Museum visits are on again

Take a tour of JHU's splendid historic houses, see ancient treasures at the Archaeological Museum

A candlelit bedroom at Homewood Museum includes a four-poster bed with patterned curtains on the posts and a canopy on top. Matching curtains hang from two windows.

Image caption: A candlelit bedroom at Homewood Museum, built circa 1801 as a home for members of Maryland’s prominent Carroll family


Autumn is the season when city dwellers everywhere enthusiastically renew their love of museums and galleries. For Baltimoreans, that means visiting not only the city's trio of high-profile institutions—the Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Gallery, and American Visionary Art Museum—but savoring its smaller, specialized spots, too.

Lucky for you, Johns Hopkins has three gems of its own: Evergreen Museum & Library, Homewood Museum, and the Archaeological Museum. And all three offer free admission to JHU faculty, staff, and students (see their respective websites for details).

"We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to the museums," says Lori Beth Finkelstein, director of both Homewood and Evergreen. "If you're new to the museums, we hope you will take this opportunity to learn about their remarkable architecture, collections, and histories. If you've visited before, we hope you will return to see each museum's new exhibition, experience a new self-guided garden tour at Evergreen, or just deepen your understanding of these historic sites."

Evergreen Museum & Library

Evergreen Museum & Library—housed in a Gilded Age mansion surrounded by 26 acres of gardens and woods—reopened for tours in September. The erstwhile country villa on North Charles Street is home to a renowned collection of fine and decorative arts, rare books, and manuscripts assembled by two generations of Baltimore's civic-minded Garrett family (1878–1952) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Not to be missed is Art Glass at Evergreen, a new installation showcasing the museum's extraordinary collection of art glass. Among the important pieces are works by Tiffany, Steuben, and Loetz, some of which have not been displayed before.

Admission to Evergreen includes a guided tour of the mansion, plus the option to take a self-guided tour of the property's gardens and grounds. Tours are given on the hour, Tuesday through Sunday, during museum hours. Note that, due to the ongoing pandemic, tours must be booked in advance. See visitor information here.

Homewood Museum

Located on the JHU campus that bears its name, Homewood Museum is a National Historic Landmark and one of the best-surviving examples of Federal-period Palladian architecture in the nation.

Built circa 1801 for members of Maryland's prominent Carroll family, the house also was home to at least 25 enslaved individuals, including William and Rebecca Ross and their two children and Izadod and Cis Conner and six of their 13 children. Guided tours wind through the house's 11 elaborately furnished rooms and tell the intertwined narratives of the Carroll, Conner, and Ross families.

While you're visiting, make sure to take in Naturally Beautiful: Uncovering Nature in the 19th-Century Home. In the exhibition, on view through March 27, 2022, decorative arts from the museum's collection explore how environmental factors shaped tastes and trends in home furnishings in the early American republic.

Homewood is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because of the ongoing pandemic, tours must be booked in advance. See visitor information here.

Archaeological Museum

Located in Gilman Hall on the Homewood campus, the Krieger School's Archaeological Museum is a teaching collection for the JHU community dedicated to the interactive and interdisciplinary study, research, preservation, and interpretation of archaeological and historical objects.

The museum is open to members of the JHU community and the general public, and you can tour the collections on your own. Admission is free. It's currently open Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., but the schedule changes according to the school's academic calendar. See visitor information here.

MSE Library

Opening in November in the main foyer of Homewood's MSE Library is Hostile Terrain 94, a participatory exhibition co-hosted by the Archaeological Museum and several other entities, departments, and programs at JHU.

The exhibition was developed by the Undocumented Migration Project and offers a visual, forensic, and intimate way to think about the human cost of migration and immigration policy along the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; a J-card swipe is required after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

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