August 27, 2020

Getty Brings Art Education into the Virtual Classroom

Getty Brings Art Education into the Virtual Classroom


LOS ANGELES - If your K-12 class can’t come to the Getty this year, the Getty will come to you. The J. Paul Getty Museum is launching Getty Virtual Art Explorations, a virtual teaching program that provides live arts education online.

Getty Virtual Explorations is an interactive, collection-based, object-focused experience with students. The program uses a discovery and inquiry-based approach to teaching, and was created to provide arts education in the virtual classroom.  Using Zoom, Getty is also able to extend its reach both locally and globally, opening new doors and connecting with future visitors.


“In a normal year, Getty welcomes 150,000 K-12 students for guided visits to our museums at the Getty Center and Getty Villa,” says Keishia Gu, Head of Education at the Getty Museum. “Obviously this not a normal year, and it’s been our top priority to develop a program that allows us to maintain our engagement with K-12 students, even if it can’t be in person.”

Following the success of a pilot program this summer with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Inner-City Education Foundation (ICEF), the Museum’s Education team is expanding the program to include additional school districts and home school networks in Southern California.

“There was a connection between us, the teacher, and the students that we could still feel even though the session was virtual,” said Getty Educators Kelly Jane Smith-Fatten and Meganne Drake , “Students were excited and followed along in the looking exercises, the physical activities, and were active in sharing questions and thoughts. It is very exciting to be developing and exploring new ways to access the collection in these Zoom sessions. We are so grateful to have worked with these classrooms!” 

Getty Virtual Art Explorations leverages available technology that allows students to observe details in an artwork more closely than they could in the gallery, with Getty educators facilitating an interactive discussion about objects in the Getty collection.

Daily classes for hundreds of students are being offered to grades K-12, with lessons on a variety of subjects. The virtual program runs 30 minutes for grades TK-2 and 45 minutes for all others. The lessons are interactive, collection-based, object-focused experiences with students, using a discovery- and inquiry-based approach.


Similar to the Getty’s Arts Access program, which in previous years allowed teachers to sign up for fieldtrips, educators are able sign up for Getty Virtual Art Explorations through the Getty website. Reservations open September 8.


Getty’s Iris blog has more information here, any additional questions can be sent to



Valerie Tate

(480) 276-2274

Getty Communications




Getty is a leading global arts organization committed to the exhibition, conservation, and understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural heritage.  Working collaboratively with partners around the globe, the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute are all dedicated to the greater understanding of the relationships between the world’s many cultures.  The Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs share art, knowledge, and resources online at and welcome the public for free at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.


The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.



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