So you’re planning a trip to Raleigh, NC and you’re looking for some great ideas on what to do during your visit. One of the first things I look for in a city is its art museum. This is a great place to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Stroll through the hallways filled with beautiful pieces of color and emotion and lose yourself in history and culture and beauty. Raleigh, believe it or not, has one of the finest art museums in the south. The North Carolina Museum of Art spans 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to now. It has a collection that would rival any in the United States. This vast collection plus traveling exhibits that the North Carolina Museum of Art attracts makes this a “do not miss” when visiting Raleigh, North Carolina.
No matter what art interests you, it can probably be found at this museum. This collection contains early Egyptian funerary art, some sculpture and vase painting from the ancient Greek and Roman Worlds. There is a large selection of European paintings from the Renaissance thru impressionism. They have important works from Rubens, van Dyck, Raphael, Bottecelli and Monet, as well as good assortment of work from 18th and 19th century American art by Copley, Cole, Eakins. If you love American modern art than check the works by O’Keefe, Kline, and Hartley, but don’t miss the interesting pieces by European modern masters Kirchner, Delvaux and Moore. The museum has several galleries themed with African, Ancient American, Oceanic Art, and even a Jewish Ceremonial Art area.
The North Carolina Museum of Art brings in special exhibits during the year to add to their huge collection. They have had very famous exhibits in the past ranging from Matisse and Picasso to Monet. This February the museum will be bringing the exhibit “Far from Home”. This exhibit is described by the museum as, “art that addresses the global displacement of people and populations as they relocate for economic, political , or other reasons”. This exhibit features photography, paintings , and sculpture. It will definitely evoke discussions by all viewers.
An afternoon at this museum is a great way to view art, spend some quality time with a friend or loved one, and enjoy one of the best things Raleigh has to offer. This museum is free of charge for its permanent collection (with an added fee for the special exhibits and some programs that are offered). While the museum is closed on Mondays it is open Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday from 9am – 5pm, Friday from 9am -9pm, and Sundays 10am – 5pm.
You can enjoy a great lunch or brunch at the Blue Ridge museum restaurant. This restaurant overlooks large sculptures on the grounds and is a perfect setting for a wonderful culinary experience. The eclectic fare includes salads, paninis and risotto. The brunch includes eggs benedict, omelets, and a waffle sandwich. Have a glass of wine and discuss the works that moved you the most.
I love to spend a day in a new city exploring the museums they have. It can reveal a lot about what kind of city it is. With the many works of art they have chosen for this museum, Raleigh can stand along side some of the most cultured places in America. When you are here in Raleigh do not miss this special treasure. Spend the day among the masters.