American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum visits are unlike visits to most art museums. That's because this interesting cultural center specializes in art that is created by self-taught artists as opposed to formally trained ones. Most critics agree that the American Visionary Art Museum exhibits are fascinating, and if nothing else, they are definitely unique. Some pieces aren't suitable for children, though alerts to the more controversial content are in place, so families can still add it to their list of Baltimore museums to visit. Any other groups or individuals are also encouraged to drop by when looking for fun and interesting ways to spend their time in Maryland's largest city.

The American Visionary Art Museum was founded by Rebecca Alban Hoffberger and opened on the southern shore of Baltimore's Inner Harbor in 1995. The exact address is 800 Key Highway on the edge of the Federal Hill neighborhood should you be planning on dropping by for a look. You can hardly miss the large, curved building that houses the American Visionary Art Museum exhibits, partly because of the fact that at its front is the whimsical Whirligig sculpture. This colorful, 55-foot-tall sculpture is fashioned out of a mix of various trinkets and moves with the wind. The plaza that it dominates, it is worth noting, essentially connects the Federal Hill neighborhood with the Inner Harbor and is often filled with people.

Most American Visionary Art Museum visitors come to enjoy more than just some time in the main plaza. There is quite a lot to see and do at this interesting museum. The permanent American Visionary Art Museum exhibits are comprised of approximately 4,000 pieces, with highlights including the Wildflower Garden, the Healing Machines, and collection of pieces that relate to London's Cabaret Mechanical Theatre. The former is an outdoor exhibit/garden area, where plants and flowers grow among dazzling wooden sculptures. The Healing Machines area features large mobiles that dangle some three stories down, while the pieces that relate to the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre in London are basically mechanical structures of an often intricate kind that usually fashioned out of such materials as brass and wood.

Most of the American Visionary Art Museum exhibits are appropriate for all ages. The bulk of them are also temporary exhibits that are related to one central theme. Past examples include the High on Life exhibit and the Wind in My Hair, for example. The latter ran from May 1996 to 1997 and revolved around the common human desire to be able to fly, while the former enjoyed its run from October 2002 to September 2003 and featured works that related to the theme of human addiction tendencies.

Adding to the allure of an American Visionary Art Museum visit are any number of fun events that you might include. These events include things such as the popular movie series, parades that feature dressed up pets, and special workshops. It is also worth noting that private events, such as weddings, can be enjoyed at this intriguing attraction. Movie series feature various films, the majority of which are classics, that are screened on the side of the main building on Thursday nights in July and August. They start at 9 p.m., and it doesn't cost a penny to watch them.

The American Visionary Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, unless it is Christmas Day or Thanksgiving Day, in which case it is closed. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. are the usual hours, though on movie nights, the closing time is pushed back to 9 p.m. Admission fees apply, and should a car be your means of transportation, you can pay for metered parking along Key Highway and on Covington Street.

When you're not enjoying the American Visionary Art Museum exhibits on your visit, you might spend some time shopping at the gift shop or eating at the onsite restaurant. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner on the same days that the museum is open, with the dinner hours going past the museum hours, while the museum shop enjoys the same exact hours as the museum itself. It is worth noting that you don't have to pay the museum admission charge if you just want to shop or eat.

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