) are allowed in the galleries.
  • Cellphones should be turned off, and inside voices are used.
  • There is no photography in the galleries unless permission is given.
  • Artwork should not be touched (unless specifically designed to be touched) and visitors are asked to keep a 2-foot distance from all objects.
  • No pens may be used for note taking. The museum provides pencils if needed.

The Benton Museum is a great place to inspire FYE students to write their critical reflection writing assignment. We will arrange with the FYE Office for students to sign up for tours. We can assist with stimulating and fun scavenger  hunts as well as the Reflect and Project assignment.

Campus Art Walks are another great way to learn about the monumental works of art seen around campus. Students will gain an appreciation of contemporary art through docent guided discussions and inquiry regarding the selection of the artwork, why it was made, who made it and how and why it is sited where it is.