AVAM (American Visionary Art Museum)

American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)

800 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD
Museum featuring self-taught art

When you see one of Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs adorning the front lawn of a museum, you know it’s no ordinary place. This is indeed the mecca for those who appreciate work by self-taught, outsider or visionary artists. AVAM features three full floors of art displayed in long-running shows that cover a specific theme like “aging” or “war and peace.” Their permanent collection contains a number of works by Ted Gordon, Howard Finster, Gerald Hawkes and the Baltimore Glassman, Paul Darmafall. There’s a great restaurant/bar upstairs and a well-stocked gift shop too, all sitting in this jewel of a building situated down the hill from where Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem.

Founder, Rebecca Hoffberger says, “People just love this place” and it’s evident why. There’s a sense of playfulness in the presentation, and an appreciation for the passion and commitment these works represent.

Find this site and others with the iPhone app, “Best Road Trip Ever!”
(Photos & text © copyright 2006-2014 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved)


On DVD – Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, “Eastern Weaseling”, KCPT, Kansas City Public Television, 2002.

“Contemporary American Folk Art  – A Collector’s Guide”  Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Abbeville Press, 1996.

“Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond” by John Maizels, Phaidon Press; New Ed edition, 1996, 2000.

“Raw Vision Outsider Art Sourcebook”  Raw Vision, Ltd., 2002.

“Fantasy Worlds” by Deidi Von Schaewen and John Maizels, Taschen, New York, 1999.

“Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations Coast to Coast Travel-o-Pedia” by Randy Mason, et. al., Kansas City Star Books, 2009.