Docents of the Fine Arts Museums provide tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor. Their service follows extensive training, through seminars and continuing education lectures. With additional training they also provide private group, school group, and access tours, and participate in our Community Speakers Program, which offers lectures for the community on museum-related topics.
Enhance your visit to the museum with a permanent collection or special exhibition tour. Choose from a self-guided audio tour (rental fees apply) or one of the many daily docent-led tours. See the daily tours schedule in the calendar listings for de Young and the Legion .
Docent tours are free after museum admission and special exhibition tickets, where required. Some tours require sign-up on the day of your visit. Reservations are not taken.
Private Docent-Led Tours
Private docent-led tours of the permanent collections or special exhibitions are offered to groups of 10 or more guests for a fee. Tours must be arranged four weeks in advance and are usually 45 minutes long. To reserve a tour contact the Group Sales department at 415.750.3620 or email@example.com .
School Group Tours
Docents work in conjunction with the Museums’ school programs to offer tours that allow students to develop an understanding of art in both creative and historical contexts. Visit the K–12 students page for more information.
College instructors from any accredited college may also arrange docent-led tours of the permanent collections or special exhibitions for their classes. Tours must be arranged four weeks in advance and are about 45 minutes long. Visit the college programs page for information and to download a request form.
Specially trained docents are available by appointment to lead tours that accommodate the accessibility needs of a group or individual. For sight-impaired visitors, a tour might include verbal descriptions and the opportunity to touch certain objects. Docents for the deaf offer tours using American Sign Language interpreters.
Docents are also involved in access programs designed for individuals living with dementia, for veterans who want to explore healing through art, and more. For more information on these programs, visit our access page .
Community Speakers Program
The Community Speakers Program features lectures written and delivered by museum docents, available on location to community groups throughout the Bay Area and on site at the de Young and the Legion of Honor. We offer more than 100 lectures on various topics pertaining to the Museums’ permanent collections and special exhibitions. Check the calendar for the de Young and the Legion to find scheduled lectures at the museums. To schedule a lecture for your community group, download a list of available lectures here and contact Kay Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Docent Training Program
The Museums welcomed 76 new members to its docent corps in January 2013 after completion of a rigorous two-year program of lectures and seminars, gallery exercises, and written and oral presentations. If you are interested in becoming a docent and would like to know when a new training class is being considered, please send your name and e-mail address to Cynthia Inaba, docent coordinator, at email@example.com.