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About

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is a major center for the arts in Durham and the surrounding region. The 65,000-square-foot building was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. Since opening in 2005, the museum has organized and presented leading-edge exhibitions travel worldwide. From the beginning, the Nasher Museum has been dedicated to building a groundbreaking collection of contemporary art. In this effort, the museum’s collection strategy emphasizes works by diverse artists who have been historically underrepresented, or even excluded, by mainstream arts institutions, and maintains a particular focus on artists of African descent. Other strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American art.

Dynamic programs include free Family Days, performing arts events, lectures and social gatherings. The Nasher Museum Café features local, seasonal ingredients for lunch on weekdays, dinner on Thursdays and brunch on weekends. The Nasher Museum Store offers gifts inspired by art. More than 1 million people have visited the museum since 2005.

Mission

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University promotes engagement with the visual arts for the Duke and Durham communities. The museum is dedicated to presenting innovative and accessible collections, exhibitions, publications and programs that stimulate intellectual discourse, enrich individual lives and generate new knowledge. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the museum serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary approaches.

360° Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour inside the Nasher Museum—and see how the museum connects Duke’s campus with downtown Durham.

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The Making of a Museum

Raymond D. Nasher eventually convinced Duke that the site at Duke University Road and Anderson Street was perfect for a new art museum, because of…

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The Collection

The growing collection includes some of the world's best contemporary art, with a focus on work by artists of African descent. Other strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American art. Only a small portion of the museum’s permanent collection is on view at any time. View the digital database of our collection containing over 6,000 objects.

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The Contemporary Collection

Find out more about the Contemporary Collection

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