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5 Art Museums in Columbus, Ohio That Will Inspire You

Plan your visit to one of these great art museums in Columbus to appreciate art both as an observer and a participant!

Columbus, Ohio, is home to several art museums that cater to a wide range of artistic tastes and interests. From local artists to world-famous artists, these museums offer visitors many opportunities to appreciate art in all of its unique forms!

Many, if not all, of these art museums allow us as visitors to experiment with art by creating it, learning about it and interacting with artists in person! Take a class, attend a special event or just walk through these museums to expand your horizons and be inspired!

1. Columbus Museum of Art

  • Address: 480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The Columbus Museum of Art, easily the most well-known art museum in Columbus, is such a gem! Registered in 1878, this is Ohio’s first art museum! CMA houses an impressive collection of American Art and has rooms dedicated to European Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism and photography as well as Queer/Modern Art and Old Masters.

Impressionist paintings at Columbus Museum of Art.

The Columbus Museum of Art opened the Walter Wing in 2015 which features modern and contemporary art.

On the first floor of the museum, kids will love the Wonder Room and the Innovation Lab. These areas feature hands-on art for kids and families. The Wonder Room is full of interactive exhibits where kids can learn about, interact with and create their own art! The museum also offers Open Studio times on the weekends when people of all ages can come in and create art!

Kids playing in the Wonder Room at Columbus Museum of Art.

The Museum Store is a great destination for unique gifts and souvenirs. The museum is also home to Schokko Café and an outdoor Sculpture Garden!

2. Wexner Center for the Arts

  • Address: 1871 N. High Street Columbus, Ohio 43210
  • Website

Wexner Center for the Arts (or The Wex) focuses on contemporary art and culture. The museum supports artists and is always offering diverse programming in the area of film, performing arts, exhibitions and community events.

A boy looking at a sculpture at The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.

The Wex is located on the campus of The Ohio State University and the public, garage parking is available at the OSU Union.

Thanks to recent grants and gifts, admission to The Wex is free! There may be fee for special events. Check out my blog post listing free museum admission in Columbus for more info!

Sculptures at The Wex in Columbus, Ohio.

3. Columbus Museum of Art at The Pizzuti

  • Address: 632 Park St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The Pizzuti is a small art museum in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus. This private collection (formerly known as the Pizzuti Collection) and building was gifted to the Columbus Museum of Art and CMA now oversees the collection and programming.

Permanent art work at The Pizzuti Collection in the Short North.
Nocturne Navigator by Alison Saar

You can visit The Pizzuti for $5/person. It’s also free for members of the Columbus Museum of Art. Exhibitions change frequently so make sure to check the website to see what is currently on view!

One thing that doesn’t change at this local art museum is the sculptures outside! They are some of my favorite pieces of art associated with the collection. And, when we lived in the Short North, my kids were especially enamored with the “Untitled” statue of a man peeing. Consider this my fair warning.

A statue of a man peeing at Columbus Museum of Art at The Pizzuti.

4. Ohio Craft Museum

  • Address: 1665 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212
  • Website

Ohio Craft Museum is located in Grandview and is operated by Ohio Designer Craftsman. The museum features fine craft artists in Ohio and it’s free to visit! The museum also offers classes and educational programs for all ages! 

An art exhibition at The Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to a small permanent collection, the museum offers four major exhibitions each year. These photos are from the Traversing Textiles exhibition in March of 2024. They even had a scavenger hunt sheet available to engage kids who visit!

A textile display at the Ohio Craft Museum.

The 3 gift shops are also a major highlight! If you’re looking for a unique, handmade gift item by a local artist, you will not be disappointed here!

5. Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center

  • Address: 139 W. Main St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The Cultural Arts Center in downtown Columbus features two galleries, a Main Gallery on the first floor and the Loft Gallery, upstairs. This arts center is part of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and it is free to visit!

Art on display at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Exhibitions rotate through both spaces and the Cultural Arts Center offers classes and workshops throughout the year. The space also houses a gift shop!

Parking can be found on the street around Bicentennial Park or the Columbus Commons Garage is not too far away. Check out my list of free indoor activities in Columbus for more ideas!

Whether your interest is in artists of the past or modern and contemporary art, you are sure to find something to admire, appreciate and emulate at these inspiring art museums in Columbus!