51 Most Astounding University Museums

Museums provide a gateway to our past and to our culture. They house important objects from science, art, different cultures and more. Each and every object weaves a thread into a tapestry of humankind's history.

Many of these items are placed on display, for the public to view at universities. This allows students to study and gain more knowledge of the past.

Museums that are located within a college or university add additional research to these great accumulations.

Below you will find a list that we have compiled of the most astounding college museums.

51. Oriental Institute Museum at the University of ChicagoOriental_Institute_Museum_at_the_University_of_Chicago

The Oriental Institute Museum is located at the University of Chicago and was founded in 1919, thanks to the financial help of John D. Rockefeller Jr. Originally, this university museum was slated to study the Near Eastern civilizations. In 1931, the decision was made to open the museum to the public. Most of the pieces of the collections at this museum are from early expeditions to the Middle East. Most of these expeditions took place from 1920-1940. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the Oriental Institute Museum had a renovation which included adding a climate-controlled area for housing fragile collections.

50. Mills College Art Museummills_college_art_museum

The Mills Art Museum is located on campus, in Oakland California. This museum is non-profit, therefore requires donations to keep the doors open. It opened in 1852 and by the early 1880s, this museum had over 1,000 pieces in its collection. The Mills Art Museum was founded by Susan and Cyrus Mills, who had a great interest in both art and history. Today the gallery is over 6,000 feet and is housed in a building made completely of concrete. On the side, you will find eight wooden pillars, which have the names of several renowned artists carved into them.

49. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

The Nasher Museum is located at Duke University and is approximately 65,000 square feet and is also known as simply "The Nasher." This museum originally opened in 1969 and included several medieval pieces from the Ernest Brummer Collection. In 2005 a new building was erected on the Duke campus to house the Nasher. This museum is home to a contemporary collection which contains works by Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems and more. Since this museum opened in 2005, it has received over 1 million visitors. Patrons have the option of purchasing Nasher10, which is a book that contains over 400 photos of the past decade of exhibits.

48. Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield UniversityBellarmine_Museum_Art_Fairfield

Bellarmine Museum of Art is located on the campus of Fairfield University. It is also known as FUAM, which stands for Fairfield University Art Museum. It is located in the lower level of Bellarmine Hall, which was designed in 1921 and was the residence of the Lashar Family. It was purchased for the University in 1942. Up until 2008, this lower level served as a storage area for Fairfield University. However, after a sizable donation of $2.5 million dollars, it was decided to turn this level into the home of the Bellarmine Museum. However, it was not introduced to the public until 2010.

47. Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel UniversityAcademy_of_Natural_Sciences_of_Drexel_University

Drexel University is home to the Academy of Natural Sciences, which is located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1812 and opened to the public in 1828. The mission statement states "for the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences, and the advancement of useful learning." This museum is also the oldest of natural sciences in the Western Hemisphere. During its first 60 years, the collections outgrew their building and had to move three different times. However, it has not had to move since it's current home was built in 1867. The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel created the Environmental Research Division, in 1948, which was long before environmental problems became hot topics.

46. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at Washington University

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture commonly referred to as "The Burke," is located on the campus of Washington University. In 1879 a group of teens was savvy enough to gather examples of what was changing in their world. This group named itself the Young Naturalists' Society. It didn't take long for these kids to begin meeting once a week to create expeditions. Finally, in 1885, the group was able to purchase a small building, which was located on the campus grounds of the University of Washington, and the formal museum was created. However, it wasn't until March of 1899 that this museum was designated at the Washington State Museum.

45. Gallaudet University Museum Galludet_University_Museum

The Gallaudet University Museum is located on campus, in Washington D.C. The mission statement of this treasury is "The Gallaudet University Museum promotes and interprets the rich and complex deaf experience through exhibits and programming on campus and online." The museum strives to offer artifacts that will challenge the common understanding of those who are deaf. In this gallery, you will find pieces that show a deaf person's perspective from a sensory point of view. Additionally, you will learn about the cultural and linguistic issues that deaf people may face. The main idea behind this museum is to educate the public on issues that a deaf person may face, as well as including solutions to those issues.

44. Glencairn Museum at Bryn Athyn CollegeGlencairn_Museum

The Glencairn Museum was originally the home of Raymond Pitcairn and his wife. Pitcairn oversaw the building of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, though he had no architectural training. The building took several years to erect, though it was ahead of its time in style. Because there were no drawing plans at this time, the structure was created solely on the scale, as well as full-sized plaster models. Today this gallery houses such collections as American Indian, Egyptian and Medieval to name a few. You can also take several different tours of the Glencairn Museum which include special highlights at Easter and Christmas time.

43. Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown UniversityHaffenreffer_Museum_of_Anthropology,_Providence_RI

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, also referred to as HMA is part of Brown University in Rhode Island. This gallery provides a place where you can find life enrichment through festivals, exhibits, lectures and more. HMA offers something for each age group that will teach and inspires everyone who visits. The origins of HMA date back to the early 20th century. Haffenreffer himself donated his collection of Native American artifacts to the museum and over the years spent much a lot of time in the Southwest gathering more and more Indian artifacts for the gallery, which he used for personal use. However, in 1955 Haffenreffer passed away, at which point his wife and children donated his museum and his collection to Brown University.

42. Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga UniversityJundt_Fine_Art_Center_and_Museum

The Jundt Art Museum, which is part of Gonzaga University is located in Spokane Washington. This amazing gallery is actually three different museums in one. You will find the Jundt Galleries, Chancellor's Room and the Print Study Room in this amazing collection. Moreover, you will find traveling exhibitions as well. Currently, the print collection contains items from Esther and Norma Bolker, Jack and Kitty Jacobs as well as glass pieces by Dale Chihuly. Students can find a mass collection of written material about many different artists as well as art history that has taken place over the years. In order to see the entire collection, an appointment must be made, in advance, by contacting the curator of the Jundt Gallery.

41. Museum of Contemporary Native Arts at the Institute of American Indian ArtsMuseum_of_Contemporary_Native_Arts,_Santa_Fe

The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is part of the Institute of American Indian Arts. This gallery is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is one of the few museums that display works of art by Native artists. However, you do not have to be Native American to attend this school or have works published in this gallery. This college museum was created in 1972. Because of the original size, most exhibits were placed in areas that were borrowed from the Santa Fe Indian School. However, in 1990 the IAIA was able to purchase the Federal Building in Santa Fe, however, much work was needed to restore the Pueblo-style building. In 1992, the remodel was done and IAIA moved to Santa Fe. There was continuous remodeling done until 2004 and was finally opened to the public in 2005. Today you will find conservation labs alongside museum artifacts, for students to study.

40. Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State University

Ohio State University is home to the ever-impressive Orton Geological Museum. In 1893 Edward Orton, Sr. founded this gallery. Mr. Orton was the first president of Ohio State University and was also a geologist. At its opening, this gallery had roughly 10,000 artifacts. However, today it houses an impressive 54,300 relics. While this treasury provides educational support to many of the university classes, it is also now open to the public. Today, as you enter this museum, you are greeted by Jeff, who is a seven-foot-tall skeleton of a giant ground sloth. This museum receives over 13,000 visitors each year.

39. Museum of Natural History at the University of ColoradoUniversity_of_Colorado_Museum_of_Natural_History

You will find the Museum of Natural History at the University of Colorado, which is located in Boulder. You can enjoy the exhibits of this gallery seven days a week, at no cost. This museum was created in 1902. The curator was Junius Henderson, who did the job without being paid. However, in 1909 the University finally had the money to provide Henderson with a salary. In 1937 this gallery was moved to its primary home, which is the Bruce Curtis Building. Today the Museum of Natural History of Colorado holds over four million artifacts. This is considered to be the largest collection of natural history in the Rocky Mountain region.

38. University of Nebraska State MuseumUniversity_of_Nebraska_State_Museum

You will find the University of Nebraska State Museum, also known as Elephant Hall, in Morrill Hall, which is located in Lincoln City. This gallery is home to the Mueller Planetarium, where you can learn about stars, space, and explorations. You can also view the world's largest fossil mammoth in this treasury, along with a large collection of elephant fossils. Moreover, you have the chance to learn about paleontology, ancient lives, dinosaurs and more. This museum was established in 1871 with one skeleton of a cow and one of a horse. However, today you will find a countless number of artifacts. The gallery is open seven days a week and only closes on major holidays.

37. University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural HistoryUniversity_of_oregon_Museum_of_Natural_and_Cultural_History

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is located on the campus of the University of Oregon. This museum was created in the late 1800s. However, it did not become an official museum until 1935. While you can find a countless number of mammal fossils, you will also find several plants and vertebrate fossils. Many of these being from the Oregon Coast area as well as the Jantura area. This museum also houses an online collection of more 40,000 different species. This gallery has a vision which states: "The Museum is a leader among university museums of natural and cultural history, a catalyst for intellectual discovery, a contributor to the University’s mission, and a connection to our research and collections for diverse constituents."

36. Rose Art Museum at Brandeis UniversityRose_Art_Museum,_Brandeis_University

The Rose Art Museum, which is also known as simply "The Rose" is located at Brandeis University and was originally founded in 1961. Today is it dedicated to both the 20th and 21st-century art. You can find more than 8,000 artifacts in this collection, which is heavy in American art of the 60s and 70s. It also houses a permanent collection which is available only as a resource for both students and teachers. Additionally, The Rose also has an online digital collection, which has been taken from the permanent collection. You can visit this museum Wednesday thru Sunday from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

35. Gilcrease Museum at the University of TulsaGilcrease_Museum

Gilcrease Museum, which is part of the University of Tulsa is one of the top places for studying American history as well as art. Originally named The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, this facility is home to the world's largest collection of art artifacts in the American West. In this great collection, you will also find a massive exhibit of Native American Art, as well as rare books, maps, and unpublished history material. Also at Gilcrease, you are able to use their "interactive spaces," which gives you a chance to actually touch history! This gallery is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

34. Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at the University of OklahomaSam_Noble_University_of_Oklahoma

Back in 1899 the Territorial Legislature, at the time, ordered that a museum be placed on the campus of the Territory of Oklahoma, which is now the University of Oklahoma. in 1987 the museum was renamed The Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, by the Legislature. Additionally, this museum received the Nation Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2014. In May of 2000, this gallery was able to move into a new home, with over 198,000 of square footage. It now is home to over 12 different collections, offices and of course, exhibit space. This new building also provides visitors with over 50,000 feet of galleries open to the public.

33. Connecticut State Museum of Natural History

The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History is part of the University of Connecticut and is located in the city of Storrs. This museum might seem small, but it is packed with several archaeological collections involving the southern area of New England. However, you can also find collections of science in this gallery. In 2004, this treasury began to house the Connecticut Archaeology Center, which includes a vast amount of Native American artifacts, as well as industrial pieces. This museum hosts a "BioBlitz," which is where people gather to see how many different species they can count in a 24 hour period. It is described as being part festival, part science, and part education.

32. Institute of Contemporary Art in BostonThe Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston was created in 1936. The original idea of this gallery was for it to be a laboratory, for art. During the late 1990s, many of the programs that were taught at the Institute helped to increase its presence in the public. These programs included the Fast Forward program, in which teens are the people who create films, as well as the ICA/Vita Brevis. In 2006 ICA opened a new visionary building, in which it has been able to use to increase exhibition size and add more programs. Many famous artists once attended ICA, including Kara Walker, Jeen Lee and Rashaun Mitchell, to name a few.

31. Harvard Art MuseumsHarvard_art_museum

The Harvard Art Museums are made up of a total of three different galleries, which include: Arthur M. Sackler Museum, the Fogg Museum, and the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Each of these galleries has its own collection, its own history, and identities. Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, who was a psychiatrist and art collector provided the funds to open a museum dedicated to artworks from Asia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. This unit was opened in 1985 and is known as the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. The Fogg Museum was founded in 1895. In 1891, Elizabeth Fogg's husband passed away, in his memory, she provided a monetary gift for this museum to be built. In 1901 the Busch-Reisinger Museum was created. It is dedicated to all types of art that are part of Europe and has a dedicated section for items from Germany.

30. Museum of Geology at South Dakota School of Mines and TechnologyMuseum_of_geology_South_Dakota_School_of_Mines

The Museum of Geology at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has two different sections. The first is the Museum of Geology, which is open to everyone. The second component is the James E. Martin Paleontology Research Lab. This section is home to pieces of the Museum of Geology. Both divisions of the museum were opened in 1885. This is when Professor G.E. Bailey gave the museum over 5,000 fossils, to give it a good start. Through the years, this gallery has been given many more articles to examine and has gone through several changes. Today this museum is open Monday through Saturday and the hours vary, depending on the time of year. However, it is closed on all Federal holidays as well as Sundays.

29. University of Delaware Library, Museums and PressUniversity Museums at the University of Delaware

The University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press offers information on Pre-Columbian Ceramics, American art, and minerals. University students use the labs at the museums to study though they are also open to the public, for viewing. You will find the main Gallery in the "Old College" building which is home to over 10,000 pieces. This includes many photos, from long ago to present times. You will also find a large collection of photos and drawings that date back to the 19th century. Moreover, you have the opportunity to view ceramics made by the Moche and Pueblo people. In the past couple of years, UD's University Museums and Library joined together as one organization in an attempt to streamline student access to research materials and continue our focus on student success. With the merger, we now have four galleries--The Old College Gallery and Mechanical Hall Gallery, which tend to showcase art; the Mineralogical Museum, which highlights minerals; and the Special Collections Gallery, which features rare and distinct books and manuscripts

28. University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

The Stanley Museum of Art is a division of the University of Iowa. This gallery works hard to provide excellence in education in both art and history. It strives to maintain an adequate collection that serves to help the public understand and learn how to appreciate art from cultures around the globe. In 1969 this gallery was noted as having one of the top collections in the country. With over 15,500 pieces, you can view sculptures, paintings, photos, drawing, silver and more. You will also find special works of art, such as the Stanley Collection of African Art, as well as the timeline of Western Printmaking.

27. Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansasspencer_museum_kansas_u

You will find the Helen Spencer Museum of Art located on the University of Kansas campus. This gallery was formed in 1917 when Sallie Casey Thayer provided her large accumulation of art to the University. She wanted "to encourage the study of fine arts in the Middle West." The items donated included drawings, rugs, ceramics, glass, and sculptures to name a few. Today you will find over 45,000 different pieces in this museum, which include American paintings, photography, medieval art, Japanese art and more. Since the 1960s the building of this gallery has changed many times, including several renovations. Today while visiting the Spencer Museum, you can enjoy gazing at the historic Marvin Grove.

26. University of Florida Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity_of_Florida_Natural_History_Museum

The University of Florida Museum of Natural History is located in Gainesville. It's mission states that it is trying to understand biological diversity and cultural effects on society for current and future generations. This gallery offers several exhibits; some of which are staples of the museum and others which are only available to visit for a period of time. Some of the displays that are always available include the Butterfly Rainforest, which includes free-flying birds, hundreds of butterflies, turtles and also fish. Another great exhibit is Exploring Our World. You will find information on math, science, history and technology in this display. There are also many other fascinating exhibits to visit on this campus.

25. Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory CollegeMichael_C._Carlos_Museum

Emory College houses the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta Georgia. This gallery shows items from 1876 through current. It was first built in 1919 and serves a wide range of researchers, including students, tourists, history lovers and more. This treasury has many different outreach programs, which takes care of nearly 30,000 kids on a yearly basis. You will find a wide range of artifacts, which include items from Ancient Egypt, Asia, Near East and more. Moreover, you will find a large selection of art on paper from the Renaissance. This gallery also has one of the most prominent calendars you will find at any university.

24. Mead Art Museum at Amherst CollegeMead_art_museum_at_Amherst

The Mead Art Museum is located on the campus of Amherst College, in Amherst Massachusetts. It was founded by William Rutherford Mead, who was a graduate of the school. It is home to over 18,000 artifacts, which include many paintings from America as well as Europe. You can also find Western African Sculptures and ceramics from Mexico in this gallery. It also houses works of the Hudson River School. While this museum is used for lab research and teaching, it is also open to the public and offers specific tours for those who are interested. If you are unable to make the trip to Amherst, the Mead also offers virtual tours online.

23. Fralin Museum at the University of VirginiaFralin_Museum

The Fralin Museum of Art, located on the campus of the University of Virginia, is home to more than 14,000 artifacts. Some of these interesting pieces include paintings from Europe, as well as America. You will also find many different sculptures, photos, figurative art and more. The Fralin Museum was blueprinted by Edmund S. Campbell, who was the Dean of Architecture at the time. However, this facility was closed for most of World War II but was reopened in 1946. Today there are several public lectures and special events held at this museum. Moreover, there are several tours that you can take, which cater to your individual group.

22. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn UniversityJule_Collins_Smith_Museum_of_Fine_Art_Auburn,_AL

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is part of Auburn University and is located in Auburn Alabama. The museum includes over 200 programs that are free to the public. It also sees approximately 30,000 visitors each year, in a newer travertine building, which is 40,000 square feet.  You will find art which includes both contemporary items as well as traditional items. It has also been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. While you are welcome to visit this gallery for free, it is suggested that you give a $5 donation. Keep in mind that the museum is closed on Mondays.

21. Museum of the North at the University of Alaska in Fairbanksmuseum_of_north_fairbanks_alaska

The Museum of the North is part of the University of Alaska and is located in Fairbanks. Incidentally, this is the only museum in Alaska that is used for both teaching and research. This gallery holds more than 1.5 million different artifacts, some that date back thousands of years. The museum has arranged all of these items into ten different categories, which include plants, birds, archaeology, fine arts, mammals, insects, films, science, history, fish/marine life, and insects. Because of its location, it is an excellent place for studies that involve climate change and other issues which Alaska faces.

20. Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth CollegeHood_Museum_of_Art_-_Dartmouth_College

Hood Museum of Art is owned by Dartmouth College and is found in Hanover New Hampshire. In this gallery, you have the opportunity to view and learn about Native American art, Melanesian art, as well as items from African and Australia, and more. In addition, you have the option to see The Epic of American Civilization, by Jose Clemente Orozco, which was created between 1934 and 1934. This gallery also holds more than 65,000 artifacts, which include items from Australia, Europe, America and more. In 2016 the Hood was closed for a two-year renovation. In 2019 this museum will celebrate 250 years of helping to teach people about other lives, animals, and cultures.

19. Saint Louis University Museum of ArtSt._Louis_University_Museum_of_Art

The Saint Louis University Museum of Art is located in Saint Louis Missouri and is also known as SLUMA. This gallery was built in 1900, costing a pretty penny of $320,000. However, the original building was not used as a museum but it housed the Saint Louis Club, which was a restricted club. This added to the unique architectural design of the building. It wasn't until 1992 that the University purchased the structure, which was to become the home of the museum. This gallery is home to a permanent collection which includes items by Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith and more. You will find 4 different floors and over 55,000 square feet of exhibitions in this university museum.

18. Princeton University Art MuseumPrinceton_University_Art_Museum

You will find the Princeton University Art Museum on Elm Drive in Princeton, New Jersey. This gallery has been collecting art since 1746, which makes it one of the oldest collecting organizations in the US. This treasury has faced many difficult situations over the years, which include losing portraits to the Battle of Princeton in 1777 and also a catastrophic fire in 1802. However, it wasn't until 1882 that this museum was formally founded. Today the Princeton University Art Museum is home to over 100,000 objects, which include sculptures, paintings and more.

17. University of Mississippi Museum

The University of Mississippi Museum located in Oxford and offers a wide variety of collections, which include 19th-century scientific instruments, such as telescopes and models. You can also find a collection of American Art which includes items from Mark Tobey, John Marin, Arthur G. Dove and many others. You will also find several paintings, folk art and more at this museum. One of the highlights this museum offers, is William Faulkner's home, Rowan Oak. You have the opportunity to visit the grounds on this home free of charge. However, for $5.00 you also have the chance to visit the inside of the home.

16. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Penn, as it is often referred to, is located in Philadelphia and holds 2,500 feet of records, which chronicle the history of the archaeological expeditions. Additionally, this gallery is home to more than one thousand film reels. In the document section of the museum, you will find information on Near East, Asia, Africa, Egypt, America and more. The films section of this gallery is home to footage of Watson Kintner, who visited Morocco, Ecuador, Indonesia and many other places. In the photos section, you will find more than 750,000 images which include pictures by William Henry Jackson, Jessie Tarbox Beals and more.

15. Harry Ransom Center at the University of TexasHarry_ransom_university_of_texas

The Harry Ransom Center is a museum that is internationally distinguished for its research into humanities. The collections it houses offers a glimpse into the creative process that artists and writers possess. This allows the gallery to provide a new look into the assessment of film, art, photography and more. Visitors are able to study the artist's publications as well as attend film screenings and more. While visiting this museum is free to the public, it is suggested that you make a donation in support of the public programs and exhibitions that are offered by the gallery. Exhibitions that are on the web are available year-round. However, other exhibits in this museum generally change in February and again in September.

14. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota

The Weisman Art Museum, also known as WAM, is owned and operated by the University of Minnesota. In 1934 Lotus Coffman, then president of the institution saw the value and the need for deeper education, and WAM was created. This gallery serves a large community and offers special events that cater to people searching for deeper meaning in art. Today the museum is housed in an 8,100 square foot building. Back in 1993, Frederick R. Weisman who was an art lover and philanthropist donated $3 million dollars to the museum, which is why the gallery holds his name.

13. Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College

The Allen Memorial Art Museum was originally founded in 1917 and is now considered one of the top university museums in the United States. This gallery is located in Oberlin Ohio.  Today AMAM has over 14,000 artifacts for students and the general public to view. As a bonus, this is one of the few galleries that do not charge for admission. Students at Oberlin have a unique opportunity each semester; they are able to rent art to hang in their dorm rooms. These pieces are done by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvatore Dali and more. This practice began in the 1940s by a professor who believed the art would broaden the students' minds.

12. Museum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is home to four different museums, which include the Paleontology Museum, the Museum of Art, the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum and the Museum of Peoples and Cultures, also known as the MPC. Originally, all of the works were housed in one location, but over time more room was needed, so the collections were separated. Through the years the museum has grown and has received the State Certificate Award for Excellence in All Areas of Museum Operations, as well as the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. The students involved in the museum certificate program are the ones that are responsible for creating and constructing all exhibits in this gallery.

11. Fowler Museum at the University of California

The Fowler Museum is part of UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture and is located in California.  The main focus of this gallery is to provide information on diversity. It has a special concentration on people and cultures from Asia, the Pacific, Africa and America. This gallery is also a favorite place to hold lectures, programs, festivals, performances and more. Fowler holds more than 120,000 pieces of art, while also being home to 600,000 archaeological pieces.  Much of the museum artifacts have been provided by donations from collectors. You will find 8-9 rotating exhibitions in 4 galleries annually and a 5th static gallery--Reflecting Culture: The Francis E. Fowler Jr. Collection of Silver.

10. Indiana University Art Museum

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art is located at Indiana University was opened in 1941. While it started out as a small collection of items used for teaching students, today is is one of the top art museums in the United States and has been internationally acclaimed. It is also home to more the 45,000 artifacts, which include paintings by Picasso and Monet. You will also find African masks and antique jewelry. While this collection is still used for teaching students, this gallery is also open to the general public and there is no admission charge.

9. University of Michigan Museum of Art

You can visit the University of Michigan Museum of Art when in Ann Arbor Michigan. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. It is also open on Sunday from 12:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. This gallery has been collecting art pieces since 1856 and offered free admission to see these pieces to the public. However, it wasn't until 1910 that the museum found its permanent home, in the Alumni Memorial Hall. This building is also a memorial to staff and faculty that served in the wars of the 19th century. With several renovations added to the building, there is now over 53,000 square feet of exhibits and collections to view.

8. RISD Museum at Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design, known as RISD for short, exists to encourage as well as educate current artists and designers, as well as the general public. This gallery was created in 1854 and includes ancient art such as Roman jewelry, a Hellenistic bronze Aphrodite, and even a female head in marble from Greece. The RISD Museum is home to over 100,000 artifacts. You can visit this gallery Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. The museum also offers extended hours on the third Thursday of each month, when it is open until 9:00 P.M.  While this treasury is only free to members, it does cost $15 for adults to visit.

7. US Naval War College Museum

The US Naval and War College Museum is located in Newport, Rhode Island and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Keep in mind that the general public does have to provide two forms of identification in order to gain access to the base. The basis of this gallery is to provide "competent and ethical leaders" to the community. This museum is a gathering place for events and lectures as well as a gathering place. The US Naval and War College Museum offers exhibits which are related to the Navy such as the History of Naval Activities, information on the science and art of naval warfare and the history of the Naval War College itself.

6. University of Arizona Arts Museum

University of Arizona Museum of Art

The University of Arizona Museum of Art is located in Tucson and is open Tuesday through Sunday. This treasury was organized in 1924 and was finally established on the campus in 1933. Today the gallery holds over 6,000 pieces of art, specializing in American and European works from the Renaissance era. The museum is home to several amazing works of art, which include the C. Leonard Pfeiffer collection, the Robert Priseman collection and more. You will also find the Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz collection which contains over 60 plaster and clay models as well as some of his tools used to create these pieces.

5. Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College

The Lincoln Museum is, of course, located in Lincoln Illinois. This gallery's motto is "Learn from Lincoln, Live like Lincoln," as he is one of the most iconic men in history. The museum was started in 1942 and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the life of Lincoln. In it's collection, you will find over 100 items that were owned or connected to the former president. These items include letters written by Lincoln, book on his life, his rocking chair and more. This library is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. and on Saturdays from 1:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. The admission fee is $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids between 6 and 18.

4. West Point Museum at the United States Military Academy

The West Point Library is located in West Point New York and is home to artifacts from the American Revolution. These pieces include guns, artillery pieces and more. During the beginning of the 19th century, this library was able to acquire more pieces relating to mineralogy, sculptures, military artifacts and more. While it is now open to the public, originally cadets of the academy were the only ones allowed to use it. Initially, the museum housed mostly artifacts of weaponry and war. However, by the twentieth century, it contained a diverse assemblage of various military remnants. Today you will find such items as uniforms and weapons from the soldiers of the 17th century.

3. Berkeley Natural Museums at the University of California

The Berkeley Natural History Museums is a collection of six museums and eight field stations. The museums include the following: the UC Botanical Gardens, the Human Evolution Research Center, the Essig Museum of Entomology, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the UC Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the University and Jepson Herbaria center ad of course, the field stations.  The original collection began somewhere between 1880 and 1920, which is also the time period when humanity and natural history were linked together. The Berkeley Natural History Museums also offers programs for school-aged children as well as adults.

2. Yale University's Peabody MuseumYale_Peabody_Museum

The Peabody Museum, located on the Yale University campus is a must-see for anyone who retains a love of science. It houses an amazing artifact section, of the Incas, as well as an astounding accumulation of fossils. You will also find several other collections at this museum such as invertebrate paleontology, invertebrate zoology and more. The oldest collection that the Peabody Museum houses is from the 18th century. In 1802 Professor Benjamin Silliman began collecting examples for the purpose of teaching. He created an incredible collection of minerals, which he used in his teachings of mineralogy and geology.

1. Harvard University's Museum of Natural History

The number one pick on our list of the 51 most astounding museums is the Museum of Natural History at Harvard, which is located on campus in Cambridge Massachusetts. This gallery is made up of three divisions which include the Harvard Mineralogical Museum, the Museum of Comparative Zoology and the Harvard University Herbaria.  The Mineralogical Treasury contains over 100,000 examples of rock, ore meteorite and more. The Zoology collection contains more than 21,000,000 models and is comprised of 9 different departments. The Herbaria houses over 5,000,000 items which come from all over the globe. However, it does specialize in items from North America. You will find exhibits in arthropods, bees, birds, climate change, countries, evolution, microbes and more at this museum.

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