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Become an official History Hunter with the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts Education Program!

The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts offers educational programs that can be brought to your school or organization. Our programs are fun filled with hands on activities that let your students enjoy their creative side. For each class, we will bring in items from our museum collection. 

Lesson topics and art projects are customized to be age and skill level appropriate for grades Pre K-12. Museum staff will bring all project materials to your school or location.

Home School programs are available.

Contact for more information!

For more information contact Lilly Waters,

Outreach Coordinator, at 423-267-7176



The World of Glass

Students will love learning about the science, history, and techniques of glassmaking as they study Ms. Anna Houston’s vast glass collection while viewing select pieces in person. Your class will also enjoy making a decorative glass craft in this exciting program.

Occupational Shaving Mugs

Students explore advertising and trades as they compare and contrast jobs and gender roles of the Victorian era with those of today. Students will create their own occupational mug in this fun and informative program.

Dave the Potter

This program introduces students to Dave, a talented African American artist, poet and slave. Dave created approximately 40,000 pots, writing simple, yet profound poetry on many of them leaving behind his legacy in his ceramic creations. Students will view ceramic art works from the Houston Museum collection while discussing and comparing the mysterious and amazing art works created by Dave. Your class will love this glimpse of history and culture while creating their own pottery pieces.

Victorian Music and Music Boxes

Learn all about the history and operation of antique music boxes in this melodious class. Students will compare songs and lyrics of the Victorian era with today’s music while viewing an antique music box from the Houston Museum Collection. Students can then study and play with small music boxes.


Animal Symbols

Animal images have been incorporated into the decorative arts throughout history; discover why with this exciting nature inspired program! Students will consider the importance of animals in art, view a variety of artistic mediums, and create a craft highlighting their own animal symbol.


Hand building with Clay

Introduce your students to the origins of pottery making. This fun filled program highlights some of the museum’s fascinating ceramic pieces as students use the coil, pinch or slab methods to create their own masterpiece.


Victorian Tea Party

Your class will love this lively “time travel” back to a formal tea party. Students learn about inventions of the 1800s and are introduced to proper Victorian manners, customs, and lifestyle as they are served tea by a Victorian attired hostess. Students then enjoy creating their own Victorian project.


American Textiles

Students will view and study some of the Houston’s beautiful antique woven coverlets, samplers, and quilts, and learn the fascinating history and stories behind this traditional art form. They will also learn about natural material and methods used in weaving, dyeing, and sewing textiles, and then get to try their hand at creating their own small masterpiece.

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Face Jugs

In this program students will learn about the history of African American face jugs, from how they were made to who made them and why. They will see detailed pictures of the fascinating face jug made during the time of slavery, which is held at the Houston Museum while painting their very own face jug to keep.


Native Americans

Discover the past of Native Americans. Students will explore and learn the history and culture of Native Americans while viewing artifacts from the Houston Museum collection. Students will create their own gourd art or make their own dream catcher.