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American Visionary Art Museum
Vacation Travel Guide

The official national museum for self-taught and intuitive artistry is a treasure trove of extraordinary art made from ordinary objects by ordinary people.

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) showcases the artistic creations of non-artists. The makers of the indoor and outdoor art received no formal training but are talented, brilliant or simply hilarious in their approach. Some of the creators are homeless, disabled or mentally ill. Most used everyday objects to create something remarkable.

There are more than 4,000 works of visionary art in the collection. Come here for a different perspective on art and the world in general. The art reveals the inner-thought processes behind the creation, which makes it very personal and modern. All of the art in and surrounding the building was created by homemakers, farmers, war veterans, retired people and patients, among others. They felt compelled to make things with old clothes, toothpicks, scrap metal and other everyday items without necessarily wanting to create art.

The fascinating array of creations starts at the entrance. Be prepared for a bus topped with plastic swans and a three-story wind sculpture made out of junk. As you step inside, take note of the welcome mat; it’s made from 1,500 toothbrushes.

Most of the permanent works are in the main building of the museum. Other buildings include the Tall Sculpture Barn, a former whiskey barrel warehouse, where you can play with a life-sized chess set of angels and aliens. A third building holds human-powered sculptures made from old bicycles, beds and spare parts. They were part of the Kinetic Sculpture Race, which is the museum’s annual contest in the streets of Baltimore in May.

The museum at the base of Federal Hill makes a good side tour from other Inner Harbor attractions. AVAM is easily accessible by public transport. Hop on the Charm City Circulator shuttle bus to get there for free. Street parking is metered. Although some perceive the admission price as high for a small museum that has no famous art, many deem the experience unique and recommend it regardless.

AVAM is closed on Mondays, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

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Top Hotels Close to American Visionary Art Museum

Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
3 out of 5
511 S Central Ave, Baltimore, MD
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $103 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5

Located in Little Italy, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Aquarium in Baltimore, Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina, and Baltimore Convention Center. ...

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Reviewed on Oct 31, 2020

Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
4.5 out of 5
2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $79 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5

Located in Downtown Baltimore, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of 1st Mariner Arena and Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina ...

4.1/5Very Good! (898 reviews)

"We had to walk and park 2 blks, also The restaurant was closed, staff didn’t clean room when requested"…"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2020

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
4.5 out of 5
550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $119 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Downtown Baltimore, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Maryland Science Center, Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina, and Baltimore Convention ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (977 reviews)

"We loved our stay from the moment we pulled up to the entrance! This was one of the mini honeymoons I planned for my wife & I on our wedding day. This beautiful location did not disappoint my expectations and she had the best experience even during this sensitive time. We truly loved all the extra ..."…"

Reviewed on Nov 29, 2020

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
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Best Lodging Options Near American Visionary Art Museum

Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
3 out of 5
511 S Central Ave, Baltimore, MD
The price is $103 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
4.5 out of 5
2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $79 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
4.5 out of 5
550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $119 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
4 out of 5
202 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD
The price is $79 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 11
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor
3.5 out of 5
207 E Redwood St, Baltimore, MD
The price is $68 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
4 out of 5
300 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $87 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
3.5 out of 5
700 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD
The price is $103 per night from Dec 18 to Dec 19
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Crowne Plaza Baltimore - Inner Harbor
Crowne Plaza Baltimore - Inner Harbor
3.5 out of 5
105 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $68 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Crowne Plaza Baltimore - Inner Harbor
Delta Hotels by Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor
Delta Hotels by Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor
3.5 out of 5
1 East Redwood Street, 15 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $66 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
Delta Hotels by Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.