American Visionary Art Museum
Baltimore is known for its offbeat attractions, and the American Visionary Art Museum is one of its most idiosyncratic. The museum specializes in showing the work of outsider artists, those who typically have had no formal art education and work outside the mainstream art world. The museum taps guest curators for all its shows.
The American Visionary Art Museum has over 4,000 pieces in its permanent collection, and around 50 pieces are usually on display at any one time in the Permanent Collection Gallery, located in the main building. Other works from the collection are on display throughout the other two buildings and the garden. Some of the most popular works are theGiant Whirligig, a 55-foot-high (17-meter-high) wind-powered sculpture; a 10-foot-long (3-meter-long) model of theLusitania made entirely out of matchsticks; and a mobile that spans three floors. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, most of which are dedicated to a theme rather than a specific artist or form.
Things to Know Before You Go
The American Visionary Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers and those with a taste for the offbeat.
The museum is wheelchair-accessible via the front entrance.
Service animals are welcome.
Children under 6 get free admission.
How to Get There
The American Visionary Art Museum is located at the bottom of Federal Hill, opposite the Inner Harbor. It is stop number 44 on Baltimore’s free city bus route, the Charm City Circulator, and a 20-minute walk from Camden light rail stop. Metered parking is available nearby on Covington Street and Key Highway.
When to Get There
The museum is open from midmorning until evening Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. Check the website for special events, such as workshops and, in summer, outdoor movies.
Sideshow Museum Shop
Worth the visit alone, Sideshow is not your typical museum gift shop. For sale you’ll find a selection of original art, provocative books, fun toys, quirky action figures, and kitschy novelties that are sure to bring a smile.
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