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Famous and Free Fun in Baltimore - Baltimore Museum of Art
By Mark Traston

Three miles north of the Inner Harbor visitors to the city of Baltimore can find a welcome respite from typical tourism expenses. Featuring an impressive collection of 19th-century, modern and contemporary art, the Baltimore Museum of Art proudly presents over 90,000 works--an astounding number considering at its 1914 founding the collection consisted of a mere one painting. But the best part is that those who wish to take in 15th- to 19th-century drawings, European decorative arts, or objects from around the globe, tour two beautiful landscaped gardens, or view one of the largest Henri Mattise collections in the world, can do so for free!

If the thought of wandering through a museum intimidates you, take a tour (some are free, some not). If seeing some of the museum's highlights is your goal, consider embarking on the 45-minute Treasures of the BMA tour. Others, like the Sunday Shorts or Exhibition Tours, focus on a single work of art or a specific exhibition.

It is not a stretch to say that the BMA offers something for all types of guests. Families with children should consider Free Family Sundays where each week a different free tour or workshop activity is offered beginning at 2 p.m. If that week's activity doesn't pique your family's interest, consider picking up a free BMA FunPak for your kids in the lobby on Thursdays and Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Adults should be impressed with the variety of special opportunities for them too. If visiting Baltimore for an extended period, or if you live nearby, yoga enthusiasts can enjoy Yoga in the Sculpture Garden, a six-session course combining yoga and art history. A variety of art classes, such as drawing and printmaking, are also available for a fee during the year. An ongoing film series and special lectures are also regularly scheduled.

Visitors concerned about accessibility should be happy to note that the museum and gardens are fully wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are available free of charge to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Other services including sign language and foreign-language translation and sculpture touch tours for the visually-impaired are available upon request.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and select holidays. The gardens are closed during inclement weather. Be sure to note that while general admission is free for everyone some special exhibitions are ticketed. Check out BMA's informative website at www.artbma.org before visiting for the latest announcements, special exhibits, directions and parking information.

Mark Traston is an associate with Portrait Painting. A portrait artist will turn your photo into an oil painting. Our artists specializes in a specific area including wedding paintings, pet portraits, and CEO portraits.

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