Baltimore Museum of Art

This free museum has the world’s largest Matisse collection, along with well-known pop art and other works by master painters from the 15th century to the present.

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is a prominent building in the style of ancient Roman architecture. The Matisse collection, work by 19th-century European masters and the contemporary art wing featuring Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and other pop artists are among the museum’s biggest attractions. The scenic sculpture gardens offer further famous works and a free interactive tour keeps children entertained.

The BMA started out with just one precious American painting shortly after it was incorporated in 1914. More famous works soon followed, such as Anthony van Dyck's melodramatic Rinaldo and Armida. The Cone Collection, with some 3,000 modern works by Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso and Gauguin, was donated to the museum shortly after World War II. Two Baltimore sisters had acquired the outstanding private collection during a lifetime of visits to European studios. Take a virtual tour of the sisters’ apartments full of paintings.

Today the museum’s collection has more than 90,000 works of art including the world’s largest collection by French artist Henri Matisse. Don’t be surprised to find a Van Gogh or a Renoir here; the museum houses many masterpieces. Visit the contemporary art wing, which is internationally recognized for its broad collection of unique pieces.

For younger visitors there are hands-on art workshops, a free audio tour and costume packs. Head outside to visit the two sculpture gardens and see replicas of famous creations by Rodin and Henry Moore. In July and August, bring a picnic, or book a restaurant table, to enjoy an outdoor jazz concert at night.

BMA is a three-mile (five-kilometer) drive north from the Inner Harbor. The complex has gardens, a restaurant and art shop. Bus stops and paid parking options are within walking distance. The BMA is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and some public holidays. Admission is free, but some special exhibitions and events are ticketed.

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