From the AVAM to the BMA: An Afternoon of Art

Lynn is guest blogging for Mid-Atlantic Day Trips Blog this week. (Thanks Lynn!!)

My son and I met Mid Atlantic Day Trip gal and her son at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in January. While she wisked her 11-year-old son through to maintain his interest, we opted to stroll through at a more leisurely pace. Afterward, we stopped to have lunch at the restaurant in AVAM, Mr. Rain’s Fun House (great art inside the restaurant and great locally sourced food!).

Then my son, an art major at nearby Towson University, and I headed over to the Baltimore Museum of Art for the afternoon. He had been there for art class assignments but wanted to take some time and see the whole museum (or almost the whole museum, one wing is being renovated, reopening this fall). It had been many years since I had visited and I’d never gone with my son, so we went!

The BMA’s $28 million renovation features new presentations of four outstanding collections; a dynamic learning and creativity center; two engaging entrances with improved visitor amenities; and much more. The first phase of the BMA’s multiyear renovation was completed in November 2012 with the reopening of the Contemporary Wing. The historic Merrick Entrance, the Dorothy McIlvain Scott American Wing, and the East Wing Lobby and Zamoiski Entrance will reopen this fall, coinciding with the Museum’s 100th celebration. The African and Asian art galleries and the learning and creativity center are scheduled to be completed by late spring 2015.

One of the “must sees” there is Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker (one of 10 original monumental size casts in the United States). The museum also has outstanding mosaics from the lost city of Antioch (now known as Antakya) in Turkey and an Andy Warhol room too.

Not all of it is “do not touch” — you can walk on and actually sit on some pieces in the contemporary wing and a curtain of glass beads you can walk through is actually an art installation! They have great pieces by internationally renowned artists, including the largest collection of Matisse in the world (that’s right, more than they have in France), many Degas sculptures (love his dancers), and masterpieces by Picasso and Van Gogh.

Really they have a little something for everyone. One of the best parts is that you can see all of this amazing art for free! There is a small fee for parking on the premises and a restaurant, Gertrude’s, is on site too. Day Trip Gal’s mother highly recommends Gertrudes! “Reasonable prices, good food, excellent service.” 

Read about the blog’s trip to AVAM at

Getting there: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218-3898

Parking: There are several parking options, none of which are free but they are very reasonable: BMA East Lot (closest for Gertrude’s patrons), The Johns Hopkins University South Garage, and metered spots on Art Museum Drive. The visitor drop-off and pick-up area has been temporarily relocated to the West Lot until renovations are complete and includes two accessible spaces.

Hours: Wednesday–Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday–Tuesday Closed


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Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I’d love to hear what you’re doing! Email if you’re interested in being a guest-blogger!