Columbus Museum of Art

Visiting the Columbus Museum of Art

After extensive remodeling including a new gallery wing dedicated to contemporary art and revolving exhibits, the new Columbus Museum of Art is truly a work of art in itself and a must visit museum in Columbus. Not knowing too much about the art collections and the extensive remodeling efforts to create a world class museum, I was impressed with the results and visiting the museum’s fine art collections and special exhibits on display. I was pleasantly surprised exploring the museum’s wonderful collections of fine art and how well everything seemed to flow and connect visitors to the interactive exhibits, well placed signage in each gallery with a nice ratio of art to exhibit space in all the galleries. I had a wonderful experience exploring the entire museum which had a nice look and feel atypical of those stodgy museums with the usual hodgepodge of art donated from generous benefactors from the area.  The museum curators really did a fantastic job to curate innovative, fun and interactive art work that educates and entertains its visitors.  The wonderful attention to detail and beautiful design work throughout the galleries presented the artwork in a fresh and exciting discovery style that makes it easy to walk through all the collections and displays without being overwhelmed with all the artwork presented. Along with all the new modern art on display, the Columbus Museum of Art also has a significant and impressive collection covering a broad spectrum of paintings, sculpture, new media, traditional craft and other mixed media.


Outdoor sculpture at the Columbus Museum of Art

Museum café and garden

The new main entry to the museum, interior garden and large sculptures create an inviting first impression for the visitor. When you arrive at the new entrance, you see a colorful  combination of sculpture, landscape design, a striking contemporary façade and architecture details that gives that “Wow” factor. A large colorful, Pop Art style sculptural piece titled “Karnak” by Paul Feeley makes a brilliant statement next to the parking lot and invites you to get closer and explore the piece in more detail, and in my case take a crazy selfie to mark my visit. Upon entering the front doors, you see an inviting walled garden to the side with modern art pieces, reflecting pool and outdoor seating areas next to the for the cafeteria. There are large windows for indoor/outdoor viewing into the subdued and minimal styled garden. After seeing all the wonderful exhibits, this is a perfect spot for having a nice meal or drink, to sit, rest and enjoy the views of this well composed and curated art garden.



Selfie with Karnak at Columbus Museum of Art

Selfie with Karnak



Fountain and outdoor gardens to the Columbus Museum of Art


Interior of the new gallery spaces


Interior gallery and entry at the Columbus Museum of Art


Modern sectional seating just like art



Interior gallery and seating areas Columbus Museum of Art

Well designed with inviting galleries to explore

I had no expectations of seeing anything impressive but my thoughts of mediocre art were quickly replaced with expressions of ‘wow and stunning’ in every gallery I explored, and I was curious to check out every gallery and collection on display. The first thing I noticed is that the art is well placed with enough breathing space in the large open air galleries. Thoughtful design, signage and flow is incorporated well into all of the galleries so that viewers can easily read and learn about the artwork and artist that is being shown. I love it when architecture successfully integrates both the inside and outdoor elements with interesting framed views throughout the museum. Careful design and details also extend successfully into the other public areas of the museum including the restaurant, restrooms, educational rooms and gift shop.


Glass sculpture entry Columbus Museum of Art



Even thought the new museum wing is modern with its design and layout, the classic architectural facade and older sections are expertly incorporated into the whole flow and layout with seamless transition from old to new.  The entire art collection feels very cohesive and appealing even though the collections are varied from different donors and time frames. I enjoyed visiting each of the galleries and seeing the collections in its entirety from the permanent collections to the current shows that were being featured.


Interactive art at Columbus Museum of Art

Art can be humorous and interactive


Interactive art at Columbus Museum of Art


I’m sure I’m not the only one who has taken this photograph above


Interactive art at Columbus Museum of Art

I seemed to be chuckling everywhere in this museum, there’s whimsy to be found in all the exhibits like the huge wooden drum being suspended above to this large painting of Oprah Winfrey done with extra large sequins as the main medium below and adds a different take to the Pop art appeal and sparkling effects to this piece. Right next door in a room all on its own is this huge Blue sculptured piece by Alison Saar’s Nocturne Navigator, its illuminated bottom makes the entire sculpture seem to float and look even more impressive in the small enclosed room. This design style of isolating exhibits and making you accidentally happen into that space makes for a wonderful experiential art experience that creates impact.


Oprah Winfrey in sequins Columbus Museum of Art





Floating and illuminated sculpture at Columbus Museum of Art





Modern Sculpture at Columbus Museum of Art

For some reason I see a lot of humor in this piece….


Modern Sculpture at Columbus Museum of Art

Photo Collection at Columbus Museum of Art

I found the photography collection of the museum inspiring and whimsical from Diane Arbus’ The twin girls’  to more interesting contemporary pieces like the portrait below with dazzling jewelry affixed below the mouth that makes you think about why and the design element in this interesting composition.


Diane Arbus at Columbus Museum of Art





Photography collection at Columbus Museum of Art

Humans as sculpture below


Photography collection at Columbus Museum of Art






Outside views from the Columbus Museum of Art

Beautiful outdoor views

For some odd reason, I am always drawn to the large picture window from museums, and the large scale windows looking outdoors into the gardens and neighboring areas of the Columbus museum are fun to look out and enjoy some beautiful views. There are even some nice seating areas for you to sit and enjoy the views from above like the gallery seating below.


Outside views from the Columbus Museum of Art

Enjoying the views from above to the museum entry and gardens

I find it fascinating when artwork or sculpture is utilized to frame a view, adding to the overall experience in viewing the piece like the wire sculpture below which adds interesting patterns, shadows and different interpretations. The large horse metal sculpture also place close to a window, creates a nice organic vibe even though it is made completely with recycled metal parts.


Sculpture at the Columbus Museum of Art





Metal horse sculpture at Columbus Museum of Art


More details for visiting the Columbus Museum of Art

Address: 480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215

Calendar of Events


  • Tuesday-Wednesday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM–9:00 PM
  • Friday-Sunday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM


Phone: (614) 221-6801






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