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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

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
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3.5 out of 5
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Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
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Located in Downtown Baltimore, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Maryland Science Center, Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina, and Baltimore Convention ...

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Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
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The price is $76 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2

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 ...

4/5Very Good! (941 reviews)

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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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Best Lodging Options Near American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
3.5 out of 5
700 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD
The price is $103 per night from Mar 7 to Mar 8
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
4.5 out of 5
550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $104 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
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 $76 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
4 out of 5
202 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD
The price is $95 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
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Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
4 out of 5
300 Light Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $109 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
3.5 out of 5
300 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $63 per night from Mar 7 to Mar 8
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Pier 5 Hotel Baltimore, Curio Collection by Hilton
Pier 5 Hotel Baltimore, Curio Collection by Hilton
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711 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD
The price is $84 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Pier 5 Hotel Baltimore, Curio Collection by Hilton
Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point
Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point
4 out of 5
1215 Wills Street, Baltimore, MD
The price is $144 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
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Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
5 out of 5
200 International Dr, Baltimore, MD
The price is $368 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23
Four Seasons Hotel 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.