For the eighth year, AAMD is uniting its membership to celebrate Art Museum Day! Held in concert with ICOM’s International Museum Day, this year AAMD’s Art Museum Day will take place on and around Thursday, May 18.
In 2016, approximately 175 member museums offered free admission, special programs and events in an international celebration of the importance of museums in our world.
This year's theme for Art Museum Day is Art Museums Foster Vibrant Communities. This theme celebrates the vital role art museums play as cultural, educational, and economic anchors, helping make their communities great places to live and work. Now, more than ever before, it is critical that we come together in our shared belief that the arts are a crucial element of civil society, essential to the well-being of our communities and our democracies.
In honor of our shared belief that the arts are a crucial element of civil society, essential to the well-being of our communities and our democracies, many AAMD members will offer free or reduced admission, educational programs, and/or discounts on or around May 18. AAMD also encourages museum visitors to use social media to share their Art Museum Day experiences with their museum and their social networks.
Above: Photo of The Wexner Center for the Arts by Katie Spengler
Following is a list of AAMD member museums participating in Art Museum Day 2017. Note that while ICOM’s International Museum Day is formally held each year on May 18, some institutions shift their celebrations to adjacent dates.
*Free Admission including special exhibitions
**Free general admission, not including special exhibitions
†Celebrating Art Museum Day on a date other than May 18
Anchorage Museum, Anchorage*
Members back of house tours
Children's program "Blink"
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco†
Sunday, May 14
Celebrate both Mother’s Day and Art Museum Day by treating a special mom to a day at the museum. All moms can enjoy a 20% discount on tickets, including the must-see exhibition Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty.
Plus, all shoppers in the museum store who spend $40 or more will receive a free poster and book.
Sign up as a new member to receive a voucher for $5 off in the store and enjoy docent-led tours throughout the day of Goddess in the galleries.
Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento*†
Free admission Sunday, May 21
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles*
Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach*
Laguna Art Museum provides a diverse range of exhibitions, education programs, lectures, concerts, and films as a cultural center for the entire community.
On Art Museum Day, the museum offers free admission and will present a premiere screening of Art and the Zen of Motorcycle Racing (or Lunch with Billy Al), introduced by filmmaker Dale Schierholt. The film profiles Billy Al Bengston, a leader of the renowned group of Ferus Gallery Artists who blazed a path for generations of California artists to follow. It is the third in Schierholt’s California Masters series, which examines the unique artistic history of California art through the stories of the artists that helped shape that history.
Lecture: Greg Tate
Thursday, May 18, 7pm
MOCA Grand Ave, Ahmanson Auditorium
Greg Tate has been a leading voice on contemporary Black music, art, literature, film, and politics since launching his career at the Village Voice in the early 1980s. Through his signature mix of vernacular poetics and cultural criticism, Tate elucidates how race, gender, and class shape popular culture and why visionary Black aesthetics, philosophies, and politics help define 21st-century America. He is also a musician, leading the conducted improvisation ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. Tate lectures on the work of Kerry James Marshall.
MOCA Grand Avenue, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, photo by Elon Schoenholz
Celebrate Art Museum Day at MCASD! Art museums play a vital role as cultural, educational, and economic anchors, helping make their communities great places to live and work. Now, more than ever before, it is critical that we come together in our shared belief that the arts are a crucial element of civil society, essential to the well-being of our communities and our democracies.
MCASD will kick off Art Museum Day celebrations at Downtown at Sundown on Thursday, May 18, with the opening of three new exhibitions: Andrea Chung: You broke the ocean in half to be here, Go Tell It: Selections from MCASD's Collection, and Prospect 2017. On Friday, May 19, visitors will enjoy free admission from 11 AM to 5 PM and complimentary tours at 12 and 2 PM in celebration of the importance of museums in our world.
Gallery Tours at MCASD Downtown. Photo courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara*
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach*
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego*
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara*
Denver Art Museum, Denver
AAMD Museum Day – On Thursday May 18, visitors who purchase a General Admission ticket at either Clyfford Still Museum of Denver Art Museum can enjoy free admission next door when presenting their admission ticket or receipt, thanks to the museums’ collaborative presentation of Shade: Clyfford Still/Mark Bradford. Tickets for youth 18 and under are free at both locations. Visit www.clyffordstillmuseum.org and www.denverartmuseum.org for additional information.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford
District of Columbia
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum will celebrate Art Museum Day on Thursday, May 18, with free admission and special activities.
5 PM: Join Curator of Contemporary Art Camille Ann Brewer for a free tour of the exhibition "Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair," which tells the story of the iconic fashion show and its creator Eunice Johnson through stunning gowns, feathered coats, and statement pieces by leading designers.
6 PM: Meet Shayla Simpson, former Ebony Fashion Fair model, commentator, and buyer, and hear about her experiences working and traveling with Eunice Johnson to couture design houses in Europe to purchase fashions for the fair (advance registration is required).
All day: Interact with objects from our education collection, including fibers, natural dye stuffs, and garments from around the world.
Visitors admire the bold fashions on display in the Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair exhibition at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Photo by Abby Greenawalt.
Exhibitions and Installations:
Chromatic Scale: Prints by Polly Apfelbaum
Polly Apfelbaum employs bright colors and abstract motifs in her prints, using methods that are both ordered and spontaneous.
The Women Arrive: From Masonic Temple to Women’s Museum
In honor of the museum’s 30th anniversary, explore 110 years of photos of the building’s fascinating history.
From the Desk of Simone de Beauvoir
This installation invites visitors to reflect on writer Simone de Beauvoir’s feminist impact in the areas of literature, philosophy, and popular culture.
Photo of National Museum of Women in the Arts by Dakota Fine
The Phillips Collection celebrates Art Museum Day with free admission on Thursday, May 18, 10 am - 8:30 pm. The first 100 guests receive a free tote bag, as well as anyone who signs up for membership that day. Join us at noon for a spotlight tour focused on one work of art. Exhibitions on view: George Condo, The Way I Think.
The Rothko Room at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Photo: Benjamin Resine
The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Half-price admission on May 18
Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando
Thursday May 18: 50% off regular admission prices
Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach*
The Wolfsonian, Miami Beach*
One day. Free admission. Special perks. Every year, The Wolfsonian joins dozens of AAMD member institutions by waiving admission and inviting everyone to enjoy art and design at no cost. Take advantage of a 10% discount in our chic design store or become a member at 25%-off the Popular and Dual/Family levels—and if you show us a little love on Instagram, we’ll throw in a free coffee and super stylish Wolfsonian mug (yup, it’s worth it!). Plus, we’re joining forces at 6:30pm with five other Miami museums at Vizcaya Village to discuss the challenges of presenting contested histories, so have your voice heard by swinging by to pick the brains of the six accomplished panelists. #Wolfsonian
The Wolfsonian. Photo: World Red Eye
The Columbus Museum, Columbus*
The Columbus Museum will be highlighting works of art from its permanent collection that give meaning to people within the community in short video segments that will be shared on Facebook and YouTube. Those interviewed will consist of volunteers, teens, members, staff, and community members. They will share their favorite work of art in the Museum’s collection and why it resonates with them personally.
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens*
6-9pm: Third Thursday, a collaboration with six other arts venues in Athens, Georgia, all open from 6 to 9 p.m.
7pm: Twilight Tour of the exhibitions “The Past is Never Dead: Kristin Casaletto” and “Michael Ellison”
Boise Art Museum, Boise†
Sunday, May 21: Boise's International Museum Day celebration
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago*
Making a Place of Purpose, a Collection of Small Actions
Saturday, May 20, 12–6 pm
This daylong event considers how sites of culture can function as spaces of belonging.
Organized by the Smart Museum’s 2016/17 Interpreters in Residence, The Belonging Collective, and inspired by the permanent collection installation 'Conversations with the Collection: Belonging,' the day will feature a variety of small, intimate actions including interactive meals, artist-orchestrated experiences, micro-tours, performative readings, musical performances, shared reflections, and more.
FREE and open to all.
Indanapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis*†
The Indianapolis Museum of Art is offering free admission to celebrate National Public Gardens Day & Museum Day on Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines*
Celebrate National Art Museum Day with the Des Moines Art Center by learning more about the Art Center’s collection and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park: FREE drop-in tours at 12:30 – 1 pm at the park (meet at Jaume Plensa’s Nomade) and 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Art Center.
Figge Art Museum, Davenport
PechaKucha Night - Free admission 5-9pm
Thursday, May 18
5:30 pm Social Hour with $6 sandwich baskets, cash bar
6:30 pm PechaKucha presentations
PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps—just about anything, really—in the 20x20 format. The 20x20 format is a simple presentation format where presenters show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture in 2003, and has spread to over 900 cities worldwide. Since 2012, the Figge Art Museum has hosted over 30 PechaKucha Nights, featuring nearly 200 creative and passionate Quad Citizens.
Photo courtesy of the Figge Art Museum
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans*
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Free admission from 5-9pm
On May 18 from 5-8pm, visitors may participate in artist Nari Ward’s artwork Naturalization Drawing Table, in conjunction with his exhibition Nari Ward: Sun Splashed. Based on Ward’s personal experience of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, this interactive artwork gives museum visitors a better understanding of that process. Each participant will receive a set of prints from the artist. See icaboston.org for details.
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Diller Scofidio + Renfro Architects. Photo by Danita Jo.
MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge*
Opening Reception 6-8 PM
Join us at the opening reception to celebrate An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art. This exhibition is curated by Henriette Huldisch.
An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art brings together a group of twelve international artists to examine the recent multidisciplinary turn towards affect by focusing on art works that explore how bodies are shaped, modified, or affected by the intensity of their interaction.
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge*
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton*
Free admission May 18-21
Museo Arocena, Torreón*
Free admission May 14-21
Educational activities about migration
Presentation of new book celebrating Museo Arocena's 10th anniversary
Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City*
Free admission Thursday, May 18
May 20: children's book reading
Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City
Free admission to students, teachers and +65
Museum speed dating
Music and videomapping
Special tours and workshops
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City*
The Museum as a Space of Reflection and Resistance (May 2017)
For the International Museum Day Mexico City’s Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC-University Museum of Contemporary Art) will critically reflect on the various challenges of inequality and inclusion faced by art museums. The program will comprise a series of discussions, room activations, experimental tours and audio-visual caps organized around the overarching topics of gender equality, theories of disability, social marginality and uneven access to cultural goods. From concrete actions, we aim to question the museum institution from within as to reassess the strategies of inclusion regarding gender, racial, ethnic, economic and educational issues MUAC has already carried out in the last years.
Series of critical pedagogical activations aimed at raising public awareness on the diversity of sexual, gender identities that co-exist in the museum space. We will highlight the difficulties excluded groups may face in cultural contexts.
Viewing of audio-visual capsules featuring the MUAC’s recent curatorial projects dealing with social inclusion and access such as Jauma Ferrete’s “Deaf Tree,” in which this Catalan artist worked with the deaf community of Mexico City, and Mónica Mayer’s “Aesthetic Pampering,” a relational feminist art event where members of the artistic community discussed their issues while having a pedicure, haircut or style make over.
Empathy on Wheels
Our docents will offer a wheelchair tour through our facilities to reflect on the public policies and difficulties that people with disabilities suffer in architectural spaces, especially in regards to inaccessible points at MUAC’s building and UNAM’S Cultural Center.
Neutral Gender Lavatories
For one day MUAC seeks to de-normalize restrooms by turning them into spaces of inclusion accessible to all genders and non-hegemonic identities. This will be a pilot event for an integral revision of our restroom policies.
Looking at MUAC. Experimental Tours
11:00 am-12:00 pm
In our predominantly audiovisual culture, these experimental mediated tours for the general public and people with partial or total blindness aim to foster empathy and sensorial awareness through art. Tours will be conducted in collaboration with specialists in disabilities.
Panel “Equality and Inclusion in Mexican Museums”
12:00 - 1:30 pm and 1:30 - 3:00pm
A diverse group of eight specialists from government agencies, universities, museums and non-profits will discuss art museum’s agency in creating resistance strategies of gender, racial, ethnic, economic, and educational inclusion.
The Mexican Art Ballet Academy of Disability
This will be the first public recital of the Mexican Art Ballet Academy of Disability in a Mexican museum.
Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit*
Flint Institute of Arts, Flint*
20% discount for members & 10% discount for non-members in the Museum Shop & Palette Cafe
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor*
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson*
Dinner and a Movie: A Food Truck Festival (Vol. 4)
Thursday, May 18, 2017
5 – 10 PM
The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art
Part of the Museum's monthly Third Thursday programming.
It’s our fourth annual garden party bringing together the best of Mississippi’s growing food truck culture. This year, it’s bigger than ever! Chow down on a diverse selection of fare from the state’s mobile culinarians and enjoy our own Chef Nick Wallace’s monthly ‘sipp Sourced pop up menu! Live music on the C Spire Stage. At dusk, settle in on the BankPlus Green for a special Screen on the Green movie.
We've run through all the current Toy Story titles, so we'll be choosing a new PIXAR movie and we want your vote! Go ahead and RSVP to get notified when we announce the movie ballot!
Presented in partnership with AAF Jackson and Crossroads Film Society. Cost: Free to the public, cash bar and food available for purchase.
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis*
10% discount in museum shop
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City*
Area photographers will display their work for a fun and informal showcase of local talent. This free, pop-in event is a great way to get to know artists living and working in our own community.
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha**
10:30 am: Art Encounters offers docent-guided tours of Joslyn's collections and special exhibitions on the third Thursday of each month. This tour invites the visitor to make personal connections to works of art.
6:30 pm: docent-guided tour of permanent American collection highlights
Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln*
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton*
10% discount in the Museum Store
Activities throughout the galleries; giveaways; refreshments.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Thursday, May 18: Half-price memberships available
American Folk Art Museum, New York*
Join us to celebrate Art Museum Day with a special guided tour of Eugen Gabritschevsky: Theater of the Imperceptible and Carlo Zinelli (1916–1974). Please meet in the museum atrium. As part of Art Museum Day, the Museum Shop will extend $10.00 off any purchase over $75.00.
The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning
Celebrate International Museum Day and the Association of Art Museum Directors’ Art Museum Day at The Corning Museum of Glass. As always, admission to the Museum is free for kids 17 and under.
Enjoy art-focused tours and refreshments in celebration of Art Museum Day.
The Corning Museum of Glass. Photo Credit: Iwan Baan
10-11am: "Let's Look, Baby! This Land Is Your Land" tour for caregivers and infants to age 4
5-7pm: Young Professionals Networking @ the Johnson
Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York*†
Saturday, May 20: Free admission and 10% discount on Grey publications
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers*
The Hudson River Museum is excited to take part in Art Museum Day, and celebrate the importance of museums in our lives. We will offer free admission on May 18. See our permanent collection and Riverama galleries from 12 to 5 pm, and take a guided tour of Glenview, our historic home, at 1 or 3 pm. hrm.org
Morgan Library and Museum, New York*
This year on AAMD Art Museum Day, the Morgan’s blockbuster exhibition, "I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson" will be on view. As described in the New York Times, “It instantly turns the Morgan into a pilgrimage site, a literary Lourdes, a place to come in contact with one aspect of American culture that truly can claim greatness…” "I’m Nobody!" is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date, and explores a side the great poet’s life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors. Visitors to the museum will have free access to the exhibition, to the Morgan’s historic spaces, and to a selection of guided tours.
The Morgan Library and Museum. Photography by Michel Denancé.
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY*
10% discount in museum store
The Noguchi Museum, Long Island City*
Plains Art Museum, Fargo*
Akron Art Museum, Akron*
11:15am: Art Tales: Sharing and Cooperation
Discounts on memberships available
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati*
Celebrate Art Museum Day at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Free general admission and free parking! Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
10% discount for non-members in the Cincinnati Art Museum's Gift Shop and Terrace Cafe. 10% for all memberships.
Evenings for Educators: Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light from 4-7 p.m. ($10 members; $20 general admission; $5 students. Reservation required) and InConversation: The Art of Collecting at 7 p.m. (Free for Art Museum members, $10 for general admission, $5 for students/seniors).
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus*†
Sunday, May 21: Check out our JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity to build a birdhouse, design a sticker tree or create a storytelling adventure game. There is also a twist-tie challenge, a collaborative drawing challenge and an exhibition called MOTION that highlights works of art from the Museum’s collection that depict movement. In the galleries, visitors can solve puzzles, play games, and join conversation boards. You can also stop by our admissions desk and pick up a scavenger hunt and other self-guided tours.
Taft Museum of Art, Columbus*†
Saturday, May 20
Discover our world-renowned art collection in a beautiful historic house. See major works by Rembrandt, Hals, Goya, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Turner, Ingres, and Sargent.
Color+Rhythm: New Paintings by Cedric Michael Cox is on view.
Enjoy the sweet sounds of summer with Tunes at the Taft at 2 p.m.
Kick back under the tent with The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, Cincinnati’s favorite bluegrass band for an afternoon of toe-tapping fun. Sweet treats will be provided by Graeter’s.
Free. No reservations required.
Photo courtesy of the Taft Museum of Art
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo*
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus*†
Free admission Sunday, May 21
Photo of The Wexner Center for the Arts by Katie Spengler
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene*
Portland Art Museum, Portland*†
Free admission Saturday, May 20
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh†
Factory Swing Shift
Friday, May 19, 2017
The Factory stays up late! Visit our hands-on underground studio to make art after dark during Factory Swing Shift. Visitors can drop in to experiment with a range of materials and techniques in a relaxed creative environment with skilled artist educators, special guests, and music. This program is presented as part of Art Museum Day 2017.
FREE with museum admission (half-price 5-10pm)
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford*†
Sunday May 7
PNC Arts Alive First Sunday for Families from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Our theme is Mix and Mash(up). Transform ordinary and unusual art supplies into new creations in a special art activity. Enjoy a performance by the Funicular Circus. They will perform a “Little Circus” at noon, an interactive production that includes juggling, trapeze and tight wire. At 1:30 p.m., the performers will walk across the Brandywine River on a tight wire.
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia*
Free, open-to-the-public conversation with curator Charlotte Ickes
Curator-led tours of the current exhibitions
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia*
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia*
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg*
The Westmoreland Jazz Society Concert featuring Thomas Wendt & The Main Stem Quintet. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are available at the door, online, or by calling 1.888.71TICKETS. $15 for members, $20 for non-members, $5 for students (age 21 and under).
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
RISD Museum, Providence*
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville*
* Art Workshop: 1:00–4:00 p.m.
* Educator SPARK Evening: 5:30–8:00 p.m.
* Workshop: Drop-In Drawing and a Drink 5:00–8:00 p.m.
* Jazz guitarist Geary Moore 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of the Frist Center for Visual Arts
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth*
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
The Contemporary Austin, Austin*
With Liberty and Justice for All Film Series: "Crossing Over: Stories of Immigration and Identity"
8:30pm, May 18, Moody Rooftop at the Jones Center
Suggested donation: $5-10
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Displaying a work by Kiki Smith for the month of May
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas*
In celebration of Art Museum Day, please enjoy free admission to the Nasher Sculpture Center on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio*†
Friday, May 19: free general admission
Family Flick: Best of the Fest 1 and 2
(121 minutes, suggested for ages 3 to 8 but fun for all) Show starts at sundown | Free
10:30 a.m. A Dog's Life - Take a guided tour of dog-related art and explore the lives of dogs as pets and workplace helpers in the 18th century. Learn about our folk art dog, Prince; artist William Hogarth’s canine companion; and other dogs in art. (45 minutes)
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Decorative Arts Highlights (30 min.)
Noon and 2 p.m. Introduction to Folk Art (30 min)
2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Focus on Furniture (45 min)
2:30 p.m. Printed, Painted, Stained and Dyed - Join a curator to learn about printed textiles for fashion and home on this interactive tour. (45 min)
2:30-4 p.m. Music in the Museums - period music as you tour the galleries
3 p.m. That's How Old - How do humidity, temperature, and other environmental factors affect the condition of objects? What can museum conservators do to keep priceless objects safe and looking their best? Learn the answers on this guided tour and discover the methods and materials used to help protect the paintings, textiles, furniture, glassware, metalware, and other items in our collections. (30 min)
4:30 p.m. The Mischievous Fey - It's springtime and the world awakens after a long winter's sleep. It's time for the spring lambs, the flowers to bloom and the mischievous Fey to once again roam the Highlands. Enjoy tales of the Spring Festivals and the Fey as told by Master Storyteller Donna Wolf. (1 hour)
Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg*
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle*
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle
$5 off admission
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma*
Third Thursday activities, open until 8 PM