The Speed Art Museum, originally known as the J. B. Speed Memorial Museum, is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum. It was founded in 1925 by Hattie Bishop Speed as a memorial to her husband, James Breckinridge Speed, a prominent Louisville businessman and philanthropist.Make The Speed Art Museum part of your personalized Louisville itinerary using our Louisville tour itinerary builder.
The Speed Art Museum recently reopened its doors after a three-year expansion project. The new 60,000-square-foot North Building creates one of the finest experiential art museums in the country and doubles the overall square footage and nearly triple the gallery space from the existing wing. The expansion creates a state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, new contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, indoor/outdoor café, museum shop, theater, and a multifunctional pavilion for performances, lectures and entertaining. Additionally, the new Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and public Piazza was created for the display of sculpture that will engage University of Louisville students and faculty and museum visitors.
The Speed Art Museum reviews
Fascinating museum. This was our second visit. The special exhibition of Isabelle de Borchgrave was incredible. more »
Isabelle de Borchgrave Exhibit- Fashioning Art from Paper. Life size dresses made from paper, covering 500 years of history from Europe and around the word. Also on special exhibit is Adele and... more »
I went here on a date and it ended up being a great time. You can tell they are very serious about the building and art integrity and everything is super clean. It took us about 3 hours to get through and see everything. If there's one thing I would improve, I'd like for there to be more modern work because while there was some,there wasn't a ton. I also wished that there were more large sculptures. There were a few, but I love big pieces of art like that. Regardless, it's a beautiful place and a great way to spend an afternoon. PS- the parking garage cost us $10 if you wanted to know rates
This is not an encyclopedic museum, but the staff here certainly knows how to make the most of a not-so-extensive collection (relatively speaking). The architecture is visually pleasing and the exhibition spaces are spacious. Signage is clear and the navigation between galleries is a breeze. Interpretive labels obviously receive a lot of curatorial attention: not only do almost all objects on display come with their own labels, but each of them has a small topic of its own. Together, these elements constitute a pleasant visiting experience that makes the admission fee more than justified. Like what is stated on the Museum's website: whether you are "an art aficionado or don't know a Dali from a Degas," this is a great place for you to spend a few quality hours.
Plan your trip to Louisville
Get a personalized tripA complete day by day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Louisville
Side trips from Louisville
Hidden gems in Louisville
Breweries & Distilleries in Louisville
Historic Sites in Louisville
Trips to The Speed Art Museum by other users
6 days in Louisville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Cave Hill Cemetery Louisville Mega Cavern 60 days in Kentucky BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Louisville Newport Lexington 57 days in Louisville BY A USER FROM IRELAND The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller Kentucky Derby Museum Churchill Downs 32 days in Louisville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Louisville Zoo Louisville Mega Cavern Uptown Art 31 days in Kentucky BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Paducah Bowling Green Louisville 31 days in Kentucky BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Newport Louisville Lexington