LendEDU’s Top 10 Most Outstanding University Museums

Colleges in the United States are known for their stunning museums, but some enthusiasts prefer the relatively laid-back atmosphere at college museums. From Florida to California, there are incredible collections gathered by universities, and many are open to the public. They are part of the fabric of US history.

Below are 10 of the Most Impressive Museums That Will Thrill Any Art or History Aficionado

Harvard University Museum of Natural History

The Natural History Museum at Harvard has stunning collections of art and artifacts from rare gems that shimmer brightly to remnants of giant sloths, to glass flowers and Mesoamerican sculptures.

This is a fascinating museum, and offers something for everyone. The archeological collections alone create a wonderland of history and glimpses into the culture of humans.

University of Pennsylvania Archeology and Anthropology Museum

This Ivy League museum offers a varied collection of anthropology and archeology artifacts. The museum has itself conducted over 400 expeditions, with a $6 billion endowment. There is truly something for anyone interested in archeology at this impressive museum.

Florida University Museum of Natural History

If you want some interesting museum time but some quality time in the sun as well, it’s hard to top the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. The location is sublime and the museum is family-friendly. Families often stop here as part of their Florida vacations. Be sure you don’t miss the butterflies – in a museum with so many other attractions, they are still very popular.

Museum of Art at St. Louis University

This museum is highly dedicated to its Jesuit traditions, heritage and values. They strive to interpret art and beauty in all of God’s things. When you walk into the museum, you’ll first see Andy Warhol’s Flower exhibit. Take some time on the second floor to see the contemporary and modern art, and the Cartier gallery.

Yale University Peabody Museum

If you’re a fan of science, you simply have to visit the Peabody Museum at Yale University sometime in your life. Their fossil collection is rarely matched elsewhere, and their Incan artifacts make for a much respected section of the museum.

Yale scientists began gathering artifacts in the 18th century, and they have their home in the Peabody Museum. There is something for almost everyone who is interested in natural history.

Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota

Minnesota’s charming jewel is the Weisman Art Museum. You can see impressive works, from American modern art all the way back to ancient pottery from Greece. This museum ranks as one of the best that any Midwest state has to offer. With 8100 square feet, there are some amazing exhibits. They include Korean furniture and American modernism.

The Weisman Museum is also home to “Public Art on Campus”, including unique and diverse programs. You will find more than 30 art forms in courtyards and hallways, as well as in the museum. They even have some pieces on campus that are interactive, making it a favorite with young people.

U.S. Naval War College Museum

This museum is found in a historic building on the campus of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. You will learn about naval warfare through a variety of exhibits.

The museum rests in Narragansett Bay, which is an excellent backdrop for telling visitors the story of the evolution of war at sea, as well as the rich heritage of the U.S. Navy. You’ll find special exhibits that correspond with the college curriculum, and the museum can be visited by the public year-round.

Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas

Found in Lawrence, Kansas, this spectacular museum is home to nearly 36,000 pieces of artwork that are rich in cultural diversity. They have various media forms and artifacts. You will see pieces that are representative of all eras, including Native American culture, ancient medieval art, Chinese paintings from the 20th century and contemporary art from the United States.

The museum also features a great many Japanese Edo paintings and East Asian art. If you want to learn the history of art worldwide, this is an ideal museum for you to visit.

University of California at Berkeley Natural History Museums

Located close to the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find some of the greatest wonders of the natural world close by. The wide expanses of the western United States offer scenes unlike that of any other natural area. The Berkeley complex actually contains six museums of natural history, with a wealth of learning and enjoyment for visitors of all ages.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Originally known as the Boston Modern Art Museum when it opened in 1936, this institute was renamed in 1948 to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Since that time, this museum focuses on the presentation of contemporary art in all media forms, from art to performance art and music.

Some of its features include a series on emerging artists, and one on musicians and composers from around the world. The acclaimed West Gallery presents group and solo exhibitions. You’ll find many family and adult programs to stimulate your interest in the world of contemporary art.