The North Carolina Museum of Art is located in Raleigh, North Carolina and is one of the premier art museums in North Carolina, joining the Charlotte Mint Museum as one of the best museums in the area for European and American art. The North Carolina Museum of Art is particularly popular among tourists, partly because admission to get into the North Carolina Art Museum is totally free. There is a charge for special exhibits at the museum, however, which changes depending on the exhibit. The Raleigh Art Museum is open from 9am until 5pm Wednesday through Saturday, and from 10am until 5pm on Sundays. The museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
The North Carolina Museum of Art is best known for the European and American paintings found in its collection. Contemporary American art from throughout the 20th century can be found in the greatest numbers at the Raleigh Art Museum. The permanent collection also includes some paintings and other works by Raphael, Monet, Homer and other such classic artists. The North Carolina Art Museum also has a wide collection of ancient art, as well as pieces from throughout Africa. One particularly popular exhibit is the Virginia Camp Smith Art Room, which is where visitors will find a re-creation of old Flemish art rooms.
In addition to its permanent collection, the North Carolina Museum of Art also hosts between 10 and 15 special exhibits each year. These Raleigh Art Museum exhibits are the exhibits that visitors must pay a fee in order to view. In addition to these special exhibits, the museum also hosts between 8 and 12 special events each year, including special concerts and movie showings.
If you plan to check out the North Carolina Art Museum, you will not normally need to worry about long lines to get in. Be sure to check ahead (you can call or check online) to see what the latest special exhibit will be during your visit, however, as this may increase the size of the crowds. The museum has also started construction on a brand new facility which will be a project costing over 70 million dollars. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new museum was in December of 2006, and the new museum will be completed in 2008, creating even more room for the museum's permanent collection.
Most visitors spend at least two hours in the museum, if not more. If you pay to see any of the special exhibits, plan to spend three or four hours here. If you are interested in a snack to keep you fortified during your tour without having to leave the museum, check out the Blue Ridge Museum Restaurant, located right inside the museum. The cafE serves sandwiches, soups and other lunch-type fare, and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30am until 2pm.