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Baltimore Art Museums


There's a little something for everyone in Baltimore's art museums. A giant whirligig adorns one museum, while a bronze of Rodin's Thinker rests pensively under the marble arches of another. Find the one that fits your own personal artistic vision.

1. American Visionary Art Museum

Photo by Dan Meyers

The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore is home to a spectacular collection of beautiful, bizarre, and innovative art. What makes it unique? Not a piece in the striking Key Highway building on the edge of the Inner Harbor and Federal Hill was created by a formally trained artist.

2. Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of masterpieces by legendary artists including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh. It boasts the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.

The BMA's Sculpture Gardens feature a 100-year survey of modern and contemporary sculpture on nearly three landscaped acres in the heart of the city. In the summer it hosts jazz concerts. Located in the city's Charles Village, it is a can't-miss destination for tourists and Baltimoreans alike.

3. Contemporary Museum

Photo courtesy of Baltimore Heritage Area

Artists-in-residence from all over the world come to this Mount Vernon haven to work in collaboration with local artists or institutions. The creations usually have a political or social bent to them. For example, Louise Bourgeois: Femme displayed a series of nine copperplate etchings of trees transforming into bodies, which drew parallels between missing limbs and crutches, and the dismemberment and improvement of the body.

4. Maryland Art Place

Designed to promote and support contemporary artists, this non-profit gallery always has something new. Celebating its 25th anniversary in 2006, MAP remains free and open to the public and is now conveniently located in the Power Plant Live! complex near the Inner Harbor.

5. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore features a world-class collection of works ranging from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, from Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi to medieval ivories and Old Master paintings, from Art Deco jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.

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