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Birmingham Museum of Art
fine arts museum in Alabama
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Birmingham Museum of Art
fine arts museum in Alabama
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2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama
United States

soesterling's picture

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The South is more than guns, cheap beer, and religious conservatives and the Birmingham Museum of Art proves it. 

This museum boasts one of the most diverse and expansive collections in the Southeast US. Everything from American quilting to Vietnamese ceramics are represented, not to mention a collection of 18th C. French decorative art that is said to be one of the largest bestowments ever given by a single donor to an American museum.

If that's not enough the reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp are glowing; one even mentions the staff stopping to help a baby bird that had flown into a window. Combine that type of southern hospitality with free general admission and parking and you have yourself a must visit.

An example of the strength of the southern woman, the museum was born from the Birmingham Art Club which was founded in 1908 by four local female artists: Della Dryer, Willie McLaughlin, Alice Rumph, and Mamie Holfield. The group campaigned for years to bring art to the Birmingham community, finally opening the official museum inside City Hall in 1951. The museum broke ground on a permanent building in 1958.

Architect Edward Larrabee Barnes who created the famed Walker Art Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Smart Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, etc. (dude seriously loved designing museums) planned the museum’s 1993 expansion.

Did I mention they host a monthly “First Thursday” afterhours event where you can admire the art with a cocktail in hand? You’ll find me near the French décor, mint julep in tow, imagining I’m Marie Antoinette.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Birmingham Museum of Art

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama, today has one of the finest collections in the Southeastern United States, with more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts representing a numerous diverse cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Among other highlights, the Museum’s collection of Asian art is considered the finest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, and its Vietnamese ceramics one of the finest in the U.S. The Museum also is home to a remarkable Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to c.1750, and the 18th-century European decorative arts include superior examples of English ceramics and French furniture.

The Birmingham Museum of Art is owned by the City of Birmingham and encompasses 3.9 acres (16,000 m2) in the heart of the city’s cultural district. Erected in 1959, the present building was designed by architects Warren, Knight and Davis, and a major renovation and expansion by Edward Larrabee Barnes of New York was completed in 1993. The facility encompasses 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2), including an outdoor sculpture garden.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Birmingham Museum of Art.