Things to Do in Raleigh: North Carolina Museum of Art

The North Carolina Museum of Art, NCMA, has operated in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1956. The museum is unique because it was the first major museum collection funded by state appropriations. Since its opening, the NCMA has played a vital role in the Raleigh community. Promoting and educating residents about art through its exhibitions, collections, and events have earned the NCMA a reputation as one of the finest museums in Raleigh.

North Carolina Museum of Art Raleigh NC

Permanent Collections

The NCMA in Raleigh has an impressive permanent collection. It started in 1947 when the state of North Carolina purchased European and American art with state funds. It includes major European and American works, including Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings. The collection isn’t limited to Europe and America, though. There’s also Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, African, and ancient American art. The NCMA is also one of only two museums to house permanent displays of Jewish art in the U.S.

In addition to the indoor art collections, the NCMA sits on the 164-acre Museum Park. Visitors can stroll the grounds and witness more than a dozen works of monumental art, as well as the integration of artwork into the park’s landscaping and natural systems.

Featured Exhibitions and Events

In addition to its ever-expanding permanent collection, the NCMA features temporary exhibitions focusing on different themes. They might emphasize the work of a particular artist, a style of art, or a specific time period. Exhibits change about every six months, so don’t forget to check which are happening before planning your visit!

The NCMA values community engagement in Raleigh, so it hosts many events, workshops, and educational programs for students of all ages. Kids’ camps, yoga sessions, creative writing workshops, and photography seminars are just a few of the many happenings at NCMA. The museum also lets college students in for free on Friday nights from 5-9 PM and holds programming geared specifically toward Raleigh’s university-aged students.

Films, lectures, discussions, performances, and other events are always taking place at NCMA, year-round. If you’re looking for something to do in Raleigh, just take a look at their calendar to see what’s coming up.

Art and Nature

With the large Museum Park on the NCMA grounds, the museum also emphasizes art in nature. The park is free and open daily, from dusk until dawn. With art collections both permanent and temporary, as well as connections to the Capital Area Greenway, the Museum Park is the perfect place to experience art and nature.

The Park sees constant upgrades and improvements as well, like the pedestrian bridge, the sustainable irrigation system, the Blue Loop Trail, and overall park expansion. All of these updates are meant to make the Museum Park a unique experience for visitors, promoting art and active living.

The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh is sure to impress you on your first visit. And if you’ve been before, then see the museum again for its temporary exhibits or one of its many events!