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Through learning embark in a place of creativity and history that is sure to inspire all ages

Why is learning important to The Butler?

Someone once referred to The Butler as a “poor man’s university”. To walk through the galleries filled with American art masterpieces is like walking though the history of America. Art always reflects the time in which it was created and thus through art much about ourselves is made known.

docent speaking to group of children in front of rockwell painting

What is The Butler’s role in the community to educate?

The Butler’s role in our community is to educate and to present what has been named “the finer things in life”. The Butler is all about education and the realization that art enriches our life. Carl Dennison, The Butler’s longtime friend, once said that “The only thing that The Butler is selling is beauty”. How dull our community would be without the cultural and artistic joy which our great museum provides.

Butler Programs At A Glance

Programs and events of mass gatherings will remain cancelled until further notice (artist receptions, exhibit opening events, Films on Art, in-person lectures, etc.)

Programs and art classes are still being planned at this time to comply with public health and safety guidelines and ordinances. Updates will be released and posted to the public via news media, ButlerArt.com, and through Butler social media pages when available.  Large tours and school tours will be avoided until further notice.

The Butler Institute of American Art prides itself as a center for cultural enrichment. The primary educational program is its extensive collection of the art of America spanning three centuries. To walk through the Butler permanent collection galleries is a walk through the history of our country. The collection inspires educational activities for the whole family from tours and gallery activities through art classes for children and adults based upon the art and artists of America’s past and present. Unique programs bring the Butler collection to schools, nursing homes and community organizations. The Butler’s motto can be seen above the front doors and was created by the founder, 100 years ago Pro Bono Publico…For The Public Good. The wide range of Butler educational programming is assisted greatly by the museum’s docent program which educates dozens of community leaders who provide tours and outreach efforts in the community.

tour group

Schedule A Tour

Discover all there is for you at The Butler with a docent guided tour of the museum. Learn about the stories behind the art, the kinds that stir a child-like curiosity. See the galleries in a new light with the conceptual inspiration not commonly mentioned and captivating themes pushing the boundaries of art. Take this expedition with a class from school, a club you are a member of, an organization you are a part of, family members interested in learning, and so many more groups.


Tours are led by educated Butler docents with an enthusiasm for art and teaching. Free docent-guided tours are offered without prior reservations Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 2pm. Tours for groups may be arranged Tuesday through Sunday, free of charge, by calling Fred Schuster at 330.743.1107 ext. 1102.

How To Get Involved

Come See What's Inside

Visit & Tour Our Location

Our historical building in Youngstown is sure to surprise with a variety of inspiring and engaging artwork spanning several centuries. Walking through the galleries is like walking through the history of America. Take a tour with the option of an educated Butler Docent to aid in the exploration.

Like, Tag, and Post

Let's Get Social

Like us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for current content and fun photos from around The Butler. Stay up-to-date on events, openings, exhibitions, and programming with details. Interact with others who have similar interests and love art as much as you.

Contributing To The Community

Become A Volunteer

With a variety of volunteer opportunities, there are a multitude of ways to give back. Some of which being a museum store volunteer, a greeter at the info station, becoming a docent, aiding at educational programming activities, and working special events like the holiday craft show. To become a volunteer, call Renee at 330-743-1107 ext. 1306.

So Many Ways To Learn

Participate In Our Programs

There is something for every age at The Butler. See a film on art with your friend, attend a lecture on art world topics, take a class to learn a new skill, or stop in for Arts in the Early Mornings to take a new look at art for the little ones and a slow look for the seniors. These and much more await you at The Butler.

Join In On The Fun

Attend Our Special Events

Throughout the year, The Butler has many special events to attend, some for the public and others for members only. Events like Holiday Fun Day and An American Holiday at The Butler Annual Arts and Crafts Show happen annually. There are various events in coordination with exhibitions among others that appeal to children and adults alike.

Support That Goes A Long Way

Make A Donation

The Butler is a non-profit organization operating on generous donations, membership fees, grants, and fundraising efforts to satisfy the operative expenditures and the like. All sources of proceeds help support our “No Admittance” policy and fund our free programming.

Donate Now
Join In

Become A Member

A membership in The Butler qualifies one for inclusion in member’s only events and special benefits. There are a range of tiers to enroll in, all reaping a growing benefit package relative to the level chosen. Some benefits include discounts in the museum store and on art classes, reciprocal privileges in select Ohio museums, and in Trustees Circle levels, invitations to exclusive Trustees events.

Become a Member