Welcome to the vibrant art scene of Salt Lake City, Utah, where culture and creativity converge in a breathtaking display. Nestled amidst the stunning backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains, this bustling metropolis boasts a treasure trove of artistic gems.
From contemporary masterpieces to ancient artifacts, Salt Lake City’s art museums offer a rich tapestry of human expression, inviting visitors on a captivating journey through time and imagination.
In this article, we will unveil the ten best art museums in Salt Lake City, showcasing the diverse range of artistic treasures and immersive experiences that await within their hallowed halls.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking inspiration, these cultural havens are sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, grab your sketchbook, open your mind, and embark on an artistic adventure as we explore the very best that Salt Lake City has to offer.
List of The Best 10 Art Museums in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Utah Museum of Fine Arts
- Kimball Art Center
- Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
- Springville Museum of Art
- LDS Church History Museum
- Natural History Museum of Utah
- Utah Cultural Celebration Center
- Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
- The Leonardo
- Utah Museum of Contemporary Design
1. Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the campus of the University of Utah. It is the state’s primary art museum and one of the leading art institutions in the Intermountain West region of the United States.
The museum’s collection features over 20,000 works of art from various time periods and cultures. It includes artworks from ancient Mediterranean civilizations, European paintings and sculptures, American art, African art, Asian art, and contemporary art.
Some of the notable highlights of the UMFA’s collection include:
Ancient Art: The museum houses a significant collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, including sculptures, pottery, and jewelry.
European Art: The European art collection includes works from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Impressionist periods. It features paintings by renowned artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
American Art: The UMFA’s American art collection spans from the colonial period to the present day. It showcases works by American artists like Thomas Moran, Maynard Dixon, and John Singer Sargent.
African Art: The museum has a diverse collection of African art, including masks, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics, representing various regions and cultures of the continent.
Asian Art: The UMFA features a wide range of Asian art, including Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian artworks. The collection includes paintings, ceramics, and decorative arts.
Contemporary Art: The museum has a dedicated space for showcasing contemporary art exhibitions, featuring works by both local and international artists.
In addition to its permanent collection, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts also hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and community events throughout the year.
Please note that while I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it’s always a good idea to check the museum’s official website or contact them directly for the most current details regarding their collections, exhibitions, and visiting hours.
2. Kimball Art Center
The Kimball Art Center is an art institution located in Park City, Utah, which is approximately 35 miles east of Salt Lake City. While it is not situated in Salt Lake City itself, it is within driving distance from the city and is a popular destination for art enthusiasts in the region.
The Kimball Art Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting art and providing art education to the community. The center hosts a variety of exhibitions, workshops, classes, and events throughout the year. Its mission is to inspire and connect people through art, creativity, and cultural experiences.
The center features several gallery spaces where rotating exhibitions showcase works by local, national, and international artists. The exhibitions cover various art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, and more. These exhibitions provide opportunities for artists to display their work and for the community to engage with contemporary art.
In addition to exhibitions, the Kimball Art Center offers art education programs for all ages. They provide classes, workshops, and summer camps that cater to different skill levels and interests. These programs aim to foster creativity, develop artistic skills, and provide a platform for individuals to explore their artistic passions.
It’s worth noting that the Kimball Art Center relocated to a new, larger facility in Park City in 2019. The new building offers enhanced exhibition spaces, classrooms, and event spaces to further enrich the art experience for visitors.
If you’re interested in visiting the Kimball Art Center or learning more about their exhibitions and programs, I recommend checking their official website for the most up-to-date information, including opening hours, current exhibitions, and any special events or workshops they may be hosting.
3. Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is dedicated to exhibiting and promoting contemporary art. It is an important cultural institution in the region, showcasing a diverse range of contemporary artworks and hosting thought-provoking exhibitions.
UMOCA features several gallery spaces that display rotating exhibitions of contemporary art in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, and performance art. The museum focuses on presenting works by local, national, and international artists, offering a platform for innovative and cutting-edge artistic practices.
In addition to exhibitions, UMOCA offers educational programs and events that aim to engage the community and encourage dialogue around contemporary art. These programs include artist talks, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive activities for all ages.
The museum also has a dedicated space called the Ed. Space, which functions as a community-driven exhibition area. It provides opportunities for emerging and underrepresented artists to showcase their work and engage with the public.
UMOCA often collaborates with other cultural organizations, artists, and community groups to create a vibrant and inclusive arts ecosystem in Salt Lake City. They regularly participate in citywide art events and initiatives, further contributing to the dynamic cultural landscape of the area.
It’s recommended to check the UMOCA website for the most up-to-date information on current and upcoming exhibitions, events, and visiting hours. This will ensure you have the most accurate details before planning your visit to the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City.
4. Springville Museum of Art
The Springville Museum of Art is actually located in Springville, Utah, which is about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. It is not situated within Salt Lake City itself, but it is a renowned art museum in the state of Utah and attracts visitors from various parts of the region.
The Springville Museum of Art is the oldest museum in Utah dedicated to the visual arts. It specializes in exhibiting and collecting artwork by Utah artists, as well as artworks that have a connection to the state or the American West.
The museum’s permanent collection features over 3,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, and more. It focuses on a wide range of artistic styles, periods, and genres, showcasing both historical and contemporary artworks.
The Springville Museum of Art is particularly known for its extensive collection of artworks by local Utah artists, including the renowned artists Mahonri Young, Lee Greene Richards, and Minerva Teichert. The museum also hosts rotating exhibitions that highlight various themes and art movements, providing visitors with a diverse and engaging experience.
Aside from exhibitions, the museum offers educational programs, workshops, and lectures for all ages. These programs aim to foster artistic appreciation, creativity, and understanding among visitors and the local community.
While the Springville Museum of Art is located outside of Salt Lake City, it is a worthwhile destination for art enthusiasts who are interested in exploring Utah’s art scene and its rich artistic heritage.
Before planning your visit, I recommend checking the museum’s official website for the most up-to-date information on their current exhibitions, events, and opening hours.
5. LDS Church History Museum
The LDS Church History Museum, also known as the Church History Museum, is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and focuses on preserving and sharing the history of the church and its members.
The museum offers a comprehensive exploration of the history, teachings, and cultural heritage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It showcases a variety of exhibits that cover different aspects of the church’s history, including its founding, early pioneers, global expansion, and the restoration of gospel principles.
The museum’s collection includes artifacts, documents, artwork, multimedia presentations, and interactive displays. Visitors can learn about the life of Joseph Smith, the translation of the Book of Mormon, the trek of the Mormon pioneers, and significant events in the history of the church.
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the LDS Church History Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific topics related to church history, art, or culture. These exhibitions offer a deeper understanding of various aspects of the church’s heritage.
The museum’s location in downtown Salt Lake City makes it easily accessible for visitors who are interested in learning about the history and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It’s recommended to check the museum’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on their exhibitions, events, and visiting hours, as these details may vary.
6. Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the campus of the University of Utah. It is a world-class museum dedicated to exploring the natural history, geology, and biodiversity of Utah and the Intermountain West region.
The museum’s building itself is an architectural marvel, designed to complement the surrounding landscape of the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. It offers stunning views of the city and the Salt Lake Valley.
The Natural History Museum of Utah features a wide range of exhibits that engage visitors of all ages. The exhibits cover various topics, including dinosaurs, ancient life, Native American cultures, geology, ecology, and the unique ecosystems of Utah.
Highlights of the museum’s exhibits include:
Past Worlds: This exhibit showcases the fascinating world of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that once roamed Utah. It features impressive fossil displays, interactive exhibits, and life-sized dinosaur replicas.
Native Voices: This exhibit explores the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Native American tribes of the Great Basin region. It presents artifacts, artwork, and stories that highlight the deep connections between Native peoples and the natural world.
Utah Sky: This exhibit offers a glimpse into the night sky of Utah. Visitors can explore the region’s unique astronomy and learn about the cultural and scientific significance of celestial bodies.
Land: This exhibit focuses on the geology and landscapes of Utah, including the formation of the Great Salt Lake, the geological processes that shaped the state, and the diverse rock formations found throughout the region.
In addition to its exhibits, the Natural History Museum of Utah offers educational programs, special events, and hands-on activities for children and families. The museum also has a research department that conducts scientific studies and contributes to our understanding of the natural world.
It’s advisable to check the museum’s official website for the most up-to-date information on current exhibits, events, and visiting hours, as these details may vary.
7. Utah Cultural Celebration Center
The Utah Cultural Celebration Center is located in West Valley City, which is a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a cultural center that aims to promote and celebrate the diverse cultures and communities within Utah.
The Utah Cultural Celebration Center hosts a variety of events, exhibitions, performances, and programs throughout the year. These activities showcase the arts, traditions, and customs of different cultural groups, fostering understanding, appreciation, and unity among the community.
The center features a spacious indoor exhibition gallery where rotating art exhibits highlight the work of local and regional artists. The exhibitions often explore cultural themes and artistic expressions from various backgrounds, providing visitors with a diverse range of artistic experiences.
In addition to visual arts, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center also hosts live performances, including music, dance, theater, and storytelling, which showcase the cultural heritage of different communities. These performances often include traditional music and dance forms from around the world, offering an immersive cultural experience.
The center also offers educational programs, workshops, and classes that allow visitors to learn about different cultures, crafts, and artistic techniques. These programs provide opportunities for hands-on learning and engagement with cultural practices.
The outdoor grounds of the Utah Cultural Celebration Center feature beautiful landscapes, including gardens, sculptures, and walking paths. It’s a welcoming space where visitors can relax, reflect, and appreciate the surrounding natural beauty.
It’s recommended to check the Utah Cultural Celebration Center’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on their current exhibitions, events, and visiting hours, as these details may vary.
8. Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts, also known as the Chase Home Museum, is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Situated in Liberty Park, it is a museum dedicated to showcasing the traditional and contemporary folk arts and crafts of Utah.
The museum is housed in the historic Chase home, a charming Victorian-style house built in the late 19th century. The museum’s exhibitions feature a diverse range of folk arts, crafts, and cultural expressions representing the cultural heritage of various communities and ethnic groups in Utah.
Visitors to the Chase Home Museum can explore a variety of exhibits that highlight different folk traditions, including pottery, weaving, beadwork, basketry, woodworking, music, dance, and storytelling. These exhibitions often feature both historical artifacts and contemporary works, providing a comprehensive view of Utah’s folk arts landscape.
The museum also hosts a series of special events, workshops, and performances that allow visitors to engage directly with traditional artists and learn about their craft techniques. These events often showcase live demonstrations, hands-on activities, and cultural presentations that enrich the visitor’s understanding of Utah’s diverse folk arts traditions.
The Chase Home Museum provides a unique opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions of Utah’s communities. It offers a space for fostering appreciation, understanding, and preservation of the state’s folk arts traditions.
It’s advisable to check the Chase Home Museum’s official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on their current exhibitions, events, and visiting hours, as these details may vary.
9. The Leonardo
The Leonardo is a science, art, and technology museum located in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is situated in the city’s Library Square, adjacent to the Salt Lake City Public Library.
The Leonardo focuses on exploring the intersection of science, technology, and creativity through interactive exhibits, workshops, and educational programs. The museum aims to inspire curiosity and innovation in visitors of all ages.
The museum features a variety of exhibits that cover a wide range of topics, including art, biology, physics, engineering, and more. The exhibits are designed to be hands-on and immersive, encouraging visitors to actively engage and participate in the learning experience.
Some of the notable exhibits at The Leonardo include:
Flight: This exhibit explores the science and history of flight, showcasing different aircraft and providing insights into the principles of flight and aviation technology.
Perception: This exhibit investigates the human senses and perception, allowing visitors to explore how our brains interpret the world around us through interactive displays and optical illusions.
Tinkering: This exhibit encourages visitors to embrace their creativity and problem-solving skills by providing tools and materials for hands-on tinkering and building projects.
Animation: This exhibit delves into the world of animation, revealing the techniques and processes behind creating animated films and allowing visitors to try their hand at creating their own animations.
In addition to its exhibits, The Leonardo hosts a range of educational programs, workshops, lectures, and events. These programs often focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education and provide opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration.
It’s recommended to check The Leonardo’s official website for the most up-to-date information on current exhibits, events, and visiting hours, as these details may vary.
10. Utah Museum of Contemporary Design
Housed in the award-winning Architecture Building at the University of Utah, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Design (UMoCA+Arch) offers a platform for experimental and boundary-pushing contemporary art and design.
The museum showcases innovative works that explore the intersection of art, technology, and design, providing visitors with an immersive and thought-provoking experience. These ten art museums in Salt Lake City and its surrounding areas offer a diverse and captivating array of artistic experiences.
Whether you’re interested in classical masterpieces, contemporary installations, cultural heritage, or interdisciplinary exploration, these institutions invite you to embark on a visual journey that celebrates the transformative power of art.
In conclusion, Salt Lake City, Utah, is a haven for art enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike, with its impressive array of top-notch art museums. From the renowned Utah Museum of Fine Arts and its expansive collection spanning centuries to the dynamic and thought-provoking exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, each museum offers a unique perspective on the world of art.
Whether you’re captivated by classical masterpieces, fascinated by contemporary expressions, or eager to delve into Utah’s rich cultural heritage, these ten art museums in Salt Lake City provide a wealth of inspiration and enlightenment.
So, immerse yourself in the beauty, creativity, and diversity that grace the walls of these museums, and discover the transformative power of art in the vibrant heart of Salt Lake City.