The Best Galleries & Museums In Columbus, Ohio

Photo of Eliza Jorn
1 November 2016

Columbus, Ohio is a forward-thinking metropolitan city with cutting-edge culture that includes a trendy art scene. From the grand museums downtown to the gallery strand in Columbus’s art district of Short North, this city represents both internationally recognized and locally aspiring artists. To narrow down your artsy checklist, take a look at our favorite museums and art galleries in Columbus.

Columbus Museum of Art

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Ori Gersht, Blow Up #1, 2007, C-print mounted to acrylic
Ori Gersht, Blow Up #1, 2007, C-print mounted to acrylic | © Columbus Museum of Art
In the heart of the Downtown is the Columbus Museum of Art, an impressive showcase of both international and local artwork. The entrance is bright and welcoming, with sun pouring in from the conservatory glass ceiling and a series of vibrant glass sculptures on the mezzanine. The lower level hosts interactive exhibits that encourage touch and participation. Kids can climb the wooden treehouse in the “Wonder Room” or sculpt clay and draw postcards in the ‘Big Idea Gallery.’ The main collection features 19th/20th century American and European art, with headliner artists like Renoir, Degas, and Monet. Don’t miss Columbus native George Bellows‘ collections of lithographs and paintings, the largest in the world.


Art Gallery, Shop
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In the art district of Short North is a funky art gallery and vintage toy shop, Rivet, which specializes in Pop Art. This gallery is a breath of fresh air after touring Short North’s high-end galleries on the famous Gallery Hop path. Quirky toys and artwork, from limited edition “dunnies” to comical pop-culture inspired portraiture, characterize this relaxed gallery. Underground artists showcase their work once a month, and they sell apparel and accessories in addition to prints, toy, and comic books.

Kelton House

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For any history buff, the Kelton House is a must-see in Columbus’s historic district. Built by Fernando Kelton and his wife Sophia in 1852, this beautiful Victorian home was rendered in Greek revival and Italianate styles. The Keltons were avid abolitionists who harbored runaway slaves, and their home became a critical stopping-point on the Underground Railroad. Today, the Kelton House is a museum that features tours by costumed guides (one of them portraying Sophia herself) that illustrate the history of the home. After the tour, take a walk in the ambling gardens, or have afternoon tea in Victorian style.

Sherrie Gallerie

Shop, Art Gallery
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Sherrie Gallerie on Short North
Sherrie Gallerie on Short North | © WikiCommons 
The Sherrie Gallery in Short North is a cozy space that specializes in contemporary glass, ceramic, and three-dimensional art. Exhibitions rotate seasonally, and the shop offers hand-crafted jewelry and home decorations that are unique to this local gallery. Sherrie is defined by provocative and unusual works that draw people in from the street and attract tourists from all over the country. This spot is a must while touring galleries in the arts district and for art lovers everywhere.

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