The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore offers a different take on art.
If you’ve ever visited Federal Hill in Baltimore, you might have seen an interesting set of buildings at the bottom of the hill. These three vintage buildings make up the American Visionary Art Museum, a collection of art emanating from the average American visionary.
The works of art in this museum aren’t necessarily created by classically trained artists; they're made by housewives, farmers, the disabled, retirees, and doctors. Opened in 1995 by Rebecca Alban and LeRoy Hoffberger, the museum has been declared America’s official national museum for intuitive, self-taught artistry.
Each of the three buildings on the campus is a lasting remnant of industrial Baltimore. The main building was the former Baltimore Copper Paint Building, and the two additions were both former whiskey warehouses. The museum features art in all forms including paintings, metal sculptures, models, and documentary films. Visitors can explore, take pictures, and view a rotating list of special exhibits like "Yumm! The History, Fantasy, and Future of Food" and" The Art of Storytelling: Lies, Enchantment, Humor, and Truth."
AVAM Love Barn. Photo by Paul Burk
The exterior of the one-acre museum is an attraction of its own that is open 24 hours. The neon "LOVE" sign on the Sculpture Barn is a favorite photo spot for engaged couples, and the main building features a giant mirror mosaic wall.
Positioned throughout the campus are several individual sculptures including the blinged-out Gallery-A-Go-Go Bus, mirrored glass Galaxy Egg, and the 55-foot steel Whirligig metal sculpture.
Cosmic Galaxy Egg by artist Andrew Logan, courtesy of the American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum is located on Key Highway near Federal Hill. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15.95 for adults, $9.95 for students and children, $13.95 for seniors, and kids under 6 are free.
Have you visited the American Visionary Art Museum? What is your favorite exhibit? Tell us in the comments!