American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum AVAM is the official national museum for self-taught, intuitive artistry located in Downtown Baltimore's Inner Harbor next to Federal Hill Park.
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AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM (AVAM) is America’s official national museum and education center for self-taught, intuitive artistry. Since its opening in 1995, the museum has sought to promote the recognition of intuitive, self-reliant, creative contribution as both an important historic and essential living piece of treasured human legacy. The one-of-a-kind American Visionary Art Museum is located on a 1.1 acre wonderland campus at 800 Key Highway, Baltimore Inner Harbor. Three renovated historic industrial buildings house wonders created by farmers, housewives, mechanics, retired folk, the disabled, the homeless, as well as the occasional neurosurgeon–all inspired by the fire within. From carved roots to embroidered rags, tattoos to toothpicks, the visionary transforms dreams, loss, hopes, and ideals into powerful works of art. More info at http://avam.org. Museum and store hours: 10am-5pm, Wednesday-Sunday

Operating as usual

Peek-a-BOO! A cheeky post in time for spooky season. "Elsa Lanchester as Bride of Frankenstein," made of papier-mache by...
10/28/2020

Peek-a-BOO! A cheeky post in time for spooky season. "Elsa Lanchester as Bride of Frankenstein," made of papier-mache by Adam Kurtzman was on view in our exhibition "Human Soul Machine" 2013-2014. Growing up, Adam liked sci-fi—not so much for the reading, because he was dyslexic—but for the pictures, which promised no confinement to this planet. For example, he had an imaginary playmate that was “tall, blue, with wings and blonde hair that was superior to human beings. I was obsessed with his planet, Kafadious." When he was 18, Adam took three weeks to assemble 1,000 wooden matches into a roller coaster form, “just to light them and watch the fire spread at various speeds. I had the luxury of lots of unsupervised play and pretend time." Imagination runs in the family. Adam's uncle was renowned Mad magazine cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman.

Photo: Dan Meyers

CONGRATULATIONS to our founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger, recipient of an Icon Award from The Daily Record. The an...
10/21/2020

CONGRATULATIONS to our founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger, recipient of an Icon Award from The Daily Record. The annual honor recognizes Maryland leaders for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership both within and outside of their chosen field. https://thedailyrecord.com/icon-honors/winners/ #WednesdayWisdom #Baltimore #Maryland #Icon

Photo: Chris Myers

Our museum cafe' Cielo Verde, bathed in light and now open for your private, special event or mini wedding. Enjoy the sc...
10/15/2020

Our museum cafe' Cielo Verde, bathed in light and now open for your private, special event or mini wedding. Enjoy the scenery and the delicious, sustainable food by Irena Stein of Alma Cocina Latina fame. Just contact us at [email protected] to book for your micro-wedding, holiday party, or other special event today. (Heaters are coming so you can continue to enjoy the space!) For more information about holiday parties and other packages, visit http://avam.org/facility-rentals/index.shtml We look forward to welcoming you.

Photo: Irena Stein Photography

10/12/2020
A Star-Spangled Sidewalk by Lee T. Wheeler, artist and mural designer

The mural on our sidewalk starts with Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Indian tribe of North America. #IndigenousPeoplesDay He was a visionary and a leader able to predict and quite literally “see” things and events in his world that most people could not. The fairly universal representation of the American Indian “Wheel of Life” depicting man’s place in the world with the four directions / four winds, four seasons, past, present, future, hereafter, earth, fire, wind and water in equal balance are shown just below his image.

The mural goes on to recount the War of 1812. Tecumseh tried to save the way of life of his people by uniting the native tribes of North America, but he was unsuccessful.

The sidewalk continues with Europeans advancing westward. The settlers cleared trees for their cabins and soon the Industrial Revolution marked the point of no return for the taking of the North American wilderness. Though he didn’t live to witness it, Chief Tecumseh “saw” it happening a long time ago.

The mural finishes with Tecumseh’s valor speech. He dies at the hand of the U.S. Military in October 1813 in the Battle of The Thames, but his words live on.

You can read the full guide to each mural panel athttp://www.avam.org/exhibitions/pdf/Star-Spangled-Sidewalk-Guide.pdf

"A Very Visionary Star-Spangled Sidewalk" mural is by artist Lee Wheeler. Video courtesy of My5Best.com

10/09/2020
An Artist's Personal Sanctuary

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, the mechanism of transmission was unclear. So, Adrian Kellard, who was HIV+ converted his small apartment into a source of great tender comfort and beauty, all of his own making. We've re-created his bedroom, his personal chapel, in our newest show "The Science and Mystery of Sleep," premiering tomorrow, Saturday, October 10, 2020. Much of Adrian's work was inspired by ecclesiastical woodcuts, which he emulated by using an X-Acto knife on pine boards. "One day I went back to [my hometown in New York of] New Rochelle and went into the church where I had been an altar boy. The first thing I saw was the art. It became apparent to me that...I was involved with...an attempt to forget where I came from, which a lot of gay people go through at that age. I came back to myself," explains Adrian. He passed away from AIDS-related causes in 1991.

To visit the premiere of the exhibition, see www.avam.org for tickets.

The recipe for good sleep includes expressing gratitude at bedtime. Shift your thoughts from what’s wrong in your life t...
10/08/2020
American Visionary Art Museum's New Sleep Exhibition is no Snoozefest - JMORE

The recipe for good sleep includes expressing gratitude at bedtime. Shift your thoughts from what’s wrong in your life to appreciation for what’s right. Simone Ellin of Jmore magazine speaks with curator Rebecca Hoffberger ahead of the Saturday, October 10 opening about our newest exhibition "The Science and Mystery of Sleep" about sleep facts and the art within. To purchase your tickets for opening weekend of the exhibition, visit avam.org https://www.jmoreliving.com/2020/10/06/american-visionary-art-museums-new-sleep-exhibition-is-no-snoozefest/

Jmore talked with American Visionary Art Museum founder, curator and director Rebecca Alban Hoffberger about the museum's new exhibition, "The Science and Mystery of Sleep," which opens Oct. 10.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is stepping in to help museums by touring John Oliver's collection of rat erotica, a ...
10/06/2020

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is stepping in to help museums by touring John Oliver's collection of rat erotica, a painting by Judith Kudlow, and Wendy Williams enjoying a lamb chop. We're aiming to be one of the five lucky institutions. What should we include in the proposal about Baltimore and AVAM as potential hosts?

We're going on tour! Museums are struggling, so, in an effort to help, we’re going to pick five museums to host these fine works of art! We’ll be donating $10k to each museum, and $10k to a food bank in their area. Museums can email [email protected] to apply!

#MondayMotivation When Woodie Long couldn't paint houses anymore due to the damage to his health, he picked up his wife’...
10/05/2020

#MondayMotivation When Woodie Long couldn't paint houses anymore due to the damage to his health, he picked up his wife’s art supplies one day that she'd gathered for a community art class she attended. With them, he made his first work of art on paper. His wife Dot encouraged him, and his fan base grew.

"Jumping on Gramma Bed," acrylic on wood, will be on view in our NEWEST exhibition "The Science and Mystery of Sleep," premiering THIS SATURDAY, October 10. Anchored by fantastical, handmade bedrooms created by three visionary artists as personal refuge, "The Science and Mystery of Sleep" explores the latest scientific research behind sleep as both force majeur to our total wellbeing and hypnagogic portal, enabling fresh revelations in science, art, and creative innovation of all sort. For tickets, visit avam.org

Woodie's works express in paint his lifetime of memories, particularly as a legacy to his children. Born to a migrant farmer seeking to find work as a sharecropper, Woodie was one of 12 children expected to work, rather than attend school. Not even primary school was an option for him. For the first 14 years of his life, he and the family moved constantly in search of work until the day his father abandoned them all.

Today, Woodie's work graces collections both public and private, among them: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the American Visionary Art Museum.

Surrounded by his beautiful garden, beloved Dot, and the comfort of his humble home nestled down a dirt country road in Alabama, Woodie Long died at peace on October 12, 2009.
#museum #MuseumFromHome

Alvin Schenk (June 22, 1941 - September 27, 2020) was born on the longest, full of sunshine, day of the year, and passed...
09/29/2020

Alvin Schenk (June 22, 1941 - September 27, 2020) was born on the longest, full of sunshine, day of the year, and passed peacefully during the Days of Awe at dawn, just before the most solemn Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

Alvin was himself our truly awesome, incredibly faithful, volunteer docent at AVAM for more than 16 years. Every Saturday at 2pm, Alvin would conduct a lively and very knowledgeable tour of our museum, always providing his expert twist of insight bespoke to whatever tour group was before him—be they foreign visitors, young, Goth, elderly, museum professionals, whomever—Alvin tailored his tour especially to and for them. Over the years we received many letters of praise for this free but priceless, gift Alvin afforded our AVAM visitors. Alvin poured his heart and passion into communicating the revelation and lessons each thematic exhibition could afford into his tours, regardless of size. Alvin’s 2pm personal tour became a beloved visitor favorite.

In 2016, Alvin's cancer brought him close to death for the first time. We honored him that year at our Gala with the creation of a special Award, “The Alvin,” that would one day be gifted to a fellow docent who displays Alvin-like super devotion to their AVAM docent service. We already have the first legacy recipient in mind—a choice we feel certain Alvin himself would heartily approve.

Handsome, smart, quick to smile, Alvin always took time and care to mentor other AVAM docents, giving the newer ones delicious bits of AVAM’s past history. His matchstick walking cane, created by our visionary artist Gerald Hawkes, who was the first person through our doors on Opening Day 1995, was Alvin’s tour talisman and most prized work of art.

Our docents are truly one devoted family, like some pod of dolphins, united in their caring for AVAM and one other. Losing Alvin is very sad and hard for all of us, but they united to support and love on Alvin as only true spirit family can, making his final weeks sweeter. The poet Rumi put it so well, “No one can take your place in presence, nor in absence.” When we lose someone as dear as Alvin, we are permitted to experience the full measure of their essence.

Thank you, dear Alvin, for the love, caring, and fun you poured into us all and for the way you loved both our American Visionary Art Museum artists - making them to feel so treasured - our staff, the Sideshow museum store staff, all your sibling docents, and the Visionary Museum itself. You will forever be part of its magic DNA. - Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Art Museum

We invite friends, family, visitors and colleagues to share their thoughts and favorite memories of Alvin below.

Scenes from reopening weekend. Thank you, all, for your meaningful support. We couldn’t reopen, and remain open, without...
09/28/2020

Scenes from reopening weekend. Thank you, all, for your meaningful support. We couldn’t reopen, and remain open, without your enthusiasm and presence (be it in spirit or in person!) Our new, adjusted hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, and we look forward to welcoming you back! You can buy advanced, online tickets at avam.org, where you can also learn about measures we've taken towards maintaining the optimal well-being of you, other visitors and staff. Next up: on Saturday, October 10, we premiere our newest exhibition "The Science and Mystery of Sleep" in the third floor gallery of our Zanvyl Krieger Main Building. We can't wait to see you!

Happy birthday to our founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger. We rebirth and REOPEN today as well, appropriately. (We l...
09/25/2020

Happy birthday to our founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger. We rebirth and REOPEN today as well, appropriately. (We look forward to welcoming you through the doors!) Rebecca's been named a "Dame," an inductee into both the Maryland Women and Baltimore Jewish Halls of Fame, an honorary PhD, a genius, and a leader. We also know her as "Glinda the Good Witch of Baltimore." Happy birthday, Rebecca!

Woof Bader Ginsburg at our Pet Parade 2018. It wore the word “dissent” on its robe proudly and won Most Patriotic Pet th...
09/22/2020

Woof Bader Ginsburg at our Pet Parade 2018. It wore the word “dissent” on its robe proudly and won Most Patriotic Pet that year.
#throwbacktuesday #scotus #rbg #RIP #ruthbaderginsburg #restinpower

09/21/2020
Welcome Back! AVAM Reopens Friday, September 25, 2020

We're thrilled to REOPEN this FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 10am. We've MISSED you and look forward to welcoming you back! Our new, adjusted hours are Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, for both the museum and the store Sideshow at the American Visionary Art Museum. “Like the lyrics sung by the late and great Etta James, ‘At last!’," says our founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger. "Six whole months away from our fantastic visitors and fans in our 25th silver anniversary year has been just too much to bear, let alone all the frantic calls for our Sideshow museum store to reopen—'We need our new eyeglasses - now,' to cries from educators and scientists saying, ‘Boy o boy, is AVAM’s Earth and climate-change show ever right on the mark!’ We have all sorely missed hearing all our visionary visitors’ oohs and ahhs. I can't think of a better birthday present." That's right: Our Rebecca was born September 25.

We've implemented new measures for the optimal well-being of you, other visitors, and our staff. You can learn more about visiting and purchasing tickets at www.avam.org

Finally, you can see our current and upcoming exhibitions at http://avam.org/exhibitions/current-and-upcoming-exhibitions.shtml

We can't wait to see you!

In honor of Mexican Independence Day, we offer these textile collages by Carmela Valdivia, Luz Maria Bucio, and Alma Car...
09/17/2020

In honor of Mexican Independence Day, we offer these textile collages by Carmela Valdivia, Luz Maria Bucio, and Alma Carrillo. Their moving story quilts intricately tell of their experiences as Mexican Americans, their journey crossing the U.S. border, and of the lives of fellow countrymen who never make it. "I know that I was risking my life," says Alma. "But I wanted my children to have what I never had." Since coming to the States, the women have worked various jobs ranging from cook, babysitter, cleaner, and agricultural worker. The artworks were on view in our exhibition "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" 2009-2010. #throwbackthursday

09/15/2020
When an Elephant Hugs

Need an elephant-sized HUG today? Here's a clip from Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand that's on view in our movie wall in our current show "The Secret Life of Earth." Curator Rebecca Hoffberger loves injecting a good dose of humor into every show, because like the good and bad, it all makes for part of the human experience. She also hopes visitors walk away with an even greater appreciation for this wondrous place we all call home: planet Earth.

The exhibition has been extended to January 2021, to give you time to view it. We remain temporarily closed, but you can look for an open date very soon! We look forward to seeing you in person later this month.

#TuesdayThoughts #Baltimore #MuseumfromHome

Credit: "West Virginia Woman Rolls About With Playful Baby Elephant in Thailand." 2018. Courtesy of Storyful.com.

09/14/2020
Francisco Loza explains yarn painting

From the indigenous Huichol people, Mexican artist Francisco Loza learned "yarn painting," a tecnique that involves "a lot of patience," he says, and pressing yarn threads into a board covered with wax. Tour Francisco's eye-popping home gallery and studio, full of work that represents the pinnacle of this technique at a Virtual Happy Hour in the Artist’s Studio with Francisco LOZA on Wednesday, September 16, 5:30pm EDT, Mexican Independence Day. Live audience Q&A follows. The online event is free, though you'll first to register to join us at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-happy-hour-in-the-artists-studio-with-francisco-loza-tickets-115778531705 Te esperamos!

Francisco's work is currently on view in our exhibition "The Secret Life of Earth."

In this video clip, by the Mexican Embassy, Francisco explains that he's originally from Guadalajara, "the land of mariachi, tequila, and handicraft."

Bringing the beach to *you* in case you missed it, with sand magnified really, really BIG. Gary Greenberg used a microsc...
09/08/2020

Bringing the beach to *you* in case you missed it, with sand magnified really, really BIG. Gary Greenberg used a microscope to make this photograph of sand at extreme magnification. It reveals that each grain is in the shape of a shell, star, or other original form. Therefore, just as no two fingerprints are alike, neither are any two beaches. His photographs are on view in our current exhibition “The Secret Life of Earth: Alive! Awake! And Possibly Really Angry!” While we remain temporarily closed as we continue working on enhanced measures for the optimal wellbeing and comfort of our visitors and staff, we're offering a series of virtual tours of the show, personally narrated by our founder, director, and principal curator Rebecca Hoffberger. You can find the latest episode here: https://youtu.be/0p1rEdruX8M

"The Secret Life of Earth" has been extended to January 2021 to give you extra time to come view it in person. We look forward to welcoming you back later this month when we reopen!

08/28/2020
Orioles' Pre-Game National Anthem from our "O Say Can You See" sign, performed by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

The Baltimore Orioles came by to film the national anthem from our "O Say Can You See" sign on Key Highway, in a neighborly, creative collaboration. Since fans aren’t allowed at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this season, the O’s are coming to fans, with virtual pre-game ceremonies and national anthem performances like this one. This beautiful version was sung by #Baltimore native and American Idol alum, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, who placed 6th in the show's competitive 2019 season.

We look forward to welcoming you back in September, along with The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum...
08/27/2020
Baltimore Museum of Art set to reopen in stages starting Sept. 16, months after being shuttered by coronavirus

We look forward to welcoming you back in September, along with The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the Walters Art Museum. At AVAM, we've been busy bees working to implement enhanced measures for your wellbeing & that of our staff. In the meantime, we still have virtual events & tours. Plus, we're currently open for micro-weddings and private rentals of our space for groups of up to 25 people. We can't wait to see you, our dear public, soon! https://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bs-fe-bma-reopens-20200827-yb47xh35zzbjxplrjy625hdlja-story.html

Baltimore's 3 other art museums are also opening in Sept.

Address

800 Key Hwy
Baltimore, MD
21230

www.mtamaryland.com, www.charmcitycirculator.com

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(410) 244-1900

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