Trip Planner:   USA  /  Kentucky  /  Louisville  /  Museums  /  The Speed Art Museum
The Speed Art Museum, Louisville
(4.5/5 based on 95+ reviews on the web)
The Speed Art Museum, originally known as the J. B. Speed Memorial Museum, is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum. It was founded in 1925 by Hattie Bishop Speed as a memorial to her husband, James Breckinridge Speed, a prominent Louisville businessman and philanthropist.

The Speed Art Museum recently reopened its doors after a three-year expansion project. The new 60,000-square-foot North Building creates one of the finest experiential art museums in the country and doubles the overall square footage and nearly triple the gallery space from the existing wing. The expansion creates a state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, new contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, indoor/outdoor café, museum shop, theater, and a multifunctional pavilion for performances, lectures and entertaining. Additionally, the new Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and public Piazza was created for the display of sculpture that will engage University of Louisville students and faculty and museum visitors.
Use our Louisville itinerary planner to arrange your visit to The Speed Art Museum and other attractions in Louisville.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Lots and lots of money was spent expanding one of the really great small Art Museums in the country into an average much bigger and colder museum. The layout and displays seem confusing, Great signage...  more »
  • First time going back since it reopened and the modifications are great. The main draw was the Out The Box exhibit. I could only briefly go to the rest of the museum but what I saw was really good. 
  • U.s. museums when it's time to expand, is usually added a modern building, often made of concrete and glass, which connects to the oldest. It makes no sense the Speed Art Museum in Louisville just reopened. The set up is definitely beautiful and maybe the thing I liked most is the contamination in the combination of similar works formally but far away over the centuries and cultures that produced them. With small sections exploring just about every continent, from antiquity to the contemporary world. A bit complicated the issue of photographs. Some works on loan (on loan) would not be photographed, but are barely recognizable from a L before the inventory number on captions. Very few, however, have such a printer symbol with the ban. A somewhat confusing situation that threatens to make you take back several times from the keepers (who still are friendly and not overwhelming).
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  • Well curated and fun. Sundays are free, the collection is not the largest but the way it is presented is informative and the staff is very involved in helping guests understand the pieces they have. Great educational environment for the kids as it's a quick trip that doesn't languish in old dusty rooms.
  • I went with my friend and it was a wonderful experience. The actual museum is stunning, and they have wonderful pieces of art, sculpture, design, and textiles. Their Artspark program is also incredible, and allows young children to get engaged with art and play with its components. One of my absolute favorite things in Louisville!
  • On of the best museums in Louisville! The treasures are breathtaking! The tapestry room is a must see, as is most everything in there, I look forward to going back, as some of the exhibits were still being restored! The receptionists were very helpful in planning our visits, thanks! :)
  • The new redesign was great... Super collection. It's really a 1st class museum that Louisville should be proud of.
  • Entry is free on Sundays! If you get parking early its a great place to go on the Louisville campus. Some exhibits are of course not for everyone, but their is a large variety of different styles to grab your attention.