Last updated: 5/30/2012
Louisville, Kentucky
2035 S. Third St.
Louisville, KY 40208
phone: 502-634-2700
Wednesday - Thursday, Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Friday10 AM - 9 PM
Sunday12 PM - 5 PM
Monday - Tuesdayclosed
The Museum Will be Closed on the Following Days: Iron Man Competition (August 26, 2012), Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, First Saturday of March for the Speed Museum Ball
Enjoy FREE admission to the Museum's permanent collection and the award winning Art Sparks Interactive Family gallery on the First Friday of the month from 5 to 9.
Adults: $10
Seniors (over 65): $8
Members: free
Youth (3-17): $5
Children under 3: Free
UofL students & faculty: Free
Bellarmine students & faculty: Free
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Kirsten Popp, Public Information Associate
phone: 502-634-2700
Lonna Versluys, Manager of Public Information
phone: 502-634-2733
Charles Venable, Director
phone: 502-634-2700
Martha Stephens, Communications Intern

Since completing a major $12 million renovation and expansion in 1997, the Speed has brought major exhibitions of photography, painting, design, and sculpture to the region to help fulfill its ambitious mission: bringing great art and people together. Located next to the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus, the museum serves more than 180,000 visitors annually.

The next year of exhibitions will bring to Louisville Medieval and Renaissance Treasures From the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the brilliant, bold quilts created in the twentieth century by a group of women who live in the small, isolated African-American community of Gee's Bend in southwestern Alabama and it will be the first to present almost 200 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, furniture, silver, and ceramics from Yale University’s renowned collection of 18th- and 19th-century American fine and decorative arts, considered to be one of the finest American collections in the world.

African Art (drop a line)

Late 19th and 20th century objects from West and Central Africa form the museum's collection of African art. The collection features objects from the Yoruba, Benin, Kuba, and Dan people, and highlights include three magnificent carved Yoruba panels and a splendid Fang reliquary figure.


Established in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum with over 12,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Its extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.

The museum has distinguished collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, 18th century French art, Renaissance and Baroque tapestries, and significant holdings of contemporary American painting and sculpture. African and Native American works also represent a growing segment of the museum's collection.

The Speed also houses paintings, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts by Kentucky artists and created for Kentuckians.

Artifact Collections

African Art Late 19th and 20th century objects from West and Central Africa form the museum's collection of African art. The collection features objects from the Yoruba, Benin, Kuba, and Dan people, and highlights include three magnificent carved Yoruba panels and a splendid Fang reliquary figure.

Art of the Ancient World

Assorted Greek, Roman, Etruscan, and Egyptian objects from 4000 BC to 400 AD comprise this collection. Included are a rare collection of carved and inscribed marble ash urns from a Roman burial chamber, painted Greek vases, and items from daily life, such as Roman oil lamps, an Etruscan razor, and Egyptian pottery.

Native American Gallery

The Native American collection showcases ceremonial objects and items of daily life created by members of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Crow tribes that occupied the central region of North America known as the Great Plains. The objects on view offer splendid examples of beadwork, quillwork, and painting. The decorative, artistic designs of these objects were utilized to evoke the spiritual powers of nature, to denote status and honor in Native American society, as well as to provide aesthetic enjoyment.

Educational Programs

Adult Group Tours

Adult Group Tours are pre-arranged, docent-led or unguided tours (often combined with a luncheon on the sculpture court) designed for church groups, Elderhostel, senior residence facilities, women's clubs, and convention groups.

Lectures and Classes

Each year, the Speed presents a variety of lectures and classes covering special topics and special exhibitions.

Docent Tour Guides

Our volunteer tour guides receive four months of initial training from the Education Department and continue their education once they begin giving tours. Annually, over 100 docents give tours to school and adult groups.

For more information about Adult Programs, please call (502) 634-2700 or e-mail


Access: General Public

Appointment required: Yes


  • Annual Report
  • Bi-monthly Calendar
  • Monthly Educational Postcard
  • Quarterly Program Guide
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible


    Public Tours

    Best of the Collection tours are available EVERY weekend and latenite Friday. Saturday & Sunday at 1p and 3p – meet at the front desk. Friday at 7p – meet at the front desk.

    Museum Store

    Featuring one-of-a-kind gifts, exquisite jewelry, designer notecards, custom tees, an extensive catalog of fine art books and a newly expanded fun-filled children’s section. The broad range of unique and stylish merchandise will please any art-novice to those with discerning taste. 502.634.2713

    Speakers Bureau

    Want to hear more about the Speed? We can come to you! Request a speaker from our speakers bureau to present at your next meeting or gathering by calling 637.6363

    Event Rental

    From wedding ceremonies and receptions to cocktail parties and elegant banquets with dinner and dancing, The Speed Art Museum offers one of Louisville’s most unique and beautiful venues for your private event. The museum is well suited for small celebrations or full-fledged affairs with dancing in the Sculpture Court Gallery. We invite you to utilize the entire museum as a beautiful backdrop for your event! Explore the galleries of Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, tour one of our special exhibitions, and take your younger guests to our Art Sparks Interactive Children’s Gallery.

    Private event space is available for rental on the following evenings: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Events may be scheduled no earlier than 6:00pm to assure privacy. Otherwise, the Museum will be open to the public. Please contact the Special Events department at 502.634.2701 or email for rates or to tour the facilities.

    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

    Group Tours

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