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Baltimore, Maryland

American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)

800 Key Highway (at the base of Federal Hill)

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A unique museum, AVAM solely houses works of art produced by self-taught individuals, the great majority of whom have never received any form of formal training. All pieces are examples of “visionary art.” In other words, every piece emerges from an inner vision of the artist, unconstrained by outer teachings or restrictions.

The museum houses a permanent collection of 5,000 pieces and rotates special exhibitions—often one-of-a-kind and interdisciplinary. The special exhibit that ran between October 2008 and September 2009, The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy, is a prime example. Encompassing 50 visionary artists, the event focuses on new and artistic takes to the concepts of sound, color, scale, and number, providing a twist to the traditional. Certainly an off-beat take on the expected, AVAM provides a distinct experience—this is indeed the Dave Eggers of museums. Where else can you find a Sculpture Barn converted from an old Whiskey Production Center, Giant Whirligig, and Wildflower Garden?

American Visionary Art Museum Information

  • Public Transportation: Fair (the nearest bus stop is Light St. and Key Highway, approximately a 10-minute walk; Camden Yard Light Rail is about a 20-minute walk from the AVAM)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Monday (except Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • Admission: Adults $15.95; Seniors (60+) $13.95; Student/Child $9.95; Children (6 and under) and Members are Free. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more
  • Tours: Group and school tours are offered at $6 per person, adults/ chaperones $8 (chaperones are free for groups of 70 or more)
  • Membership: $25 Student Fan; $35 Senior Fan/Far-Out Fan (Outside of Maryland); $50 Single Fan; $55 Senior Couple/Far-Out Couple (Outside of Maryland); $75 Couple Fan; $100 Family Fan (4 immediate family members). Member benefits include free admission; invitations to the Exhibition Member Preview Party; a 10% discount at Sideshow, the Museum Shop, and at Mr. Rain’s Fun House, the Museum Restaurant; complimentary guess passes; a subscription to VISIONS Magazine, the annual exhibition publication; advance mailings and discounts for programs and special events; an Official FAN CLUB Declaration; and more.