11 Incredible Art Destinations You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

on August 25, 2015

Chad Coppess for Dakotagraph

The Nation's Hidden Treasures

Millions of people flock to America's world-renowned art exhibits such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Smithsonian each year. But all across the nation, you'll find unique collections that are, though off the beaten path, emblematic of American culture and creativity.

Naho Kubota for Mmuseumm

Mmuseummu2014New York, NY

Don't pass up this collection on your way to the big sights of the city-this tiny modern natural history museum showcases a wide range of eclectic pieces. From paper works found in copying machines to toothpaste tubes from around the world, you'll find extraordinary snapshots of our ordinary lives.

Potlach Totem Parku2014Ketchikan, AK

Nestled in the wilderness of Alaska is an art form that's thousands of years old: totem pole carving. You'll find artists hand-carving these indigenous masterpieces in the village, as well as restored pieces as an initiative of the Totem Bight State Historical Park.

Joe Aker for Live Oak Friends

Live Oak Friends Meeting Houseu2014Houston, TX

The best kind of art is nature itself. Skyspace, designed by Quaker artist James Turrell, allows visitors to experience the changing tones and textures of the setting sun while meditating or reflecting. The intimate connection formed is truly a unique experience.

Shelburne Museumu2014Shelburn, VT

Although both this museum and the state that houses it are fairly small, don't underestimate this collection. With over 400 dolls, a variety of Impressionistic paintings, folk art, and an entire gallery of horse-drawn carriages, this one-of-a-kind museum is sure to leave an impression of its own.

Josh White/JW Pictures

The Mistake Roomu2014Los Angeles, CA

There is beauty in imperfection, and Founding Director and Chief Curator Cesar Garcia's dream is that this space in downtown LA will become home to the mistakes and masterpieces of lesser-known artists. The non-profit gallery gives artists the freedom to work, create, and be discovered.

Museum of Bad Art

Museum of Bad Artu2014Boston, MA

There's good art, and there's...well, let's just say that this next destination is a tribute to all those works that didn't quite make the cut. The Museum of Bad Art started as a collection in a basement in Boston and has since developed in several different locations. It's the perfect place for art critics and jokers alike.

Booth Western Art Museum

Booth Western Art Museumu2014Cartersville, GA

Who knew that one of the largest collections of modern Western art would be located smack-dab in the middle of the South? Regardless of its incongruent location, this museum houses fascinating art pieces from the West, including a sagebrush ranch, as well as a presidential gallery with a signed letter from every single U.S. President.

Orange Showu2014Houston, TX

What started out as a collection of found objects by postman and artist Jeff McKissack has become one of Houston's most beloved art galleries. An amalgamation of music, visual art, sculptures, and more, this quirky place is worth going out of the way for.

Chad Coppess for Dakotagraph

Porter Sculpture Parku2014Montrose, SD

These larger-than-life creations are the work of artist Wayne Porter. The variety of metal sculptures, including a 60-foot-tall bull's head, are quite striking against the wide-open South Dakota skies.

Neon Museumu2014Las Vegas, NV

This collection of old neon signs is surely a blast from the past. Referred to as "The Boneyard", visitors can walk around the two acres and view over 150 different neon signs. At night, the exhibit comes alive in a dazzling array of color.

Kaitlyn Fae Barrett

Tinkertownu2014Sandia Park, NM

This hodgepodge collection of art and artifacts belonged to Ross J. Ward and is truly a sight to behold. Each of the figures in a variety of scenes was hand-carved and painted by Ward himself, and at every twist and turn you'll find a new delight to discover.