12 Hidden Gem Art Galleries Across the United States
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12 Hidden Gem Art Galleries Across the United States
Before the coronavirus closed or limited hours in many public places, millions of people frequented art museums. In 2018, the three New York museums of the Metropolitan Museum of Art alone saw nearly 7.4 million visitors. Now that museums have largely reopened, people are once again returning to their beloved art institutions. But exploring the art world and expanding the type of art you see can be daunting, and it can be tempting to return to familiar places rather than try something new.
In order to provide new options for those wishing to expand their artistic palate, or for those who have visited the Met a few too many times, giggster studied the American art scene and shed light on 12 lesser-known but famous art galleries and museums. While these are just a fraction of the thousands of arts institutions across the country that aren’t known like the Guggenheim or the Smithsonian, you might be inspired to check them out. galleries and museums in your state.
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Dia Beacon is located on the scenic Hudson River in the town of Beacon in upstate New York. Known for its collection of contemporary art dating back to the 1960s, the museum opened in 2003 in a former Nabisco box printing plant, giving the large space an industrial edge. In its permanent collection, the museum houses a number of notable works by the sculptor Louise Bourgeois as well as some of Charles Gaines’ artwork. One of the early 2022 exhibits includes the interactive fabric sculptures by German artist Franz Erhard Walther. Dia Beacon is free for Hudson Valley residents on the last Sunday of every month.
Rooster Media // Courtesy of Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Nasher Art Museum
The Nasher Museum of Art is part of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The highlights of the museum historically underrepresented artists, with a particular emphasis on the presentation of works by black artists of African descent. In its permanent collection, which has more than 13,000 works, are paintings by iconic black artists Kehinde Wiley and Kerry James Marshall. Among the exhibitions unveiled in 2022 is “Reckoning and Resilience: North Carolina Art Now,” which brings together the work of 30 artists from North Carolina in order to question the themes of history, identity, collective mourning and healing, and “Beyond the Surface: Collage, Mixed Media and Textile Works from the Collection”, an exhibition that brings together around 40 textural works from Nasher’s permanent collection.
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Located in Manhattan’s East Village, the Half Gallery features works by both back and forth and established artists since 2008. The gallery is owned by Bill Powers, a former journalist turned art collector, and his wife, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. The gallery presents the works of dozens of artists, including Che Lovelace, Eden Seifu, Ethan Cook, Hiejin Yoo, Kevin Reinhardt and Umar Rashid. Artists’ styles and media of choice vary widely, offering something for everyone.
Courtesy of Kiechel Fine Art
Kiechel Fine Arts
Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kiechel Fine Art has been showcasing 19th- and 20th-century American art since 1986. Among the 2022 exhibits is “Hollywood drawingsby Thomas Hart Benton, the famous American regionalist painter who created the drawings during a 1937 trip to the studios of 20th Century Fox, where he sketched an array of subjects. Among them were TS Eliot, William Faulkner and Will Rogers. Another featured exhibition is “Assurity,” a series of paintings by Marcia Goldenstein that ponder contrails and human interaction with the environment. Works by Banksy, Romare Bearden, George Bellows, Marc Chagall and Jenny Kruger will also be exhibited.
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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, was opened in 2011 by Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune. Despite its relative newness, the museum has amassed an impressive permanent collection of American masterpieces, including those by Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol and many others. In 2013, Crystal Bridges acquired Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House and moved it from New Jersey to its Arkansas campus, where it is open for tours. Among his 2022 exhibitions are “The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and Sonic Impulse, organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which explores “the relationship between music and visual art in southern black expression from 1920 to 2020”. The works of black musicians like James Brown and Sun Ra will be featured alongside visual media from Sanford Biggers, Kerry James Marshall and many more. Admission to the museum is free.
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The hammer museum
The Hammer Museum, near the University of California, Los Angeles, opened in 1990 and was originally founded as a separate institution by an art connoisseur. Armand Hammer, the former chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. In an effort to engage the community with the arts, the museum offers a wide range of free programs such as lectures, symposia, film series, readings and musical performances. There is also a 5 acre sculpture garden featuring over 70 works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Deborah Butterfield and Barbara Hepworth. On view until mid-May 2022, the performance and video artist’s first major retrospective Ulysses Jenkins, whose work combines archival footage, photography and sound to create an interrogation of mainstream history, as well as to probe constructed notions of race and gender. A next “Andrea BowersThe retrospective will offer insight into more than two decades of the activist’s documentary work, drawings, sculptures and videography.
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South Dakota Art Museum
Part of South Dakota State University since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum prides itself on offering a diverse view of the state’s arts and artists. The museum houses a large collection of 20th-century Plains Indian art, primarily from the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota tribes. Recently, “Compelling Visions: Selections from the Willem and Diane Volkersz Contemporary Folk Art Collection at the Missoula Museum of Art,” which highlights “foreign artistswithout formal training who used materials available to them to create often political art. Previously on view was a Retrospective Willem Volkersz, featuring the artist’s famous neon sculptures that employ the “language of commercial and cultural pop aesthetics”. The pieces are inspired by Volkersz’s experience as a child under Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, as well as his move to the United States and his appreciation of nature.
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The error room
Based in Los Angeles, The Mistake Room is a gallery and programming space housed in a renovated industrial warehouse. Starting from the idea that errors in art and creation are in fact generative and enable radical new possibilities, the gallery defends art considered unconventional or misunderstood. Until April 2022, the gallery presents an exhibition entitled “Aquxwhich brings together the work of 23 Latinx artists from across the United States to imagine and reimagine the notion of “home” through five different lenses: home as city, home as land, home as self, home as work and home as intimacy. A public exhibition titled “Things With Feathers” is also on display, which showcases the artist’s multimedia works Gisela McDaniel. The exhibit combines oral interviews with diverse community members with richly painted portraits and artifacts and uses storytelling as a means of community healing.
Courtesy of LVL3
LVL3 is a Chicago-based, volunteer-run exhibition space dedicated to amplifying underrepresented artists and works from around the world. Featuring both emerging and established artists, as well as exhibitions and public programs, LVL3 seeks to engage Chicagoans with the arts. A recent exhibition, titled “Sixth planet from the Sunis a photography-based multimedia collaboration between Chicago-based artist Kioto Aoki and Los Angeles-based artist Pamela Ramos. A collective exhibition to be presented in 2022, entitled “Linen, Silk and Pearls…blurs the disconnect between luxury materials and their natural and artisanal origins.
Courtesy of Stella Jones Gallery
Stella Jones Gallery
This gallery adjacent to New Orleans’ French Quarter was founded in 1996 by Dr. Stella Jones, whose mission was to make african diaspora art accessible to everyone. Through lectures, panel discussions and exhibitions with artists in attendance, the gallery seeks to educate and engage community members and visitors about the rich cultural and artistic history of Black Americans and New Orleans residents. . A collective exhibition organized in March 2022 included works by the painter Richard W. Dempsey, who is known for his portraits of black public figures and artists such as Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall and Adam Clayton Powell. The exhibition features the Abstract Expressionist works of Dempsey, as well as pieces by Ron Bechet, Morris Taft Thomas and Ella Marie Ray.
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21c Museum Hotels
Combining the energy of “Night at the Museum” with contemporary art and a luxurious hotel experience, 21c Museum Hotels allows visitors to sleep in a museum of modern art. With locations in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Cincinnati; Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina; Oklahoma City; Nashville, TN; Kansas City, Missouri; and Chicago, the hotel-museum combines a boutique hotel experience with 21st-century art, as well as upscale dining. In 2017, its locations have been ranked among the best hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. 21c was founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and curators who wanted to create an immersive art experience in Louisville, the location of the original hotel.
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With locations in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami and Caracas, Venezuela, Gallery Ascaso primarily features the works of new and established Venezuelan and Latin American artists. During its 30 years of activity, the gallery has exhibited the works of Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Julio Larraz, as well as Salvador Dalí, Jeff Koons and Henry Moore, among others. To see at the gallery until April 2022 is a group show called “Cute Tunes for Serious Sapiens”, featuring Javier Martin, Masako Miki, Noritoshi Mitsuuchi and Takeru Amano. The exhibition playfully evokes the inner child using visuals inspired by pop and manga and includes a variety of paintings, sculptures and multimedia pieces.
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