Faculty Resources and Class Visits

The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art is a teaching museum and a vital resource for Hamilton College students, faculty, staff, and the wider community. There are many ways to integrate works of art and material culture into teaching and learning, in a variety of areas of study. Museum objects can be used to introduce new ideas and perspectives, address subjects relevant to a range of disciplines, and advance interdisciplinary learning.

Class visits are developed as a collaboration between Wellin staff and Hamilton faculty and are customized to enhance student understanding of course content through engagement with the Wellin’s program of exhibitions and its diverse collection of more than 9,000 artifacts and works of art. You can find more information and search the collection here, and view our current and upcoming exhibitions here. You may request a viewing of select objects from the collection that are not on public display by appointment in one of our two seminar rooms. 

Please review the Plan Your Visit section below for more information about how to request a class visit. We look forward to welcoming your classes to the Wellin and will make every effort to accommodate requests.

Students speaking with their Professor in the gallery with art on the wall behind them. Students with Artist Donte Hayes in Object Study Gallery viewing his sculptures.


Plan Your Visit

Class visits can be facilitated by the Wellin’s curators and educators, faculty members who wish to lead their own class visit, or student docents, depending on the request. Our docents are paid Hamilton students from diverse areas of study who have an interest in teaching, museums, and the arts. Each visit is customized to suit the needs of a particular course. 
In order to accommodate your class visit(s), we ask that all requests be made at least two weeks in advance.

For those who wish to schedule a visit with less notice, self-guided visits are encouraged. Please be aware that museum spaces may be occupied with a pre-arranged program during your self-guided visit. Priority will be given to classes with an appointment. Classes without an appointment may not be able to use their desired museum space.

If you would prefer a guided tour or would like to view particular objects from the collection, please register using the form linked below so that we can review your request. Please note, guided visits and space reservations cannot be guaranteed with less than two weeks notice. 

All requests are reviewed by Wellin staff on a weekly basis. You will be contacted by a museum staff member within one week of submitting your completed form with further details. Once your visit is confirmed, a planning meeting may be scheduled with you to review the program for your visit.

Hamilton class visits can be arranged Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. If your class meets later than 5 p.m., the museum will make every effort to accommodate your schedule, with adequate advance notice.

Prior to meeting with museum staff to plan your visit: 
  • Please highlight any particular themes from your course that you would like emphasized during your visit. If you are unsure how the subject of your course matches with artworks at the Wellin, our staff can help plan a visit around your course content.
    If you are requesting to view collection objects selected from our website, please provide each item’s object number.

Please note:

  • You are welcome to visit the museum with your class during open hours without making an appointment. You can access our exhibitions here and preview the collection objects currently on view here. Please be aware that museum spaces may be occupied with a pre-arranged program during your self-guided visit.
  • You can view about half of the objects held in the Wellin’s collection on the museum’s website.  Our collections staff are happy to search our internal database if you are interested in learning about other objects in the collection not yet published there. In our ongoing effort to make the website comprehensive, we add works on a continual basis, so feel free to check the website regularly for new additions. 
  • For collection visits, we can accommodate a total of eighteen people in each of our two reservable seminar rooms. If you have a larger group, it may be necessary to divide the class between the two spaces in order to accommodate all students.
  • We recommend viewing between four to eight objects per seminar room on each scheduled visit. 
  • Grant funding is available to faculty who create assignments for their courses based upon current Wellin exhibitions through the Wellin Museum Grant for Innovative Teaching program. 

Request a Visit 

If you are looking for information on K–12 School Visits, please use this link


Marjorie Hurley, Museum Educator and Docent Program Supervisor, mlhurley@hamilton.edu

Alexander Jarman, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Academic Outreach, ajarman@hamilton.edu

Elizabeth Shannon, Ph.D., Collections Curator, eshannon@hamilton.edu