Baltimore is noted for its expansive museums. No matter which area of the city you visit, there is a museum in close proximity to whet your appetite for art. Each museum offers exhibits, traveling collections, as well as educational programs to meet the needs of its patrons. Charm your date with a cultural outing at any of these great Baltimore museums.

Credit: WJZ

The Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21218
(443) 573-1700

According to its website, “The Baltimore Museum of Art’s outstanding collection encompasses 90,000 works of art, including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world, as well as masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh.” Housed here is the famous Rodin sculpture, “The Thinker,” as well as The Cone Collection. This museum started with one painting in 1914 and has grown to vast displays of artwork and sculptures.

The European Painting and Sculpture wing houses many rich portraits, mostly oil on canvas, dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The artwork in the Cone Wing focuses upon Dutch, French, Spanish, English, Flemish, Italian, German and Russian artists; depicting themes of landscape, portraits and religion. Some of the artists on exhibit are Max Weber, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Gisten Klimet and Paul Gauguin, among many other world renowned names.

Anne Brown, director of communications, touts three things that make the BMA stand out. The Sculpture Garden, located on 2.7 acres, is a beautiful oasis in the city with a lot of modern and contemporary sculptures. She says it’s stunning in the spring when the daffodils bloom. Gertrude’s Restaurant is also a magnificent find that overlooks the Sculpture Garden. The restaurant hosts a variety of events, including weddings and receptions. The Contemporary Wing always has something new to offer as well.

American Visionary Art Museum

Credit: American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 244-1900

Located in Baltimore’s Federal Hill area, this museum specializes in eclectic art. Patrons and visitors are treated to seeing art in a unique way. Established in 1995, this unusual museum features three floors of exhibits displaying work of mostly self-taught artists. According to the website, visionary art, as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum, refers to 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. In short, visionary art begins by listening to the inner voices of the soul, and often may not even be thought of as “art” by its creator.

James E. Lewis Museum of Art
2201 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21251
(443) 885-3030

This museum touts that it’s where art, history and culture all meet. It features colorful displays of Asian, African, European sculptures, pottery and paintings. In addition, the James E. Lewis Museum of Art features various programs and lectures. The museum has permanent, as well as new collections. There are various different mediums of art displayed here, such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, lithographs, collages, prints and photographs. The staff is very accommodating, and the museum director, Gabriel S. Tenabe, has been at the helm of the museum since its opening 10 years ago.

Related: Best Museums in Maryland

The Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 547-9000

Founded in 1934, the Walters Art Museum features thousands of artworks from around the world. The museum is located in the Mt. Vernon section of downtown Baltimore. There are also educational programs to engage students of all ages. The museum’s collection presents an overview of world art dating from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories and Old Master paintings, Art Nouveau jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.

credit: BMI Facebook page

credit: BMI Facebook page

Baltimore Museum of Industry
1415 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 727-4808

This museum was founded in 1981 and is located in the Federal Hill section of the city. It features hands-on displays that date back to the Industrial Revolution, when manufacturing was at its peak in the area. Visitors can participate in workshops on machining, printing, garment-making and metalworking. As stated on its website, the BMI is a great place to learn and have fun at any age.

Related: Best Children’s Museums In Maryland

Vickie Lawson is a freelance writer whose work can be found on