Trip Planner:   USA  /  Kentucky  /  Louisville  /  The Speed Art Museum

The Speed Art Museum, Louisville

#8 of 17 in Museums in Louisville
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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.

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.
Make The Speed Art Museum part of your personalized Louisville itinerary using our Louisville tour itinerary builder.
Create an itinerary including The Speed Art Museum
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

The Speed Art Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
226 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 trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.