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“A Gem”

North Carolina Museum of Art
Ranked #3 of 150 things to do in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the leading art museums in the American South, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) recently completed a major, three-year expansion that places it in the front ranks of museums nationwide. The NCMA offers a permanent collection spanning more than 5,000 years, a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and the nation’s largest museum park—164 acres of trails and parkland containing major works of art.
Brockton, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“A Gem”
Reviewed May 25, 2011

This was my last stop of a week's vacation in the OBX/Raleigh area. What a wonderful way to spend the morning! I agree with previous reviews -- at first I thought I had driven into an industrial park and made a mistake -- the building looked like a long corrugated steel container. But then I saw the NCMA signs so knew I was in the right place. Approaching the building I realized that the construction allowed for filtered daylight to bathe the interior with a warmth and vibrancy unmatched at other museums -- the ability to see the art in 'natural' sunlight was a special treat. I used the cellphone "tour guide" -- by calling a number on my cellphone and entering a code under a work of art I was able to listen to expert analysis. Cool. After two hours I needed a break - so had lunch at the cafe, Iris. Let me tell you that except for the fact that my proper Boston ancestors would have rolled over in their graves I wanted to lick the bowl that held the cold minted fresh pea soup. I particularly appreciated the museum's variety - from the Monet, to the Copley, to the Wyeth, to the African art, Egyptian art, Rodin -- just terrific. Bravo.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank Bumpkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 292 helpful votes
“I needed more than 2 hours . . .”
Reviewed April 9, 2011

I enjoyed this museum on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Was intrigued by the Mona Lisa made from spools of thread.

The exterior of the buildings do not look like art museums, so much. I was not sure where to enter after getting out of my car. Decided to just follow the crowd.

I had two hours to spend there before they closed. I could have used more time.

I enjoyed shopping in the store and picked up a few small gifts.

Next visit, I will allow more time, take a guided tour, and dine in the restaurant.

Visited April 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank TravelingGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Gorgeous New Architecture, great collection”
Reviewed April 3, 2011

The re-vamped art museum is gorgeous. I love the layout and the natural light highlighting the art exhibits. The Rodin sculpture collection is amazing- a reason to go visit on its own! I want to go back and try their restaurant.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank Annie_Langdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
261 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 303 helpful votes
“Great Art-Crummy Architecture to Display it”
Reviewed March 1, 2011

I've been a fan of this museum for years. Until last year the presentation was flawless in my eyes. Now, a new modern building loaded with light and looking gray and ugly, stark against the Carolina blue sky like a factory in a forest was opened to much fanfare. Not so good looking, but according to all published reports widely praised by those "in the know," architects and such. Personally I prefer Old Masters on a plain of old time gilded wallpaper or against muted linen stripe or maybe even a velvety background- any background giving an impression of enduring elegance - not against a tiresome and incompatible glaring white tableau. If it was not so expensive a choice or so permanent a mis-step, this building would be laughable. A museum employee admitted to me privately that I am not alone in my contempt for the new building. But enough of that. The art on display is wonderful and varied. Rembrandt shares the museum with more modern artists, media, and temporary exhibitions (ie: Norman Rockwell) which come and go throughout the year. Group tours are available when scheduled in advance.The museum's outdoor exhibit space is a great stroll, and dog walkers, and cyclists can also enjoy a pleasant experience there. The restaurant on the premises caters to visitors who can definitely enjoy a full day at the museum. Gallery admission is free.

Visited January 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank TheCovertCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairlfield, VA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Don't miss this excellent museum”
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Many regional museums have fourth-rate collections that aren't worth a visit. The NC Museum of Art is definitely not in that category. Their collection is first rate and the special exhibits are exceptional. Be sure to bring the kids as there are many pieces here to delight and engage them, including the amazing tree-like "dendroid" scuplture by Roxy Paine near the entrance. Kudos to the director and staff-this place is a treasure and worth a trip from anywhere.

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank vanancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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