United States

2035 S. Third St.
Kentucky, Jefferson County
Phone: 502.634.2700
Fax: 502.636.2899
Website: www.speedmuseum.org

Speed Art Museum

Established in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum with over 12,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Its extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.

Since completing a major $12 million renovation and expansion in 1997, the Speed has brought major exhibitions of photography, painting, design, and sculpture to the region to help fulfill its ambitious mission: bringing great art and people together. Located next to the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus, the museum serves more than 180,000 visitors annually.

Permanent Collection

The Speed's extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.

The museum has distinguished collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, 18th century French art, Renaissance and Baroque tapestries, and significant holdings of contemporary American painting and sculpture. African and Native American works also represent a growing segment of the museum's collection.

The Speed also houses paintings, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts by Kentucky artists and created for Kentuckians.


Building Books: The Art of David Macaulay
February 6 – May 13, 2007

Michael Kenna Photographs
October 17, 2006 - March 25, 2007

Forthcoming exhibitions

From Folk To Modern: Kentucky Pottery, 1900 – 1950
March 7 – June 24, 2007

The Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection
June 19 – September 16, 2007

For Safekeeping: The Kentucky Sugar Chest, 1790-1850
October 9- December 2, 2007

Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt
January 2, 2008 – March 16, 2008

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
American Art 1660-1893 from the Yale University Art Gallery
September 9, 2008 – January 4, 2009


Admission to the Speed's Permanent Collection is FREE! A donation of $4 is recommended.

Admission to the Laramie L. Leatherman Art Learning Center, Art Sparks Interactive Gallery, is $5 per person or free to family members of the Speed.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Sales Desk in the Visitor Welcome Center.

Opening hours

Tuesday 10:30 AM—4:00 PM
Wednesday 10:30 AM—4:00 PM
Thursday 10:30 AM—8:00 PM
Friday 10:30 AM—4:00 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday noon—5:00 PM
Monday Closed

The Café is open Tuesdays-Saturdays for lunch from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM.

Getting there

The Speed Art Museum is located adjacent to the University of Louisville’s Belknap campus near Interstate 65. The museum is accessible by TARC Fourth Street and Eastern Parkway routes.

Parking is conveniently located in a close-by garage. The garage is operated by Riverside Parking Systems and there is a charge. Special rates apply for evening parking. The garage is available for parking while visiting the University of Louisville and the Rauch Planetarium as well as the museum.

Directions from North on I-65:
If you are traveling North on I-65, take Exit 133-B (Eastern Parkway/U of L Exit). When you get off the ramp turn right. At the next intersection turn right onto Eastern Parkway (west); Eastern Parkway dead-ends at Third Street; turn right (North) onto Third Street and the museum is the second driveway on the right.

Directions from South on I-65:
If you are traveling South on I-65, take Exit 133 (Eastern Parkway). When coming off the ramp get in the right hand lane. Go straight through the stop light. The road ends at Eastern Parkway West and you have to go right onto Eastern Parkway West. Eastern Parkway dead-ends at Third Street; turn right (North) onto Third Street and the museum is the second driveway on the right.


Enjoy classic appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts at the Café. A kids menu is also available. The Café is located off the Sculpture Court near the Visitor Welcome Center.
Reservations are accepted. Please call (502) 634-2723.

For Masterpieces you can take home... The Museum Shop specializes in providing a wide and beautiful array of art related, art inspired, and handmade items to Louisville and the surrounding community. It features objects made by local, regional, and international artists. Offerings include unique jewelry, purses, scarves and ties as well as home accents, art prints, posters, seasonal merchandise, exhibition merchandise, note cards, books, and more. The children's area features imaginative and educational items for kids of all ages.

Discover a new way to enjoy the museum’s permanent collection with Passport to the Speed audio guide. Rated as one of the top ten museum audio guides by MSNBC.COM, this state-of-the-art audio guide with CD-quality sound brings the museum to life with music, sound effects, and interviews with curators, artists, scholars, and special experts. Unlike recorded cassette systems, Passport to the Speed offers visitors to capability to select featured works in any order — and to hear about them as many times as they wish. Audio guides are available for free at the Visitor Welcome Center.

All galleries and facilities are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available free of charge.

Museum internal and external photos (3)

Click on the images to enlarge

News and events

Public Tours are available every weekend and when the museum is open late on Thursdays.


A focus on education is implicit in the Speed’s mission: "to discover, together with our communities, the joy and power of great art." Through diverse educational programming, the museum hopes to foster lifelong learning that is both museum-centered and global in scope.

The Speed’s education department designs evocative and informative educational programming about the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. A team of full-time staff and volunteer docents helps us translate the diverse cultural legacies on view in our galleries for key audiences: museum members, museum visitors, and area teachers and students.


Group Packages are available for all exhibitions and offer substantial savings over individual ticket prices. Form a group now and save. Tickets are also available for sale at your business.

Call the Group Sales office at (502) 634-2960 or e-mail us at groupsales@speedmuseum.org to order group tickets today.


School Tours at the Speed Art Museum teach concepts that apply across the educational spectrum and encourage critical thinking skills. Currently, school tours are organized around four themes: Highlights Tours, Looking at Art Tours, How Art Reaches Us Tours, and People: Real and Imagined Tours.


With a focus on fun and learning, Families First Days offer a lively combination of programs including music, theater, dance, "hands-on" workshops, and special tours designed specifically with families in mind. Offered monthly during the school year and on select summer dates, these programs offer families an opportunity to explore an exhibit theme or aspect of the museum's collection that in an entertaining and educational way. Families First Days are free through the generous support of: Yum! Brands, Norton Foundation, Louisville Metro Government, Community Foundation of Louisville, Kentucky Arts Council, Gilbert Foundation, Target and Members of The Speed Art Museum.

For more information on upcoming Family and Youth programs, contact the
museum at (502) 634-2700 or email at info@speedmuseum.org

Classes and Camps

The Speed offers a variety of classes and camps during Spring and Summer Breaks. Classes and camps are age appropriate and provide opportunities to create and have fun while learning.

For more information on classes and camps, contact the
museum at (502) 634-2700 or email at info@speedmuseum.org

Toddler Tuesdays, 3-5 year olds preschool art program

Scheduled throughout the year.
$24/series, Free for museum members
Class limited to 12 children and one parent/caregiver per child.

Explore the museum’s collection from the viewpoint of a preschooler. Each session will focus on a trip into the museum galleries to see works of art and exploring ways of engaging with what is seen through art, music and movement.

Parent or caregiver participation required.
Call the Education Office at 634-2734 to register or for further que...+ [ Read all ]


Discover the region's only interactive art environment for families. The recently updated Laramie L. Leatherman Art Learning Center and Art Sparks Interactive Gallery offers an extraordinary hands-on gallery featuring 30 activities, multi-media, and works of art.


The Community Cultural Youth Apprentice Program (CCYAP) is a cultural careers program for teens, age 14 and up, to learn about careers in the arts and build job skills for future employment, particularly in museums, historic homes and art organizations. The program is a yearlong program with training and community outreach project development during the school year and part-time employment as an intern in the summer as a camp counselor and outreach presenter. Applicants must have an interest in the arts and culture, and be able to participate full-time in the program.

Applicants who meet the requirements of the program are recommended for an interview and selection of the final class of apprentices is then made. The interview process includes an interview with the applicant and the applicant’s parents.
To apply or find out more information contact Joel Javier, Speed Art Museum Wallace Grant Education Outreach Coordinator, by phone at 502-634-2966 or by email at jjavier@speedmuseum.org


Adult Group Tours are pre-arranged, docent-led or unguided tours (often combined with a luncheon on the sculpture court) designed for church groups, Elderhostel, senior residence facilities, women's clubs, and convention groups.

Adult Group Tours are pre-arranged, docent-led or unguided tours (often combined with a luncheon on the sculpture court) designed for church groups, Elderhostel, senior residence facilities, women's clubs, and convention groups.


Join the Speed Art Museum Where Members Come First

First for Special Exhibitions!
First for AfterHours, Select Lectures, and the Art Learning Center!
First for Enhanced Seminars and Programs Designed Just for Members!
First for Parking in the Garage!
First for Special Travel Opportunities!
The Speed Art Museum would not exist without its donors and volunteers.

The museum's legacy of philanthropy dates to its founding when Mrs. Hattie Bishop Speed gave her art collection and the funds to build the museum to honor her husband James Breckinridge Speed.

Today, the generosity of the Speed's donors and volunteers support nearly every area of the museum's operations.

Please call (502) 634-2700 or e-mail info@speedmuseum.org for details. Membership applications are available to print . Please mail or fax completed applications to:

The Speed Art Museum
2035 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40208
Fax: (502) 634-2727
Or buy memberships online.


Each year, the Speed Art Museum has the opportunity to bring special exhibitions and programs to the region. Our educators plan numerous programs for students of all ages, curators write informative texts and select rich colors for the galleries to present each show in truly memorable fashion, and our volunteers train extensively to lead tours for visitors through the exhibitions.

None of the Speed's success would be possible without the generous response by our corporate sponsors. Their foresight and generosity helps Louisville bring once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions and programs to this community.

Please call (502) 634-2700 or e-mail info@speedmuseum.org for more details about sponsorship opportunities.

Venue hire

Surround Your Event with Great Art!From cocktail parties to elegant receptions with dinner and dancing, the Speed offers one of Louisville’s most unique and beautiful venues. Offering a variety of services and spaces.

Please contact the Special Events office at (502) 634-2701 or e-mail specialevents@speedmuseum.org to tour the facilities or book your event today!