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Preparing to Research with an Art Museum's Collection
Salisbury, MD is in a great location for viewing fantastic art; many museums and galleries with major collections are located within a 3-hour driving radius. Here are some tips to help you with your research the next time you are visiting and working with an artwork or object in a museum's collection:
- Check out the museum's website. Many art museums' websites include additional information about the artworks they have exhibited in the galleries, as well as those that are not currently on view. This information can give you background information and context that can serve as a starting point for your research. Additionally, it is always good to visit a museum's website before a visit as a way to learn more about the collection and the museum itself.
- See if they have a library or archive. Libraries and archives housed within museums can be extremely helpful when conducting research on a specific object or an entire art collection. Libraries' collections typically reflect the range of objects held within a museum and are strong in those areas. Archives can have information specific to an object, including detailed notes, provenance, correspondence from previous owners, and other information.
- Take photos. Typically, museums will allow visitors to photograph works and objects in a museum as long as the museum owns them. Works of art that are being loaned from other institutions can be off-limits to photographs, so be sure to ask. Also, flash photography is generally not allowed in museums, as the light may damage light-sensitive works, and it can be distracting to other museum visitors.
- Sketch away! Some museums will allow visitors to sketch (or even sometimes paint) within the galleries. Be sure to check the museum's website or call before you visit to verify their policies on such activities.
- Don't touch. As a general rule, don't touch the artwork on display. Dirt and natural oils from our skin can damage the art.
Included below are a sampling of museums and galleries located nearby.
Museums & Galleries
SU Art Galleries
From galleries and special events to premier sculpture and photography collections, SU Art Galleries provides a showcase for student, local, national and international artists.
Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture
The Nabb Research Center houses over 15,000 objects from the Colonial era through the present day, including photographs, archaeological materials, furniture, vintage clothing and coverlets, household items, tools, and military memorabilia. The Center is a remarkable resource for understanding the people and places of the Eastern Shore and all of Delmarva.
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
The Museum features the world's largest and finest public collection of decorative and antique decoys.
Academy Art Museum
In Easton, MD. The collection contains more than 1,000 pieces including core holdings of European and American works on paper.
African Art Museum of Maryland
In Fulton, MD. The African Art Museum of Maryland (AAMM) collects, exhibits, and preserves for the public, treasured objects reflecting traditional societies from Morocco to South Africa and from Senegal to Somalia.
The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland- College Park
The Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection is comprised of more than 2,000 prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs, mainly focusing on contemporary art, and features 4-5 temporary exhibitions each year.
Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art is home to an internationally renowned collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. The BMA has 95,000+ works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world. The collection includes American and European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; prints and drawings from the 15th century to the present; works by established and emerging contemporary artists; and objects from Africa and Asia.
The Mitchell Gallery at St. John's College
In Annapolis, MD. Exhibitions have included works of celebrated artists such as Bruegel, Calder, Rembrandt, Rodin, Motherwell and Johns, exhibitions of unique historical and regional interest, such as photography by A. Aubrey Bodine and Marion Warren and The National Craft Show.
The Walters Art Museum
In Baltimore, MD. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Nouveau jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.
Biggs Museum of American Art
In Dover, DE. The permanent collection includes paintings with highlights by the Peale family, Albert Bierstadt, Gilbert Stuart, and Childe Hassam; sculptures by Hiram Powers; images by Brandywine School illustrator, Frank E. Schoonover; early-American cabinetry; and one of the finest collections of regional silver in the country.
Delaware Art Museum
In Wilmington, DE. The Museum is best known for its large collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, works by Wilmington-native Howard Pyle and fellow American illustrators, and urban landscapes by John Sloan and his circle.
The Delaware Contemporary
In Wilmington, DE. The DCCA, founded in 1979, presents over 20 exhibitions annually of regionally, nationally and internationally recognized artists who explore topical issues in contemporary art and society.
Rehoboth Art League
The Rehoboth Art League is a membership-based teaching and exhibiting non-profit arts organization dedicated to encouraging and preserving the arts in Southern Delaware. The League offers a variety of art classes, open studios, exhibitions, and art events.
Winterthur Museum, Gallery and Library
In Wintethur, DE. Winterthur’s collection of nearly 90,000 objects features decorative and fine arts made or used in America from 1630 to 1860. The collection is organized in several main categories— ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, paintings and prints, and textiles and needlework. Famous for its American artwork, the collection is amplified with objects from other regions of the world, illustrating the active role America played in the international market.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Corcoran is recognized internationally for a distinguished collection of historic and modern American art as well as contemporary art, photography, European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting scholarship internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies through fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications.
Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art
The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery contain some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world, including Ancient Egyptian art, Ancient Near Eastern art, Arts of the Islamic World, biblical manuscripts, Chinese art, Japanese art, Korean art, South Asian & Himalayan art, and Southeast Asian art.. In addition, the Freer Gallery boasts exemplary examples of late nineteenth-century works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries. The Sackler Gallery is host to contemporary art from Asia as well as international loan exhibitions.
The Kreeger Museum focuses on 19th and 20th century paintings by Impressionist and American artists. Also included in the permanent collection are works of prominent Washington artists and examples of traditional African and Asian art.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art's collection includes paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection features the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder.
National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art is home to various artistic expressions of Africa, from the ancient to contemporary times.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the achievements of women artists. Spanning more than 4,500 works, NMWA’s wide-ranging collection provides a comprehensive survey of art by women of all nationalities from the 16th century to the present, with new acquisitions added regularly.
National Portrait Gallery
The mission of the National Portrait Gallery is to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation's history, development and culture.
The Phillips Collection is home to a collection of more than 3,000 works ranging from masterpieces of French impressionism and American modernism to contemporary art.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the nation's first collection of American art, and covers three centuries of work. The museum has been a leader in identifying and collecting significant aspects of American visual culture, including photography, modern folk and self-taught art, African American art, Latino art, and video games. The museum has the largest collection of New Deal art and exceptional collections of contemporary craft, American impressionist paintings and masterpieces from the Gilded Age.
The Barnes Foundation
In Philadelphia, PA. The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin and Maurice Prendergast, Old Master paintings, important examples of African sculpture and Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia.
Institute of Contemporary Art
In Philadelphia, PA. A non-collecting museum, ICA exhibitions aim to bring under-recognized artists to the attention of the broader world.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has collections of more than 227,000 objects that include European and American paintings, prints, drawings, and decorative arts. Also included in the collection are East Asian and South Asian art, and costumes and textiles. The Rodin Museum, which holds the largest collection of the sculptor's works outside Paris, is also part of the PMA.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
In Philadelphia, PA. PAFA's museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Its archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training.