The Speed Art Museum takes its name from Hattie Bishop Speed, who founded the museum in memorial to her husband in 1925. Opened to the public in 1927, the museum is the oldest and largest art museum in Kentucky, with over 13,000 works in its permanent collection. The collection includes decorative arts, European painting, a collection devoted to Kentucky art, among others.
Be sure to visit the permanently installed English Room, a fully preserved room from The Grange, a house that belonged to the Drewe family in the county of Devon in England in the early 1600s. All the elements and details in the room are symbolic and intended to encourage good and moralistic behavior but are not overtly religious. The symbols don’t all carry into our present day, so spend some time in the room and allow the museum didactics to decode these mysterious symbols for you.
Speed Art Museum Information
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Yes
- Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; closed Mondays and several holidays.
- Admission: Admission to the permanent collection is free, but a $4 donation is recommended. Admission to the Laramie L. Leatherman Art Learning Center, Art Sparks Interactive Gallery is $5. There may be separate admission costs for special exhibitions. Discounts available for groups.
- Subscription/Memberships: Annual memberships start at $50 for individuals and $70 for family/dual (discounts available for students and seniors). Membership benefits include free admission to special exhibitions, the permanent collection, AfterHours, select lectures, concerts, and the Art Learning Center; discounted parking in the garage; 10% Museum Shop discount; discounts on classes, workshops, and summer camps; and four complimentary guest passes. Reciprocal memberships, which get you access to over 300 American museums in addition to the above benefits, are $130.