5 Reasons You Should Visit the Birmingham Museum of Art

The #AMDGirls LOVE that we have such a quality art museum right here in Birmingham, AL. It provides us so much inspiration, and it’s an awesome place to visit if you’re looking for something to do over the weekend. With free parking and free admission, there’s no reason to not go check out what the museum has to offer. Each exhibit has a little something different, which makes it great for everyone. From African pottery to Renaissance paintings to Andy Warhol prints to Wedgewood, the turn of each corner brings another exhibit full of beautiful art.

5 Reasons You Should Visit the Birmingham Museum of Art

Photo by Erica Wright The Birmingham Times

Photo by Erica Wright The Birmingham Times

1. They’ve Got Something for Everyone

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Whether you’re interested in Asian art, religious pieces, furniture, Native American culture, the European Renaissance or pottery– there’s a little something for everyone.

There are gold-foiled pieces, canvases, quilts, and all types of media and art techniques represented. To see everything under one roof is a great experience.

The museum has free maps to grab at the welcome table, and these are SUPER helpful for navigating your way through all of the collections. It’s a great idea at the beginning of your visit to plan what collections you want to see before you leave, especially if you are on a time constraint. With a two-hour timeframe it still felt like we were a bit rushed. Three hours seems to be the magic number.

2. You Can See Famous Artists’ Work

Just to name a few artists that we noticed…

Andy Warhol

Joan Mitchell

Claude Monet

Auguste Rodins

Ford Madox Brown

For being a free museum open to the public that is sustained off donations alone, this is an absolutely impressive collection. While it can get overwhelming to see the amount of art in the museum, they have a really cool website that can help you learn about the pieces you are most interested in.

Here is the link to that website for your next visit: https://www.artsbma.org/guide/

3. You Can Check Out the Two New Exhibits 

The Barbie exhibit, added in early August 2019 will stay until January 26, 2020. The art museum writes, “ The works in the exhibition represent artists’ interpretations of Barbie and are presented as part of this life-size dream house. Sheila Pree Bright’s photography examines the limited standards of beauty that Barbie represents. Lauren Kelley’s video creates narratives for Barbie as she explores racial identity through a series of vignettes that are at once humorous, absurd, and mundane. The dream house itself, titled Barbie: Dreaming of a Female Future, is created by artists and interior designers, Studio BOCA, and is furnished with objects created by women artists and makers that bring the space to life.”

The Barbie exhibit is one of the most interactive to date. Take a seat on the barbie couch and take it all on. iPads available in the exhibit guide you through each part of the room. Every detail, from the art to the furniture to the decorations, is intentional. It’s incredible!

Photos courtesy Birmingham Museum of Art

“Black Out Silhouettes Then and Now” adds a striking perspective to the conversation on race. The museum writes, “Black Out presents historic silhouettes from the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and other institutions alongside works by contemporary artists who are reimagining silhouettes in bold and unforgettable ways.

Before the selfie, before the Polaroid, and even before the photograph, there was the silhouette, a profile portrait made from cut paper. Silhouettes were a hugely popular and accessible form of portraiture in the nineteenth century, offering almost instant images of everyday Americans—women, men, black, white, presidents, and laborers. Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now explores this previously unstudied art form by investigating its deep historical roots and considering its forceful presence today.”

Our team has not yet checked out the “Black Out Silhouettes Then and Now” exhibit, but we can’t wait to see it!

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4. You’ll Find Some Inspiration

The museum has these amazing grab-and-go-lightweight chairs that are located throughout collections for you to take a seat in front of your favorite piece.

We noticed students sketching, people meditating, or just enjoying a piece of art throughout the museum as we walked through. It was great way to fight “museum fatigue.”

Plus, there is a beautfiul sculpture garden with benches for when the weather is right as well as several outdoor fountains around the campus.

5. Everything is FREE

If nothing else we have said in this has caught your eye, then at least consider going because it is FREE and open to everyone in the public. Free parking and free experiences around downtown Birmingham are hard to come by.

Whatever reason you may find yourself strolling through the doors of the Birmingham Museum of Art, we think that you’ll find a reason to love it too.