Cooky! Bizarre! Fun!Extraordinary! These are just a few of the words that describe this museum (disguised as a fun house). Located in downtown Balitmore, the AVAM is the best starter museum for children in the DC/MD/VA region. All of the artists whose work is displayed in this museum have no formal art training and use a wide array of different mediums to create their works of art. Their out of the box thinking allows children to expand their thinking about the age old question, "What is art?". Pictures are not allowed to be taken in the museum but may be taken in the sculpture gallery as seen above.
When we went to visit, they had fascinating exhibits in both the permanent and temporary collections which included, small hand made machines of every day chores, a sculpture of the city of San Fransisco made out of over 100,000 toothpicks (took over 35 years to make), and a sculpture of a man made out of phone wire. Other artists had created faces carved out of common styrofoam cups and a fantastic 3D art exhibit (they provide glasses) as well.
The museum is broken up into three buildings and a sculpture garden. The main building has 3 floors of fantastically wacky art, and one of the best and most affordable gift shops that I have ever seen. In the next building is a life sized metal chess set that kids can actually play a game of chess on (ala Harry Potter). Between the first and third building is also a small sculpture garden and a nice large hill area to bring a picnic. In the third building is bunch of small and large mechanical machines that can move with the push of a button. This facility also contains an art studio for artists to rent space and also an art camp that they run in the summer.
I highly recommend this museum and we hope to go back there soon. The AVAM is perfect for kids starting as young as 7 and is intriguing for adults as well. Please visit their website to see pictures of art on display in their facilities.
Children 6 and under are Free
Membership is available
10:00am - 6:00pm, Tuesday - Sunday (Closed Mondays*)
Book Recommendations before going to an Art Museum
Beautiful Oops! (Barney Saltzberg)
Jack in search of Art (Arlene Boehm)
Ella's Trip to the Museum (Elaine Clayton)
Babar's Museum of Art (Laurent De Brunhoff)
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