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Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/, North Carolina

North Carolina Museum of Art

2110 Blue Ridge Road
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After a major expansion, the museum reopened in mid-2010. Admission is free, because the museum’s collection, begun in 1947 with earmarked state funds (a first in the country) has continued to exist on government grants and private gifts since then. The grounds, 164 acres of meadows and woodland, was granted by the state for the use of the museum and a sculpture park.

The new aluminum-clad wing of the museum, barely visible behind prairie grass to visitors when they get into the parking lot, houses the permanent collections. Next door, across the piazza, is the 1983 museum, with visiting and special exhibitions along with administrative offices.

The encyclopedic collection has something for everyone. The European paintings include an important Giotto altarpiece, and are as good as all but the very best U.S. museums. Efforts have been made to increase the modern and contemporary collection, whose holdings include multiple Motherwells, three Wyeths, a Picasso and twenty-nine Auguste Rodin sculptures.

North Carolina Museum of Art Information

  • Public Transportation: Somewhat accessible (nearest bus stop is three blocks away)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 10 am–5 pm; Friday 10 am–9 pm; Saturday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm. Closed Mondays
  • Admission: Admission to the permanent collection is free, with charges for special exhibitions and some programs. Special events typically range in price from $5 to $40. Many free events are offered
  • Tours: Available at no cost via cell phone; an audio wand, which features the indoor portion of the tour, costs $3
  • Membership/Subscriptions: Memberships start at $40 ($65 for dual, $75 for family).  Member benefits include one complimentary visit for all ticket exhibitions, 50% discounted admission for additional visits to ticketed exhibitions, one free admission to all Arts in the Museum Park movies, special member-price admission for Arts in the Museum Park concerts, Music/Movie Combos, and indoor film series or chamber music series, 10% discounts at the Museum Store and Museum Restaurant, special events and activities for members, and special member price for all benefits and special events.