The Nasher Museum of Art in N.C. | Travel

by | July 20, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: July 17, 2019 at 10:51 am

By Mary Gallagher
Photos by Will Davis

The Nasher Museum of Art is the art museum of Duke University, located on Duke’s campus in Durham, N.C., just 4 hours (285 miles) from Walterboro.

There are a million good reasons to visit Durham and I, as a former Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis person, suffer major museum and ethnic grocery withdrawal living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The Nasher has been recognized nationally as a place that raises the cultural bar on college campuses and thus its surrounding communities. The city’s shopping, restaurants and hotels reflect the wonderful eclectic nature of the university’s influence.

Visit the Nasher
A month or two ago, we made what is probably our fourth visit to the Nasher while enjoying a few days in Durham. The Nasher occupies 65,000 square feet of space, just the right size to enjoy for a few hours and then have lunch. The last time we ate in the cafe on the premises, it was wonderful and, although they’ve just finished remodeling it, I’m hoping the food stays as tasty.

Its galleries offer interesting, as well as a great variety, of frequently changing exhibits. Since our introduction in to the Nasher in 2012, the museum has also responded to the expanding international and historical communities of Durham and a previous under representation of African, Hispanic and other artists’ cultures. Today that is not the case and their collection also includes European medieval art, European and American paintings, outsider art, classical antiquities, and ancient American art. Most recently, we saw the fascinating photography of Hugh Mangum, born in Durham in 1877.
The Nasher offers headline events, including the American Dance Festival each summer.

Small tours include public highlights on Sundays at 2 p.m. and Thursdays at 6 p.m. The Sunday highlights tour is free with general admission. The Thursday highlights tour is free. Ticketed exhibition tours have a small additional fee to the ticket price. Tours last approximately one hour. No reservations necessary.

Slow Art Tours
Slow art tours are offered second Saturdays every month at 11 a.m. We invite all visitors to enjoy art at a different pace. Instead of an exhibition overview, a gallery guide will lead a 30-45 minute conversation about one piece. Free with admission.

Gift Shop
There is a small gift shop with some nice items, but unfortunately no emphasis on North Carolina crafters or artists.

The Reflections Tours
The Nasher Museum Alzheimer’s Program Reflections provides engaging and interactive museum tours to visitors with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, their families and their care partners. Reflections tours include guided discussions through the galleries, as well as live musical performances or hands-on art experiences. It can be difficult for individuals with Alzheimer’s to find welcoming communities where they can engage and socialize without the fear of judgment or the stress of a strange situation. Programs like Reflections offer spaces where individuals with dementia can comfortably discuss new ideas and enjoy spending time with others.
For more information about Reflections Program tours, please contact Jessica Ruhle at reflections@duke.edu.

Duke University
$1.5 Million
Outdoor Arts Space
Duke University is building its first outdoor space on campus dedicated to the arts with a $1.5 million project at Campus Drive and Anderson Street. The new green space will showcase the arts, visually connecting the Nasher Museum of Art and Rubenstein Arts Center.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (General admission is free all day.)
Sunday – Noon to 5 p.m.
Monday – closed

$7 Adults, $5 Seniors (65 and older), $4 Non-Duke students with student ID, FREE: Children 17 and under Duke students, faculty and staff with DukeCard or Duke Medicine ID, Duke alumni with alumni card or app, Active Duty Military and Veterans and up to five family members

I get confused finding the Nasher and its general parking and handicap access — remember this is a very busy campus. So, for parking and GPS addresses, look at this web page and print a copy. I have never had a “short” walk to the entrance!

Prior to parking, visitors may be dropped off at the 700 Anderson Street entrance, where three (3?) accessible parking spots are available. The museum’s lower parking lot has eight accessible parking spots. For assistance please call 919-684-5135.

The museum’s 100-space public parking lot, east of the building, is accessible from either Campus Drive or Duke University Road. Parking at the museum is $2 per hour, payable at kiosks in the museum lot. The winding stepped path from the parking lot to the main entrance is about 100 yards. Mary Gallagher says from experience, “This is uphill and not possible if you have any mobility issues”.

Nasher Museum
of Art
at Duke University
2001 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27705

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