de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Classroom Connections: Exhibitions


Exhibitions at the de Saisset Museum provide a range of opportunities for classes, students, and scholars to get involved with the arts. Levels of participation vary, allowing faculty and students to tailor their experiences and to maximize educational opportunities. There are a variety of ways to incorporate these shows into the classroom curriculum.

The de Saisset Museum presents six to twelve temporary exhibitions in addition to the permanently installed California History exhibit every year. Temporary exhibitions aim to highlight the diversity of our community, address the issues of contemporary society, showcase the work of under-recognized or under-appreciated artists, and emphasize the strengths of our permanent collection.

Several models for incorporating exhibitions into the learning process already exist; however the Museum staff always welcomes new ideas.

Suggestions for Connecting to the Classroom through Exhibitions:

  • Take an interactive Explore with Me Docent Tour
  • Require students to see a specific exhibition and create an assignment around a specific work or group of works
  • Invite exhibition artist(s) to speak to your class
  • Collaborate with de Saisset staff on a more involved project:
    • Require students to work with the curator to draft wall texts and labels for a specific exhibition
    • Require students to work with the curator to create a cell phone audio tour
    • Incorporate the theme of the exhibition into the syllabus and develop meaningful connections between class assignments and works on display, such as What's Your Story?
  • Propose an exhibition to the de Saisset that addresses our Mission and Core Values. Exhibitions may include the results of student work, such as The Power of Portraiture, or they may showcase the findings of a research project such as The Saints of Mission Santa Clara: Discovering the Meaning Behind the Art.

How to Make a Classroom Connection:

To find out more about incorporating exhibitions into your teaching or to propose an idea, contact Lindsey Kouvaris, Assistant Director, Exhibitions & Programs, at or 408.554.4528.

Images, left to right: Students working with pieces in What Makes a Picture a Portrait?, photo courtesy of Nancy Martin. Students drawing on Board...Landscape, an interactive art piece by Chris Sicat included in the exhibition LandsCApes: Glimpses of Everyday California, photo courtesy of Elizabeth Carter.


Examples of past Classroom Connections 

There are a variety of models in place to create meaningful classroom connections; however, the de Saisset always welcomes new ideas.


The de Saisset presents six to twelve temporary exhibitions each year. Find out what's up now and what's coming next.