It’s no wonder that Annapolis, a picturesque town that’s been the muse of countless artists, has long been considered an art lovers’ destination. Annapolis’ reputation as a visual arts destination dates back to the 18th century, when the famous American soldier, scientist, politician and painter Charles Willson Peale—known for his numerous portraits of George Washington—opened an art studio on State Circle in Annapolis. From that auspicious beginning, the Annapolis arts scene has continued to grow and flourish.
Just a Taste of the Art Galleries in Annapolis
Today, an estimated two dozen locally owned art galleries occupy greater Annapolis. True to the city’s laid-back nature, the art scene is described by connoisseurs as warm and inviting. You don’t need a PhD in art to appreciate or feel welcome in any of the galleries. Our gallery owners welcome all visitors who share a genuine interest and appreciation for art of all mediums, time periods, and subjects.
While it’s fun to meander about town randomly peeking into art galleries that seem appealing, some of the city’s more established ones deserve a special mention. Some of the historic district’s older, more established galleries include:
McBride Gallery (215 Main Street), a fixture in Annapolis since 1980, possesses an impressive display of fine art and a robust, ever-rotating exhibit schedule in a warm and welcoming setting.
Main Street Gallery (216 Main Street) is housed in a historic building over 200 years old. The gallery exhibits fine art in various mediums of notable regional, national, and international artists on Annapolis' popular Main Street.
Annapolis Marine Art Gallery (110 Dock St, Annapolis, MD) is one of the few art galleries in the nation comprised entirely of marine art by living artists. Peer into the essence of the Chesapeake, see world-class sailboat racing come to life on canvas, swoon over romantic portrayals of the sea—all by renowned marine artists.
Annapolis Collection Gallery (55 West Street) in the heart of the Annapolis Arts District exhibits classical art and historically significant photographic prints by Annapolis artists who’ve achieved renown at home and abroad.
The Circle Gallery (18 State Circle), now in its fifth decade, has been showcasing art longer than any gallery in Annapolis. The gallery showcases innovative national juried art on a rotating basis and also welcomes young visitors with events like scavenger hunts that challenge children to discover more about art.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (801 Chase Street) is a community art center that encompasses live performances ranging from symphonies to modern pop music to ballets and beyond; four galleries open to the public that exhibit a variety of art; and classes that include visual art, writing, and more.
Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery, tucked away on the campus of St. John’s College (60 College Avenue) in a uniquely modern building, provides art of world renown, often on loan from some of the most prestigious art institutions in the world.
Surrounding areas also play an integral part of the flourishing art scene. Just over Spa Creek Bridge in Eastport, you can visit the Lisa Masson Studio Gallery. In West Annapolis, five minutes from downtown Annapolis by car, you will find West Annapolis Artworks & Fine Framing, a fresh contemporary gallery next door to the area’s beloved art supply store, Art Things. The BWI-Arundel Mills corridor is also included in the local arts scene: At the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Departure Gate, between Concourses C and D, hang a rotating exhibit of works by Anne Arundel county artists.