Speed Art Museum


Built in 1927 and revamped to the tune of $60 million in recent years, Kentucky's most important art museum – unaffiliated but on the University of Louisville campus – is a beautiful juxtaposition of classic and contemporary. It's highlighted by Spencer Finch's (of National September 11 Memorial Museum fame) Grand Atrium walled with fretted glass and Thai architect Kulapat Yantrasast's striking stacked concrete exterior. Collection highlights include Chuck Close's Barack Obama tapestry and Rembrandt's Portrait of a 40-Year-Old Woman.

The Kentucky decorative arts collection likewise impresses. The whole museum is set up not to overwhelm, and exhibitions are signed to explain how to view them rather than with a deluge of artsy descriptions. There's also a cafe and art house cinema onsite.

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