Skip to content

When you think of Duke University, the image of its gothic-style chapel may come to mind, or perhaps Cameron Indoor Stadium, the raucous center of the Blue Devil basketball games. But tucked along Campus Drive here, amid the stately tall pine trees, the 65,000-square-foot Nasher Museum of Art has become a hub for students.

Across the country, university and college museums run the gamut from those featuring contemporary art and ancient relics mostly used as teaching tools to world-class collections tackling groundbreaking projects and traveling exhibitions.

While not typically top of mind as a go-to destination, college and university art museums have a common goal: to raise the bar for the academic and cultural life of a campus and its environs. 

“The mission of the Nasher is to expose students at Duke to the highest quality of art and exhibitions and also to have them see what we do as part of their learning,” said Sarah Schroth, the museum’s director.

Following is a selection of college and university museums.