Docent

Become a Brooks Docent!

We need you to join our volunteer team of fun, inquisitive, and enthusiastic docents. All you need is a love of art, a commitment to volunteering, and a desire to learn. New docent training program begins this fall!

Scroll to next section
Docent

What is a Docent?

A docent is a museum-trained volunteer who leads tours at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Docents engage groups of children or adults with the many exciting special exhibitions that come to Memphis, or with Memphis' own art collection at the Brooks.

Brooks docents engage audiences with the artwork on view and foster the development of visual and creative thinking skills, often providing the first contact many children and adults have with the visual arts.

Do you want to learn more about art?

Docents receive an in-depth six-month training course in the museum’s permanent collection, art history, and touring techniques. Training is always led by an art expert and consists of two hours each week during a six month program  that runs from September - March.

What is the commitment?

Once the initial training is complete, each docent is asked to make a two-year commitment and select one day per week, from September through May, to conduct scheduled tours. In addition, attendance at monthly training meetings is required. Qualified candidates are interviewed and selected based on their ability to communicate information knowledgeably and enthusiastically.

Who can be a Docent?

Prior experience or an art background is not required. Anyone who has an interest in art and lifelong learning can be a docent. Brooks docents are as diverse as the artwork they present and share:

• A love of art

• A passion for learning and teaching

• An ability to communicate effectively

• Enthusiasm, Creativity, and Flexibility

Benefits:

• Opportunities for continuing education and personal growth

• Support of an enthusiastic and dedicated docent peer group

• Ongoing training in teaching and learning theory, art and art history, and special exhibitions

• Art lectures, gallery talks, and curator tours

• Discounts on Museum membership

• An opportunity to serve the community—enriching lives and transforming others through the power of art

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer docent, call 901-544-6244, email Cheryl Caldwell, or apply below.

Apply Now:

We have even more ways to learn with the Brooks Museum. See our programs below.

Learn more

Art Therapy Access Program

Art therapy is defined by the American Art Therapy Association as a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by a masters-level art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

Learn More

Homeschool

The Brooks offers free Homeschool Days for homeschool students of all ages and their families. Homeschool Days occur six times a year - three in the fall and three in the spring. Each of these days explores the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions through a specific theme.

Learn More

Inside Art

Inside Art is Tennessee’s only family gallery dedicated to visual literacy – the ability to make meaning from the images you see. Teachers, parents, and caregivers alike will love each thoughtful element and its profound learning objectives. Children of all ages will relish in the sounds, sights, and textures as they pose, climb, create, relax, and explore.

Learn More

Virtual Visits

Classes are 40 minutes in length and are available Monday through Friday. All virtual visits must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance and require at least 10 participants. This is a free program open to all ages and types of groups.

Learn More

Art Therapy Access Program

Art therapy is defined by the American Art Therapy Association as a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by a masters-level art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

Learn More

Homeschool

The Brooks offers free Homeschool Days for homeschool students of all ages and their families. Homeschool Days occur six times a year - three in the fall and three in the spring. Each of these days explores the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions through a specific theme.

Learn More

Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards

The Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards is an annual juried student art exhibition presented by the Brooks Museum League and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Learn More

Tours

School tours are designed to engage students in critical thinking about art, and to support students to develop visual literacy skills. Students of all ages are invited to explore the rich collection of the Brooks Museum on a tour.

Learn More

Homeschool Activities

Yarn Landscape

Project Time:

Supplies

  • Cardstock or cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Different colored yarn

Lesson Plans

Browse our lessons for teachers to connect their students’ museum visit to the classroom.

Lesson plans with objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy are available for themed tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions. They’re designed to provide information about artworks, vocabulary, online resources, suggested curriculum standards, and pre- and post- museum visit activities for the classroom.


The Environment

The Environment

Grades PreK-1 (ages 4-6)

Explore themes from the environment, including seasons, animal habitats, and weather patterns through interactive gallery discussions and art-making activities.

Science - Technology - Engineering - Art - Math

Science - Technology - Engineering - Art - Math

Grades 3-8

Use art from our permanent collection as a launching point to explore STEAM concepts.

Arts of Global Africa

Arts of Global Africa

Grades K-12

An introduction to the rich artistic expressions of Africa, which are as varied as the continent itself.

Lesson Plan Attribution

Gaston Lachaise, United States, born France, 1882-1935, Two Floating Nude Acrobats, 1922, Bronze, 11 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches, Private collection, Courtesy of Gerald Peters Gallery © Gaston Lachaise Foundation

Hassan Hajjaj, (b. Larache, Morocco, 1960), Afrikan Boyem, 2012 from the series My Rock Stars Volume 2, Metallic Lambda print on 3mm Dibond in wood frame with Geisha maquereau tins, Courtesy Private Collection

Roger Brown, American, 1941 – 1997, Clouds Over Alabama, 1994, Oil on canvas, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art purchase; funds provided by the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Community Service Award in honor of Kaywin Feldman, with additional support from Mimi Loeb 2006.22. © School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brown Family

Thomas Hart Benton, American, 1889 - 1975, Engineer's Dream, 1931, Oil on panel, Eugenia Buxton Whitnel Funds, 75.1. © T.H. Benton and R.P. Benton Testamentary Trusts/ UMB Bank Trustee/VAGA, New York, NY

Carroll Cloar, American (active in Memphis), 1913 - 1993, My Father Was Big as a Tree, c. 1955, Casein tempura on masonite, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morrie A. Moss, 55.24. © Estate of the artist

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), The Grand Canal from the Campo San Vio, 1730-1735, Oil on canvas, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 61.216.

Isaac Soyer, American (b. Russia), 1902 - 1981, Cafeteria, c. 1930, Oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. E. R. Brumley, 45.12. © Estate of the Artist

Chakaia Booker, American, b. 1953, Untitled, 2002, Rubber tire and wood, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art purchase; funds provided by Wil and Sally Hergenrader, 2006.33. © Chakaia Booker

Elizabeth Catlett, American, 1919 - 2012, In Harriet Tubman I Helped Hundreds to Freedom from The Negro Woman, 1946, Linocut, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Gift of AutoZone, Inc. 2001.15.1i © Elizabeth Catlett/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

German, Saint Michael, c. 1450-1480, Limewood, polychromed and gilded, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Purchase with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Ben B. Carrick, Dr. and Mrs. Marcus W. Orr, Fr. And Mrs. William F. Outlan, Mr. and Mrs. Downing Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. Richard O. Wilson, Brooks League in memory of Margaret A. Tate, 84.3.

Red Grooms, American, b. 1937, Tennessee S Curve, 2001, Enamel on epoxy on Styrofoam, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art purchase; Morrie A. Moss Acquisition Fund 2001.10. © Red Grooms / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Book your event

Tell us about your event by clicking on the button below. Our special events manager will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

Rental space tours are by appointment only.

Get started