What types of art will I see at the Hunter?

The Hunter Museum exhibits many kinds of art: paintings, sculpture, drawings, film, furniture, textiles - just to name a few. Art at the Hunter has been created by people who have been to art school and many who have not.

You will find artwork that was made just a few months ago and things that were made 200 years ago. All work in the museum is original.

Our special exhibitions show the wide variety of art being made in America today. They reflect our permanent collection and bring in new and exciting art that we might not otherwise see in our region.

What is American art and why study it?

The Hunter Museum of American Art, as the name implies, specializes in American art. In its most basic terms, American art is artwork produced in America by American artists. But this is not always true, because the history of American art is as fluid as the history of America itself. For example, during World War II, some artists fled to America from Europe for the war's duration. The works they produced here are often shown in an American art museum. Today's art world is global. An artist born in Japan, for example, may maintain a studio in the United States for part of the year and produce art here. These works are often shown in an American art museum. However, no matter what the exact origin of the work, American art can:

  1. Tell us about our nation's history and its relationship to world history and culture
  2. Share universal themes like love, pride, despair, fear and hope
  3. Allow us to see our past and our present and to learn about ourselves

When I come to the Hunter, where should I go first?

This is totally up to you. You can:

View the collection chronologically, which means you would start in the Mansion.

Create your own path and freely explore, wander the galleries to find pieces and ideas that most interest you.

Are there any rules I should know as I walk through the Hunter?

The Hunter is for you to enjoy and explore. We encourage you to share your thoughts in the galleries - out loud to friends, in journals, on computers and in your own personal notes.

However, we do have a few rules that we'd like for you to follow so that we can assure that the galleries and art remain safe for others to enjoy:

  • Please do not bring food or drink into the galleries.
  • No smoking or vaping is allowed inside the building or galleries.
  • Please do not take photos in the temporary exhibition galleries.
  • You are free to take photos for your own personal use in the Hunter's permanent collection galleries, in the Museum's outdoor spaces, and sculpture garden. We request that you turn the flash off of your camera and do not permit tripods or video cameras for the safety of the collection. 
  • If you would like to sketch in our galleries, please fill out this form.

How can I learn more about the original building itself? The people who once lived here? The art I see here?

Learn more about the Mansion and the people who lived there in the Mansion reading room (Gallery #10). If you'd like further information on any of the pieces here, you can check in several places.

We have two "reading rooms" one on the first floor near the contemporary gallery and the other on the top floor of the Mansion. (Galleries #19 and #10) You'll find a number of art books there, including collection catalogues that give more information on favorite Hunter works.

Or browse through An American Image, a 13-page self-guided brochure that contextualizes each of the Hunter's galleries and highlights several of its objects.

How can I learn more about membership, mailing lists, renting the space, taking classes, or scheduling a tour?

For membership, visit the MEMBERSHIP page of this site. To receive email updates, join our newsletter mailing list on our homepage. To learn more about hosting an event at the Hunter Museum, visit our RENTAL section. For tours, please see our VISIT section for rates. Once you're on-site, our Visitor Services desk has information on all of these items and more. Please share your questions with them and they'll be glad to assist you.

The Hunter is happy to offer special complimentary admission to groups of 10-20 people from agencies that offer direct service to those with special needs. To receive such a request, you must submit proof of non-profit status and a request at least 2 weeks in advance of the visit date. Complimentary admission applies only to agency clients and direct service providers needed to bring them. In order to request such a complimentary self-guided visit, please contact Chelsea Higgins


Please see our DONATION page for more info regarding art donation, our APPRAISAL page for questions about pricing art, and our EXHIBITING WORK page if you are interested in exhibiting work at the Hunter Museum.