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Paris, Amsterdam and London are typically thought of as the art capitals of the world, but all within a 30 minute drive from the BWI airport and you will be surprised by the rich art culture found in this city.
One of the more famous art destinations in Baltimore is the Baltimore Museum of Art. Boasting the largest collection of Matisse in the world, and additionally hosting Picasso, Cezanne, van Gogh and Andy Warhol, you would be surprised that they also offer free admission. Whether you are visiting from Europe, or a tourist from the United States, either way you will certainly be surprised by the collection of masterpieces that can be found here.
At first glance this museum could be thought of as an art piece itself. The architecture won many awards, and inside there is nothing ordinary. This museum boasts art from specifically self-taught artists around the world. The art constantly changes and is a great change from the normal art scene. One of the large differences in this museum is not only who the art is created by, but what mediums are used. Besides paintings and sculptures, there are pieces of art created from wood, costumes on display, and there is even an exhibit from artists currently incarcerated. The AVAM is only a 20-minute drive from the Baltimore Museum of Art and could be combined for a diverse day of art viewing.
This museum is notable for its vast historical collection dating back all the way to 3000 BC, through to the early 20th century. Exhibits include pieces of art, jewelry, rare books and collections of jewels from ancient Egypt, Greece, Asia and Ethiopia. There are also collections from the Byzantine, Roman and Renaissance Eras. The Walters Museum of Art is one of only a few in the world that have such a comprehensive collection, and with free admission there is no reason not to experience this collection of art.
This unique museum is only one of 3 museums that are similar in the USA, devoted entirely to Art from Africa. It received an award for being “one of the State’s most respected cultural institutions,” and “engages in research of African art and culture for the purpose of complementing in-museum and outreach activities.” This not for profit museum will open your eyes, and teach you indepthly about a historical, and culturally rich continent.
Despite Baltimore not hosting the Louvre or the National Gallery, there is still a host of opportunities to find impressive and beautiful art. All the options listed above are within 30 minutes of a drive from the airport, and only within 20 minutes of each other. So, if you are on a layover, spending a weekend, on a long trip through the east coast, or simply coming home, it is a quick trip to art heaven. For art newbies, or even if you are trying to impress an art lover, in visiting any of these art museums, you will find something for everyone.