General FAQs

Why is it called The Speed Art Museum?

The Speed Art Museum was the vision of philanthropist Hattie Bishop Speed, a great supporter of all arts, in memory of her husband James Breckinridge Speed. Established in 1925, construction of the Museum soon followed, and the Speed first opened its doors January 15, 1927.

What are the benefits of becoming a Speed member?

Members of the Speed automatically receive free admission to the Museum, in addition to many museums around the country! Benefits also include a member discount program with participating local businesses, invites to VIP exhibition openings, free admission to the Global Speed lecture series, discounted admission to the Speed Concert Series, and more! Click here to become a Speed member today!

How can I get involved at the Speed?

There are many ways to get involved with the Speed through internships, volunteering and memberships! Visit our volunteer or internships pages here to learn about volunteer/internship opportunities or the membership page here to support the Museum! For career opportunities, click here.

Is the Museum part of the University of Louisville?

The Speed Art Museum is a non-profit arts institution located adjacent to the University of Louisville Belknap campus. While the Speed is not directly affiliated with the University, the Museum frequently partners with the University through lectures, concerts, and other programs. The Museum also serves as a great resource for university faculty and offers student internships.

Is the Speed available for event rentals?

There are many spaces available for rentals and private events. For detailed information about event rentals at the Museum and to check space availability, please contact the Special Events department at (502) 634-2747.

Will the Museum’s curators appraise art from private collections?

The Museum’s curators do not appraise or estimate the value of art from private collections. Their role is to care for and exhibit the Museum’s art collection and offer special traveling exhibitions. Local or national art dealers are a more appropriate resource for individuals seeking appraisals. For a list of appraisers and conservators, please call the Museum at (502) 634-2700.

Can I take photographs of artwork in the Museum?

  • Photographs may be taken of objects belonging to The Speed Art Museum only. Photography of loans and special exhibitions are strictly prohibited.
  • No flashes or lights of any kind are permitted.
  • No selfie-sticks, tripods, bipods, monopods or video cameras are permitted.
  • Photographs are to be taken for the private use of the photographer and are not to be used for resale or publicity purposes.
  • Photography may not interfere with group activities or tours in the galleries.
  • For clarification of the above policy, please check with the Front Desk in the Visitor Welcome Center.

Visitors are welcome to sketch artwork in the permanent collection, using a dry medium only. Please keep a safe distance from the artwork (minimum of 4 feet), and be courteous of other visitors in the gallery. It is prohibited to sketch artwork in the special exhibition areas.

How does the Speed Art Museum comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Speed Art Museum welcomes people with special needs. The Museum’s building is accessible to persons with disabilities. Designated parking for persons with disabilities is available in the parking garage and wheel chair access is available in the entrance located near the security office. Service animals are welcome in the Museum, please check with Security or Guest Services in the Front Lobby upon arrival. TTD telephone access is available at (502) 634-2706.