The United States of America has some of the best college art museums in the world. Paintings, sculptures, pottery, and creative masterpieces from many cultures can be found in these university museums. We searched all over America to find the most amazing art museums on college campuses. Some of the museums were chosen because of their sheer size and resources. We included others because of features like innovative architecture. Furthermore, we chose several museums because of their commitment to pursuing justice through art.
From Amherst College to Williams College, here are the fifty best college art museums listed in alphabetical order.
1. Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
Located in Amherst, the Mead is one of Massachusetts’s best college art museums. The Mead Art Museum, named after William Rutherford Mead, features an impressive collection that spans many cultures. This exceptional college art museum includes works like paintings from Europe, Japanese prints, and Mexican pottery.
2. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
Auburn University’s Julia Collins Smith Museum features visual artwork that reflects the organization’s core values of partnership, learning, equity, and growth. Exhibitions showcasing Alabama pottery, feminist contemporary sculpture, and other themes rotate each semester.
3. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME)
In Brunswick, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art believes in the intellectual value of all artwork. The Bowdoin collection is one of the oldest in the country and features antique pieces from all over the world. Since the museum’s conception, it has expanded to include over 25,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and historical objects.
4. Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
Located near downtown Boston, the Rose Art Museum offers free admission to the public. The Rose has an impressive collection of 9,000 objects and rotating exhibitions showcasing the work of Brandeis University students.
5. Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)
In Utah, the BYU Museum of Art’s collection heavily focuses on Mormon artwork. Paintings by Carl Christian Anton Christensen and prints by Carl Bloch are part of the museum’s permanent collection.
6. Colby College (Waterville, ME)
The Colby College Museum of Art has been collecting American artwork since 1959. Over 10,000 works reside here, including pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Winslow Homer, and so many other great American artists.
7. Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College is one of the best college art museums in the nation. This vast museum offers ever-changing exhibitions of works from Native American and Hispanic cultures. The permanent collection includes over 20,000 objects significant to the Southwest.
8. Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Since 1985, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College has housed 65,000 significant objects. Ancient Assyrian stone reliefs and a fresco mural by José Clemente Orozco are the Hood’s most treasured pieces.
9. Duke University (Durham, NC)
Located in Durham, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University features thousands of objects from different cultures and periods. That vast collection at Nasher includes works like Medieval, African, Native American, and Asian art.
10. Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Visitors of the Michael C. Carlos Museum can explore the vast collection of objects from African, Asian, European, and American cultures. Egyptian coffins and Greek statues are among the fascinating things housed at the Carlos Museum.
11. Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT)
The Fairfield University Art Museum houses an impressive permanent collection and features exciting exhibitions. Renaissance paintings, African art, and American prints are included in the diverse collection of objects on display at the museum. Art from the Yale and Columbia University museums is currently on loan to Fairfield.
12. Florida International University (Miami, FL)
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum has been open since 2008. Since then, the museum has expanded to include more than 6,000 objects from many cultures and periods. American, Asian, African, and Japanese art is displayed at the museum.
13. Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
The Jundt Art Museum’s 2,800-square-foot gallery regularly features traveling exhibitions. Bronze sculptures, prints, Chihuly glass, paintings, and other media are also part of the ever-expanding collection at the Jundt. Prints by Gonzaga can be viewed in the museum’s Print Study Room.
14. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
The Harvard Art Museums include the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums. Inside these prestigious museums, visitors can view a vast collection of objects, including coins, paintings, statues, and pottery, from around the world.
15. Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)
The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art strives to include objects from every culture that makes art. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary works, you can travel across time and visit many cultures while exploring the museum’s collection.
16. Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)
The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of Native culture. The museum’s collection includes contemporary paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and photos created by the IAIA community and Native American artists.
17. Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
The Broad Art Museum at MSU features exhibitions that give a voice to underrepresented people and cultures. The museum’s permanent collection houses more than 10,000 objects, including ancient Greek art, European paintings, and other art forms from all over the world.
18. Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)
Asian art, European paintings, and ancient artifacts are part of the permanent collection at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. The museum also has a significant collection of modern photographs and prints.
19. Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD)
The James E. Lewis Museum of Art collection includes works from African American, European, and Asian cultures. Visitors can see many cultures and periods represented in the paintings, sculptures, and drawings on view at the JELMA.
20. Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA)
Founded in 1876, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum is home to over 24,000 pieces. The Skinner Museum Collection includes fossils, maritime artifacts, glassware, and thousands of historically significant objects.
21. Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
The Block Museum of Art features a collection of 6,000 contemporary artworks from many cultures. Highlights of the Block’s collection include critical portraits by Edward Steichen and Depression-era prints.
22. Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)
Over 15,000 works of art are housed at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. From ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces, visitors will see many cultures represented here. The museum regularly hosts informative events and exhibitions.
23. Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA)
Oxy Arts hosts free exhibitions featuring work by local artists. Oxy’s goal is to unite people, foster conversations that ignite social change, and encourage marginalized groups to produce and display artwork.
24. Pomona College (Claremont, CA)
The Benton Museum views art as the ultimate teaching tool. The Benton Museum’s collection highlights include Native American basketry and prints by Francisco Goya. José Clemente Orozco’s Prometheus can be viewed on campus inside the dining hall.
25. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
The Princeton University Art Museum includes abstract art collections, African American prints, Japanese animal art, LIFE Magazine photography, and much more. A collection dedicated to shedding light on climate change is also on view at the museum.
26. Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
The Zimmerli Art Museum was founded in 1966 and is now one of the nation’s best college museums. Over 60,000 pieces from Asia, Russia, and the Americas reside at the Zimmerli.
27. Saint Louis University(Saint Louis, MO)
Recognized as one of the top art museums in the country, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art has a stunning collection that speaks for itself. Four floors of exhibits house the museum’s vast collection of contemporary works, Asian art, and Jesuit missions.
28. Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY)
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery has a collection of over 17,000 works of art. Photographs, drawings, and prints make up a large portion of the Tang Museum’s collection.
29. Smith College (Northampton, MA)
The Smith College Museum of Art features over 27,000 objects on four floors. The museum started in the 1870s and features works by Agnes Denes, Yong Soon Min, Claude Monet, and countless others.
30. South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC)
The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium combines artistic expression with scientific exploration. Established in 1980, this facility operates with a mission to increase appreciation for art and science and maintain a solid commitment to community service.
31. Spelman College (Atlanta, GA)
The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art emphasizes works by women of the African diaspora. Collection highlights include works by Selma Burke, African ceramics, and quilts by the women of Gee Bend.
32. Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University has a massive collection of over 38,000 objects spanning five millennia. Sculptures, paintings, prints, and photos from all over the world can be viewed at the Cantor Arts Center.
33. Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
Over 8,000 objects are housed in the Newcomb Museum of Art. Sculptures by John Gadsby Chapman, prints by John James Audubon, and paintings by José Francisco Salazar are just a few highlights of the Newcomb collection.
34. University at Albany, State University of New York (Albany, NY)
Since 1976, the University at Albany Art Museum has hosted several hundred exhibitions with the goal of increasing understanding and appreciation of visual art. The museum’s collection includes thousands of modern paintings, prints, and photos spanning five decades.
35. University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks, AK)
The Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery highlights 2,000 years of the state’s artwork. Works by Alaska natives and visitors celebrate the Alaskan way of life. The museum has an enormous collection of 2.5 million objects.
36. University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
The University of Arizona Museum of Art features several collections that include European sculptures, American drawings, Depression-era paintings, and works by Yulla Lipchitz. Works from all over the world can be found here, but American and European art is the museum’s focus.
37. University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is one of the nation’s top museums. Featuring over 28,000 works, the museum’s collection includes significant paintings from many cultures and periods, modern photographs, and over 18,000 films.
38. University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
The collections at the Hammer Museum focus on European and American paintings and works on paper. In the Grunwald Collection, highlights include works by Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.
39. University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
The Stanley Museum of Art features an impressive collection of paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, and photos from many different cultures. Indigenous American pottery, traditional Chinese clothing, and contemporary works are included in the collection at the Stanley Museum.
40. University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
Art from all over the world is on view at the Spencer Museum of Art. Highlights of the collection include Native American baskets, West African metalwork, and American textiles.
41. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
At the University of Michigan Museum of Art, visitors can explore African textiles, Asian ceramics, European paintings, and countless other objects of historical and artistic significance. The museum also features a collection of decorative domestic objects.
42. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
The Weisman Art Museum houses a significant collection of paintings, prints, ceramics, and photographs. The museum opened in 1993 thanks to a gift of three million dollars by philanthropist Frederick R. Weisman.
43. University of Nevada – Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art features a collection of local contemporary artwork and emphasizes showcasing the works of marginalized groups. Founded in 1967, the museum seeks to reduce barriers that prevent low-income individuals from accessing the arts.
44. University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)
As the state’s official museum, the North Dakota Museum of Art features an extensive collection of prints, photos, paintings, and sculptures. Visitors can explore the museum’s permanent collection and view the rotating exhibitions by artists from all over the world.
45. University of Southern California (Pasadena, CA)
The USC Pacific Asia Museum opened in 1971 and features a collection of over 15,000 objects. The museum’s art documents four millennia of Asian and Pacific Island history and culture.
46. University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
At the Blanton Museum of Art, visitors can experience over 21,000 works of art. This museum was founded in the early 1960s and has a substantial art collection from the Americas and the Renaissance.
47. University of Wisconsin – Madison (Madison, WI)
The Chazen Museum of Art is a large facility with a collection of over 23,000 pieces from influential cultures and historical periods. Essential collection items include paintings by Winslow Homer, Chinese art, and Renaissance medals.
48. University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
The collection of over 9,000 objects at the University of Wyoming Art Museum includes prints from 18th-century Japan, contemporary photography, Native American artifacts, and so much more. Haitian and Persian art are also part of the museum’s collection.
49. Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
The Davis Museum has a vast collection of over 11,000 photographs, textiles, prints, sculptures, and other media. Works by Georg Kolbe, Alex Katz, Jackson Pollock, and many others are on view at the Davis Museum.
50. Williams College (Williamstown, MA)
Karl Weston founded the Williams College Museum of Art in 1926 to provide his students with an interactive way to experience art. Today, the museum houses a collection of 15,000 objects spanning many cultures and historical periods.