In addition to displaying a permanent collection of art that spans more than 5,000 years of history, the North Carolina Museum of Art presents a variety of special exhibitions. Both East and West buildings offer beautiful gallery spaces to showcase the extraordinary objects on view.
Ancient Greek, Italian, and Roman Galleries
This collection comprises works of art from ancient Greece and Rome, including art from Greek Bronze Age cultures in the Aegean and mainland Greece, and the Villanovan and Etruscan cultures of northwest and central Italy. The collection provides a survey of art covering more than 3,000 years and much of the Mediterranean.
Modern and Contemporary Galleries
In recent years major acquisitions have helped build a significant collection of contemporary art. Outstanding works include Frank Stella’s painting Raqqa II (1970), Anselm Kiefer’s triptych Untitled (1980–86), Gerhard Richter’s abstract painting Station (577-2) (1985), Elizabeth Murray’s Pigeon (1991), and Jaume Plensa’s sculpture Doors of Jerusalem I, II, & III (2006).
Ancient Egyptian Galleries
Judaic Art Gallery
The Judaic Art Gallery features ceremonial objects from the major Jewish traditions as well as from modern Israel. Highlights include a pair of mid-18th-century silver and gilt Torah finials (rimmonim); a large standing Hanukkah lamp, circa 1930; and an elegant pair of silver finals and matching Torah pointer (yad) dated 1783 from the Orthodox Synagogue in Plymouth, England.
Ancient Art Lounge
Opened in June 2021, this interactive gallery appropriate for all ages showcases the cultures and accomplishments of the ancient peoples represented in the Museum’s archaeological collections: Aztec, Egyptian, Greek, Inca, Maya, and Roman. Content and activities are available in English and Spanish.
Meymandi Exhibition Gallery
Meymandi Exhibition Gallery is the NCMA's largest special exhibition space and features traveling shows and exhibitions organized or co-organized by the NCMA and major museums across the country. Recent highlights include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection and Golden Mummies of Egypt.
Joyce W. Pope Gallery
Julian T. Baker, Jr. Photography Gallery & Allen G. Thomas, Jr. Photography Gallery
Over the past 15 years, the NCMA’s photography holdings have grown to nearly 600 works. The photography galleries feature exhibitions from the NCMA's burgeoning contemporary photography collection as well as special exhibitions featuring the work of national and international photographers.
The Video Gallery is dedicated to showing video and multimedia work by local, national, and international artists creating in this exciting, ever-changing medium.
Gallery 3 and 4
Gallery 3 and 4 feature installations related to larger special exhibitions as well as smaller focus exhibitions.
GlaxoSmithKline Education Gallery
One of the first art museums in the US to be partially supported by state government, the NCMA is committed to its Education Gallery, which showcases work by North Carolina’s young artists, preschool through college, who participate in a variety of NCMA programs in public and private schools, such as the Art of Collaboration, Grow Up Great with the Arts, and Teens, Inspired.