Museum Docents

Founded in 1967 to provide educational experiences for the broader Princeton community, the Princeton University Art Museum Docent Association is an integral part of the Art Museum’s educational initiatives.

 All Museum Docents:

  • Conduct tours for children and adults as well as our weekend Highlights Tours.
  • Welcome and orient our visitors by staffing the Information Desk.
  • Attend General Meetings, held on Monday afternoons during the academic year, which provide continuing education and serve as a forum for dialogue. 

 
Docents help run many of our family, K-12, and adult programs, including:

  • Art for Families: Docents assist children and their families with our Saturday morning Art for Families program. Activities include self-guided tours, hands-on art projects, and storytelling.
  • Frances Lange Public Schools Program: This program brings elementary school children from Trenton-area schools to the Art Museum over the course of a year to learn about world art and cultures.
  • Family Day: This popular annual event, which attracts more than 1,000 people, offers hands-on activities, live performances, storytelling, scavenger hunts. 
  • Adult Mini Courses: Designed for self-organized groups of twelve to fifteen people, mini courses consist of three docent-led sessions, held once a week for three consecutive weeks. 

Docent Training
New docents attend an intensive, one-and-a-half year training program, supervised by the Associate Director for Education. Training takes place twice a week during the academic year and consists of lectures, gallery sessions, research, and presentations to fellow trainees and other docents. Docents continue their education throughout their years of service by attending docent meetings, participating in study groups, attending gallery talks, and taking trips with fellow docents to other regional museums. Every two to three years, the Associate Director for Education develops an international tour, open to docents and their spouses, which focuses on specific areas of the collection.

To apply
Applicants need not have a background in art history. Successful docents will have the time and energy required to complete the course, an interest in sharing art and history with diverse audiences, and willingness to assume several years of service. For more information, e-mail bbatchel@princeton.edu. Interviews are usually conducted in the spring, and applicants are notified of the committee’s decision prior to summer. Note that the Association does not take a new class every year.