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Art museums offer family fun

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Art museums, those stuffy places with look but don’t touch rules, fun? Absolutely! Raleigh area museums, including university museums, provide opportunities to explore, create and enjoy art, for young and old. Special family days make it even easier for kids to develop art appreciation.

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The Raleigh area’s commitment to museum access for all, through free admission and special programs, has earned it the title of Smithsonian of the South.

Art museum in Chapel Hill, NC

The Ackland Art Museum, part of UNC at Chapel Hill, includes a permanent collection of more than 17,000 pieces, featuring Asian art, European masterpieces, contemporary works, African art and local pottery. Ackland is committed to creating a family friendly art experience. Ask for a Family Activity Packet at the front desk when visiting. Check the family events page on their website to plan a family outing. Located at 101 S. Columbia Street in Chapel Hill, the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, and closed on Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free.

Art museums in Durham, NC

Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art, located at 2001 Campus Drive in Durham, owns more than 10,000 pieces featuring arts of the Americas, African art, Antiquities, Asian, European, Medieval, and more. Rotating installations from the permanent collection allow guests to experience something new every time they visit. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. Adult admission is $5. Children under age 15 are free. Visit the website to learn more about special dates for free admission.

The NCCU Art Museum is home to one of the leading collections of works by African-American artists and those dealing with the black experience. Prominent pieces by Robert S. Duncanson, Edward M. Bannister and Henry Ossawa Tanner are part of the museum’s permanent collection. Other pieces focus on the Harlem Renaissance and the WPA period of the 1930’s. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday and on Sundays, closed Monday and Saturday.

Art museums in Raleigh, NC

The premiere art museum in North Carolina, The NC Museum of Art is more than an art display. Indoors, explore permanent collections of paintings and sculpture from around the world. The Museum Park takes the art outside providing families the opportunity to explore large pieces along marked trails. Special exhibits, such as Tall Tales and Huge Hearts: Raul Colon, enrich the art experience. The museum is located at 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. Open Tuesday through Sunday and closed Mondays, admission to the permanent collection and museum park are free. Special exhibitions, concerts, classes and performances may require an admission fee.

The Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, 409 W Martin Street, is open Monday, Wednesday to Sunday and closed Tuesdays. The museum is dedicated to securing contemporary pieces to invigorate the mind. Special programs challenge museum visitors to expand their thinking. Its goal is to inspire new thinking by providing unique, contemporary pieces. General admission is $5 and kids under 10 are free.

The Gregg Museum of Art & Design focuses on exhibitions that enrich the art experience at NCSU. Some of the most popular exhibitions include textiles, ceramics, photograpy, sculpture, architectural drawings and furniture. The mission of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design is to collect, interpret, and exhibit exemplary hand or machine made objects that foster learning and understanding of the cultures of North Carolina and the world.

Art museums in the Triangle offer fun for everyone, whether exploring ancient art to modern pieces, textiles or world renowned masterpieces.

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