LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Every Sunday, every visitor to Louisville’s Speed Art Museum saves up to $18 because admission is free.
“We were fortunate enough to get a donation from Brown-Forman for $1 million to help cover it through March 2021,” said Steven Bowling, the museum’s Chief Marketing Officer. The museum has offered the free admission since 2016. Since then, Bowling said the museum has had 100,000 visitors during the free Owsley Sundays.
With over 14,000 pieces in the collection, there is something for everyone.
“And we like to focus on artists that you may not have heard of, whether it’s the LGBTQ community, women artists, African-American artists or artists from other countries,” Bowling said.
With permanent and temporary exhibits, the art doesn’t span decades but 6,000 years. From ancient to contemporary art, museum-goers will learn about the world but also a lot about the Bluegrass State, with exhibits focused on art from Kentucky.
One of the temporary exhibits that opened in November 2019 is Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse.
“It starts really with the bloodlines, when the horses came from England, the English horse, and goes through the bloodlines of all of the horses and the Kentucky Derby winners, all the way to racing,” Bowling explained. “It’s a pretty academic show,” he added.
Bowling also said that exhibit started from scratch and is made up of pieces from private collections, mainly from Kentucky.
“And so the pieces that you’ll see in the exhibition really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Bowling told Spectrum News 1.
The free admission doesn’t just include looking at art but also interacting with it because every Sunday there are free events that are part of the museum’s Sunday Showcase.
“We’ll have free art activities, and we partner with the University of Louisville, and they’ll bring in musicians that will play in the galleries. You never know what you might find here so there is always something entertaining,” Bowling said.
Starting on April 3, 2020, visitors will also be treated to a new exhibit called “Andy Warhol: Revelation,” which explores the Pop artist’s Catholic faith.