Schools and Teachers – Clyfford Still Museum

Schools and Teachers



Request an inStill Gallery Experience

inStill is booked via Explorable Places, where you can browse lessons and book the date that works best for your schedule.
Please give us a call at 720–354-4877 if you would prefer to book over the phone.

What makes inStill unique?

  • It’s not a typical tour: Students take the lead in doing the talking, reading, writing, and thinking in workshop-model lessons.
  • Every student has a voice: Small groups and a high student-to-teacher ratio allow for every student to be heard and have their ideas valued.
  • We turn the galleries into a classroom: Our expert gallery teachers are trained in classroom strategies that fuel curiosity and ignite students’ imaginations.

inStill at the Museum

Students will:

  • Work in small groups of 5–7 students per CSM gallery teacher
  • Make observations and demonstrate original thinking
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Build good questions to explore work on view
  • “Write to learn” in various exercises
  • Create and justify their own interpretations
  • Participate in hands-on activities
  • Build 21st century skills

Choose From the Following Topics:

Enduring Understanding: Art Analysis, Interpretation, and Criticism
Visual art has inherent characteristics and expressive features grounded in the elements of art and principles of design. We can make meaning of artwork by engaging in art analysis and learning how to read, write, and talk about art.

Lesson Choices:

  • Digging Deeper with Questions
  • Thinking Like a Curator
  • Uncovering Clyfford Still’s Visual Vocabulary

Enduring Understanding: Art and Context
Art exists within multiple dimensions of time, space, culture, and history. Using social, historical, or biographical contexts to analyze art can deepen our understanding of the artwork and aid us in our interpretation.

Lesson Choices:

  • Making Connections: Art and Biography
  • Using History to Explore Art: The Great Depression
  • Using History to Explore Art: World War II and Abstract Expressionism


Enduring Understanding: Artistic Vision and Voice
Experiencing an artist’s complete body of work affords unique opportunities to understand an artist’s development. Considering an artist’s intent, choices, and creative process–for a single artwork or a complete oeuvre–helps us decipher the artist’s vision and voice and unpack our experience of the art.

Lesson Choices:

  • Analyzing Artistic Choices
  • Developing Personal Expression: Exploring and Breaking Tradition
  • Transition to Abstraction


Enduring Understanding: Creative Response to Art
Art itself is a source of inspiration for artists of all kinds. Responding to art with creative acts can help us deepen our engagement, increase our understanding, and provide new avenues for reflection and expression.

Lesson Choices

  • Connecting to Art through Poetry
  • Responding to Art with Making

inStill To Go

Extend your Museum visit and enhance your experience with pre and post-visit workshops at your school.

Can’t make it to the Museum? Standalone off-site visits may be available for qualifying schools.

Contact for more information about inStill To Go.

Multi-Visit Partnerships

Multi-visit partnerships allow schools to create deeper connections with the Museum and Clyfford Still’s art through a combination of visits to CSM, programs at school, and a school family night at the Museum. Students explore Still’s art through a variety of lenses and create a more complete picture of the breadth, depth, and context of the Museum’s collection while making cross-curricular connections to classroom work. Students use observation, art language, historical context, and experiences like art-making, curating, and writing to develop their own interpretations of Still’s art, and then synthesize and present their findings to classmates, teachers, and families.

For more information, or to request a multi-visit partnership, email

Self-Guided School Visits

Self-guided school visits for grades 8–12 are available. Self-guided visits require advance reservations.

Request a Self-Guided School Visit

Free For Teachers

Join us for free, customized professional learning workshops for your school, district, or organization.

The Museum is committed to excellence in teaching in its core programs, as well as to service of the teaching community at large. CSM teacher programs focus on critical reflection on practice, skill building, and practical applications of teaching tools. For districts, active teachers, and teachers in training, we offer learning labs, professional development, and enrichment opportunities.

As a single artist setting with an extensive archive of letters, photos, and primary resources documenting 20th century art and humanities, the Museum is a leading resource for multidisciplinary, arts-integrated, primary resource-based teaching that fosters critical thinking for participants of all ages.

Workshop topics include arts integration, innovation, teaching and learning for 21st century skills, and more.

Check back for upcoming programs for teachers.


The inStill Project

inStill Gallery Experiences were informed by the inStill Project, a collaborative research and development workshop with a focused group of Denver area schools during the fall semester of 2012. Museum staff and teachers worked together to create thematically integrated, standards-aligned lessons for their class’s museum visits. Students participated as creators and collaborators in the museum visits—their observations, reflections, questions, and learning shaped what current students look at, see, and do at the Museum. By building our programs using collaborative work with Denver area schools, the Museum provides visiting students with meaningful learning experiences that carry far beyond the walls of our institution.

Participating Schools: Aurora Academy, Ellis Elementary, Denver School of the Arts, Graland Country Day School, The Logan School for Creative Learning, The Odyssey School, and Rocky Mountain School for Expeditionary Learning.

Education & Programs Guiding Philosophy

The CSM Education & Programs guiding philosophy was developed in collaboration with the Museum’s educators and with respect to the CSM mission and museum education standards.


inStill is supported by:

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