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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.


The Nasher Museum opened in 2005 as a major center for the arts on Duke University’s campus, in Durham and the surrounding Research Triangle area. The 65,000-square-foot building was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly. The museum organizes and presents leading-edge exhibitions that travel to institutions worldwide. Dynamic programs include free Family Days, performing arts events, lectures, film series and social gatherings. More than 1 million people have visited the museum since it opened in 2005.

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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…


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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