There are over a dozen galleries at the North Carolina Museum of Art which include a broad variety of types of art from all over the world. The museum started with 139 pieces from America and Europe, but it has since expanded to include Egyptian, African and Jewish works. It has also grown its initial collection of ancient American and European works. 30 Rodin sculptures have been added, making the NCMA the largest holder of such work in the southeast USA. The other galleries have a wide variety of pieces, from Renaissance paintings all the way to present-day photography. The museum also runs special exhibitions that usually last several months.
The Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, spanning 164 acres, lies just outside the museum. This has also been expanded, and now includes art installations that draw inspiration from nature and landscape preservation. Amongst these are the Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky, Askew and the Gyre rings. The park also has a great selection of recreation spots, including picnic areas and wooded paths.
Tours are available every day if you would like to find out more about the art collections.
When the time comes for lunch, a visit to the museum’s Iris restaurant is not to be missed. It provides delicious contemporary cuisine with a modern decor, and it’s open for dinner too. Some top picks are the Seared Scallops, Iris Burger, Seafood Burrito and the Red Curry Lemongrass Broth.
If you want to research certain artists or periods, you can find more than 40,000 volumes, databases and catalogs in the Art Reference Library. People of all ages can take advantage of the multitude of programs that run during the course of the year, including workshops, classes, films, concerts and camps.
Drop into the Museum Store before you leave. You’ll find some great items which are based on the collections and exhibits in the museum, which will be ideal as gifts or souvenirs. General admission to the museum is free, but there are some applicable fees for certain exhibitions and programs, and also for large tours. Opening hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday to Thursday, 10am-9pm Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday, and closed on Monday.