Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baltimore Life: The American Visionary Art Museum

If you live in the Baltimore area and you've never been to the American Visionary Art Museum, get thee hence! It's the wackiest, sparkliest, strangest, most compelling museum I know. The premise is that all the work within is known as outsider art. This means that it comes from artists who often teach themselves, who are driven to create without the influence of the "inside" of the art world- art schools, professors, and mainstream galleries. These people are every bit as fascinating as the art they make, so be sure to read about each artist as you wander through the collection.
Admission is 14 bucks, 8 with student ID. They don't let you take pictures inside, but outside the museum there are plenty of sculptures and neat things to photograph and explore. There are three separate buildings, so be sure to visit each one when you go. Also, note: the gift shop is WICKED cool. It's full of offbeat original arts and crafts, weird toys, lots of upcycled stuff, creepy jewelry, cards, books, and great gag gifts. I bought a gorgeous handmade basket, imported from Nepal. It's created with discarded plastic wrappers and, for costing me only 30 dollars, it's quite sizable, easily 13 inches across. I also got a long necklace made with paper beads for 20 bucks, and of course, the postcard. Go forth, friends, and visit AVAM!
Written by Bakerswife.


Pat said...

I agree...if you're visiting downtown Baltimore this is a place to go. The first time I went to this museum, my daughter was in middle school and I went on a class trip with her. She is now an adult, an artist, graduated from MICA and is now working at MICA. Thinking we should go together again to stroll through the Visionary.

melis731 said...

Thanks for the information! I've been to Bazaart two years in a row but have never actually made it to visit the entire museum. I can't wait to see it all!

as_visitbaltimore said...

I'm with Visit Baltimore and we just did a video with Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the AVAM. In the video she tells us about some of the artists that have features in the museum and also shows us some of the artwork. Check it out at