May 7, 2012

American Visionary Art Museum (Baltimore, MD)

One of the activities in my Year of Valentine's gift for my kids was to go to a museum.  This month, it was my youngest daughter's turn and I wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before.  I decided to take her to the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  It had been years (like, way before I had kids) since I'd been and her first time.  It was a HUGE hit and she declared it "the coolest museum ever".  I really think I have to agree with her.

The museum has some of the most unique and creative pieces that I've ever seen.  From the AVAM website is this "definition" of visionary art.

"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."

You're not allowed to take photographs inside the actual museum, but many of the things we saw outside will give you a taste of what's indoors.

 There's the outside of the museum itself, all covered in a sparkling mirrored mosaic...

There's a sculpture garden just filled with creativity.

Check out the big birds' nest balcony and sparkly mosiac egg.

For a 6 year who loves sparkles, this was just awesome!

More sparkles! :)

Not sure whose expression is cuter ~ the bird or my kid?

I even loved the welcome mat reminding museum-goers to smile as they entered the museum.

Look closer at what it's made of...

In the words of my daughter,  " Oh, Em, Gee!"

Once inside the museum (where photos aren't allowed), the "OMG's" and "Check this outs" continued.  There's a replica of the Lusitania made out of nearly 200,000 toothpicks, all sorts of mixed media art, and so much more.  One of my favorites were some intricately embroidered pictures, about the size of a playing card, made from the threads of socks by a prison inmate.  Just amazing stuff!

Check out the American Visionary Art Museum website for more details about pricing, hours, exhibits, etc. It's definitely a great place for both adults and kids to visit if you're in the Baltimore area.  Even if you just stop by to see the fun sculptures outside in the courtyard (FREE!), it would make a kid's day.  It's within walking distance of the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center and a short drive from many other attractions.  

To end our Mommy/Daughter day out, we also went to the top of Federal Hill right next to the museum.   There's a paved walking path, a fenced playground and a great view of the Inner Harbor.


  1. This is our neck of the woods. When my husband an I first started dating, we lived in Federal Hill :)

  2. We're gong to check the museum out on Saturday when we're out that way getting family photos taken - can't believe we've never visited. Looks like your Audrey had the best time!!

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