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
Sunday is free! Beautiful collection featuring classics and wonderful contemporary pieces. The Kentucky gallery was very interesting. more »
Easy access parking in nearby garage, museum is easy to get around and there are portable, lightweight folding chairs one can carry with them and sit, if needed. They have a private room for nursing m... 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.
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