Rubin Museum of Art

  • Hours
  • Today: 11am-6pm

  • The museum is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day.

  • The Cafe and the Shop are open during the museum hours.

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Pre-Visit Lessons

Book an interactive and engaging pre-visit to prepare your students for their trip to the museum.

Pre-Visits prepare students and teachers for their encounters with Himalayan Asia with thought-provoking explorations of context and content led by engaging museum educators. Lessons are founded on inquiry-based discussions about objects from the museum’s collection to support age-appropriate learning, and generate curiosity and excitement about the upcoming trip to the museum.

The Rubin Museum offers five Pre-Visits, drawing on ideas and images that connect to your Guided Tour. Lessons can be scheduled either in school or at the museum’s Education Center before a guided tour begins.

Pre-Visits Topics:

  • Symbols: Decoding Himalayan Art
  • Mandalas
  • Silk Road: From China West
  • Animals in Himalayan Art
  • Protection: Peace and Wrath 

Pre-Visit Details:

  • $50 per session
  • Sessions are one period long (approximately 45 minutes) 
  • In-school pre-visit lessons: maximum 60 students
  • Education Center pre-visit lessons: maximum 30 students
  • All programs are subject to availability, so book early! 

Download Registration Form

Engage your entire school community in the art of Himalayan Asia with an Assembly Connection.  A Rubin Museum educator will visit your next school assembly to lead an engaging and insightful presentation using vivid images and objects from our collection of art from Himalayan Asia.  Assembly Connections are $250 for a presentation lasting up to one hour.

Some lesson plans and materials are available for download below so that teachers can prepare in-class independently

Lesson Theme Examples

Animal Symbolism (Recommended for all grades)

Students will examine the use of animal imagery in Hindu and Buddhist art and discuss how these forms suggest more complex meanings. Students will then design their own animal symbols!
Download Animal Symbolism Lesson Plan and Handouts

Marvelous Mandalas (Recommended for all grades)
This lesson focuses on mandalas, compelling geometric forms frequently depicted in Buddhist art. Students will examine and decode images of mandalas and explore their geometric and symbolic elements.
Download Marvelous Mandalas Lesson Plan and Handouts

Powerful Protection (Recommended for grades 3-12)
Protection is a recurrent theme in Himalayan art. Students will examine and decode images of protection and make connections to their own lives.
Download Powerful Protection Lesson Plan and Handouts


To schedule your pre-visit lesson, please complete our Group Visit Reservation Form


Download Registration Form
Registration Form (PDF)

For more information, call 212.620.5000 x274 or email

Education programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the David Rockefeller Fund.