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Day Trip to the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

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Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

I’ve lost count of how many people have recommended to me the American Visionary Art Museum that opened near Baltimore’s Inner harbor in 1984, and I finally paid it a visit.  located just south of the Inner Harbor, it’s only a 30-minute drive from here (off-rush).

This bus outside the entrance reminds me of the ones we see parked at Roosevelt Center, so already the place felt like home. The museum celebrates not just contemporary artists, but unfettered creativity and, apparently, weirdness.

Officially, the museum defines visionary art as “art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.”Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

The works are displayed in three buildings, starting with this one where you buy tickets. The cost is $10 for kids, $14 for seniors and $16 for adults. Not bad for museum pricing. (We’re just spoiled by all the free ones in D.C.)

Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

One reviewer called the art here “exotic, mind blowing, beautiful, intriguing and unique” and I couldn’t agree more. If you liked the Burning Man Show currently at the Renwick Gallery downtown, you’ll love this museum.

Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore




Visionary Art Museum in BaltimoreVisionary Art Museum in Baltimore

Above, Divine on the left – because it’s Baltimore, Hon! – and Eleanor Roosevelt, just because.

Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

A staffer tipped me off to NOT miss the basement, where the Fart Machine is located, in an exhibit praising fart humor. We don’t see that at the Smithsonian, do we?

Visionary Art Museum in BaltimoreBest Gift Shop Ever?

The Baltimore Sun described the gift shop this way: “Sideshow is a general store for outsiders, chocked with practical jokes and impractical toys, giggle-provoking gags and provocative books celebrating life’s infinite amusements. Sideshow is a place where hopeless irony brackets spiritual kitsch.”

Gift Shop at Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

What I bought – 9 pairs of earrings from the best collection of super-cheap earrings I’ve ever seen. (I got 9 pairs for less than $50 total.) And I couldn’t resist the political stuff, of which there’s a nice assortment especially for lefties.

If you Go

On-street parking is plentiful and just 50 cents an hour.

It’s closed Mondays.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog weekly at GardenRant.com.

  1. Donnie Dorsey
    | Reply

    I’d love to go if the trip is n a weekend!

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