Monday, October 2, 2017


American Visionary Art Museum logo

Villa's Universe by Margaret Munz-Losch, colored pencil, 2015. Courtesy of Megan Hurdle.American Visionary Art Museum
The Great Mystery Show
WHEN: October 7, 2017–September 2, 2018
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore

From psychics to physicists, The Great Mystery Show artfully peels away the veil of the unknown, playfully exploring mystery as that one secret power behind great art, science, and pursuit of the sacred. One part lively fun house, two parts cosmic dream lab, the exhibition weaves the creative investigations of 44 visionary artists, research scientists, astronauts, mystics, and philosophers into one grand-scale exploration of mystery that's 100% devoted to inspiring that ever-questioning "sleuth for the truth" in each of us. No "alternative facts here"—just a wildly visual exaltation of the strangeness and wonder of Life itself.

Our choice of Mystery as a communal focus celebrates the fact that we humans start out life as little question machines, such as "Why is the sky blue, Mommy?" Even Einstein declared, "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." As we grow and age, our hard-wired need for answers and meaning progresses—"Is there life after death?" or "Why do terrible things happen to good people?" Here, Einstein offers more sage solace, "God does not play dice with the Universe"—his assertion that life is not random, nor casually conceived, nor without purpose.

Mystery holds the door open to human imagination, inspiring our fascination with whodunnit-style film and books and theological and scientific inquiry. In a time of so much focus on fear and doom, inventor Michael Faraday reminds us, "Nothing is too wonderful to be true."

Heartfelt thanks to all our visionary artists, art lenders, generous sponsors, our friends at the NASA Space Telescope Institute, The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, and all of AVAM's amazingly wondrous staff and Rebecca Hoffberger’s curatorial assistant, Anna Gulyavskaya.

Exhibition Artists:

Anonymous Artist • Kelley Bell • David Bowman • Mary Bowron • Paul Darmafall • Jim Doran • Dr. B • Peter Eglington • George Figgs • Edward Gorey • Paul Graubard • Michael Green • Richard "Duke" Hagerty • Julian Harr • Gerald Hawkes • John Root Hopkins • Jan Huling • Lorann Jacobs • Leonard Jenkin • Nancy Josephson • Paul Laffoley • James Leonard • Scott Long • Rafael Matias • Antar Mikosz • Greg Mort • Margaret Munz-Losch • Chris Roberts-Antieau • Dr. Ned Rosinsky • Richard Smith • Bernard Stiegler • Ingo Swann • Christian Twamley • Louis Wain • Aric Wanveer • Frank Warren • Edward Woltemate • Betsy Youngquist

Exhibition Sponsors:

  • PLATINUM: Martine Rothblatt • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • GOLD: Jane Daniels • Robert E. Meyerhoff & Rhea Becker
  • SILVER: Mary Catherine Bunting • Davison, Richard & Rosalee • Philip & Harriet L Klein Foundation • Tom & Linda McCabe • Richman, Arnold & Alison • Karen Whaley & James Magner
  • BRONZE: Emily Greenberg & John Sondenheim • Michael & Patti Batza • Emile Bendit Philanthropic Fund • Barbara & Louis Denrich • Joan Develin Coley & M Lee Rice • JoAnn & Jack Fruchtman • The Goldsmith Family Foundation • George & Betsy Hess • Sandra and Tom Hess
  • Exhibition Supporters: Jan Weinberg • Ellen L Patz Philanthropic Fund • C And M Berns Foundation • William & Nan Paternotte

Related Programming:

The Great Mystery Show Preview Party

WHEN: Friday, October 6, 7pm–10pm
  Tickets: $20 at FREE to AVAM Fan Club Members, Mystery Show artists and lenders.

We welcome our newest exhibition with our always popular exhibition Preview Party! Come meet the artists! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beverages, music & mysterious fun for all ages!

ABOUT AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM is America’s official national museum and education center for original, self-taught, intuitive artistry. Since its opening in 1995, the museum has sought to promote compassion and the recognition of intuitive, self-reliant, creative contribution in all fields as both an important historic and essential living piece of treasured human legacy. The one-of-a-kind American Visionary Art Museum is located at 800 Key Highway, Baltimore Inner Harbor. Three renovated historic industrial buildings house wonders created by farmers, housewives, mechanics, retired folk, the disabled, the homeless, as well as the occasional neurosurgeon—all inspired by the fire within. From carved roots to embroidered rags, tattoos to toothpicks, the visionary transforms dreams, loss, hopes, and ideals into powerful works of art and thought. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–6pm. Admission prices, directions, and more handy info can be found at