The 25 Best Galleries & Museums In America — Decided By The 2020 American Art Awards

Thom Bierdz
8 min readJun 2, 2020

The American Art Awards board chooses only one gallery or museum per state per year. Selections are based on years established (some galleries with 60+, most with 20+), industry reputation, online buzz, location, size (often 20,000 to 60,000 sq ft), socially relevant exhibits, motivational and educational programs, represented artists as well as artist, client and visitor references.

American Art Awards 25 Best Galleries & Museums for 2020 (in alphabetical order of state):

Rising like a gigantic mystical temple in Sedona, this 20,000 sq ft showplace displays the finest of every style from classical to contemporary. Serving private or commercial needs, offering small maquettes to monumental bronze and stone sculptures, original oil and acrylic otherworldly paintings, fine art jewelry, enchanting glass art… EXPOSURES INTERNATIONAL GALLERY OF FINE ART

A Palm Dessert landmark for over thirty years, this contemporary El Paseo gallery has a vast collection of paintings, photography, sculpture, glass, and ceramic works by a wide range of established, mid-career, and emerging artists. CODA GALLERY

The two-story, 28,500 sq ft building offers nine beautiful galleries of Still’s abstract expressionism, historic photos, archives, interactive features, outdoor terraces, conservation areas, art creation studio, shopping, exciting programs and events, and more. CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM

Dynamic 33,000 sq ft building, seven galleries, 26 on-site artist studios, an auditorium, a museum shop, a classroom, and an administrative office space. Founded in 1979 by artists, now presents over 24 annual innovative exhibitions on topical issues by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists. Takes risks and pushes boundaries. Transformative. THE DELAWARE CONTEMPORARY

Three locations. The 12,000 sq ft Fort Lauderdale gallery is the largest exhibition space in South Florida, and with close proximity to Art Basel & Art Miami, now a vital part of today’s art culture. Maintains an in-house Multimedia Department complete with digital photography studio, state-of-the-art Gicleé printing facility — with computer-graphic/prepress. For 20 years, representing many of the world’s most accomplished and commercial artists: selling internationally to upscale hotels, restaurants, corporations, luxury cruise ships and museums. MAC ART GALLERIES

Innovative curated exhibitions for national, regional and local artists with a focus on emerging and mid-career contemporary and experimental. Also offers cutting edge music, dance, film and spoken word — both throughout the year and during the popular Westobou Festival, a lively 5 days dedicated to enriching the cultural fabric, economic sustainability and social vitality of the region. WESTOBOU GALLERY

The contemporary 3,500 sq ft exhibition gallery and critical thinking performance venue for accredited private Catholic college, Benedictine University. The expansive permanent art collection of fine and applied arts consists of local, regional and internationally recognized artists. For forty years, expanding the understanding of art and culture in the Chicago communities and throughout the Midwest, Southwest and Eastern Asia regions. KOMECHAK ART GALLERY

Since it’s launch 42 years ago, has gained national recognition as one of the foremost contemporary galleries (3 locations) in New Orleans’ Arts District. Regularly exhibits breakthrough and prominent artists and assembles major corporate collections. Offers treasures in sculpture and paint as well as iconic photography. Hosts innovative panel discussions exploring regionalism, video works, Post-Pop Postmodernism, Art Industries, race and identity, etc.. ARTHUR ROGER GALLERY

30 years specializing in European and American contemporary original paintings and sculpture. A world-renowned fine arts service record among collectors and represented artists. Recognized by Ingram’s as a “Top Gallery in Kansas City.” EVA REYNOLDS FINE ARTS

Cultural heart of Portland… significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine… a steadfast commitment to their community and region… their high level of attention to the complexity of art and history exemplifies respect for artwork and art makers. PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART

Since 2006, representing established contemporary and traditional artists, building and maintaining fine art collections for regional and international clients. Three locations. The original landmark gallery is in the heart of Nantucket’s historic downtown. The upscale Connecticut gallery is located along the Saugatuck River. The Florida facility opened on Gallery Row in 2015, the large space allowing for more monumental works, from historic to abstract. QUIDLEY & COMPANY

For 26 years, Kansas City’s acclaimed, free contemporary art museum has offered an exemplary Permanent Collection of modern and contemporary works from around the world. The museum hosts exciting and innovative exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, and other creative programs — for all ages. KEMPER MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Located in the heart of historic downtown Lincoln, this three-floor towering showplace exhibits the top Midwestern Contemporary artists as well as 19th & 20th century American Art. Endless inventory of Old Master & Contemporary originals and prints, placing works in some of the top private, corporate and public collections across the United States, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, Smithsonian Institution and Crystal Bridges. KIECHEL FINE ART

A free public art initiative for a city in revitalization; a community art initiative dedicated to the accessibility of contemporary works made by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists. Founded in 2011, the museum works to enrich people’s lives through the presentation of fine art. ROCHESTER MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

For 60 years, a family legacy serving the community with expert, innovative and personable staff. Features the finest 20th Century American and European art. EVALYN DUNN GALLERY

12 galleries and 22,000 sq ft of exhibition space. This unique collection of photographs, paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture provides a snapshot of the evolving issues in art over the last 53 years since the 1967 inception of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. ANDERSON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

For over 20 years, this locally owned and operated Dayton fixture has offered original regional and international paintings, sculpture and over 10,000 art prints, catering to both personal and business design needs. Longtime staff has provided production to installation needs of over a thousand assignments to grateful clients within the community. DAYTON ART SOLUTIONS

Iconic gallery offers pop art inspired by Disney, still life oils, abstracts, modern impressionism, photo-realism wildlife art, poured bronzes and other prized sculpture. Renown American and international artists from Lithuania, Czech Republic, Vietnam, France, Germany, Argentina, Russia and Spain. ROGER YOST BAY STREET GALLERY

Housed in the historic 1865 Finney & Son building, a former showroom for mausoleums, a multipurpose art space that proudly showcases the best in underground, alternative, and DIY culture in 300+ events a year. National and international acclaim for its unique approach towards art curation. Philadelphia Magazine: “Best of Philly award-winner.” Huffington Post: “21 Ways Philadelphia is the Coolest City in America.” Time Out: “20 Best Things To Do in Philadelphia.” PHILAMOCA

For 35 years Mary Martin has cultivated meaningful and long-term relationships with residents, tourists, artists, clients, designers, architects and trade professionals from her sophisticated landmark gallery in downtown Charleston (named the number one tourist destination in America). Both Mary Martin Gallery I and Mary Martin Gallery II represent a wide array of regional, national and international artists providing museum quality bronze and stone sculptures and innovative oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings — appealing to collectors in every country. MARY MARTIN GALLERIES OF FINE ART

Since 1970, for fifty years, this museum beautifully houses the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. 7,000 objects in its collection include Harvey Dunn paintings, Native American art, Marghab Linens, and much more. SOUTH DAKOTA ART MUSEUM

Cache Valley’s largest art gallery displaying masterpieces from the region’s most talented artists and sculptors. The building, formerly a downtown cinema, was purchased and remodeled in 2011 by celebrated painter and sculptor, Eugene Needham, a Logan, Utah native. LOGAN FINE ART GALLERY

The West’s foremost repository of works from the Moscow School of Russian Realism. Located along one of the most scenic stretches of country highway in the United States, between Richmond and Williamsburg, adjacent to the forests and farm fields of Berkeley Plantation; an antebellum mansion built in 1726. The 6,300 sq ft gallery stands in secluded woodlands with an inventory of more than 1,100 masterful paintings. LAZARE GALLERY

Founded in 1938 by members of the Parkersburg West Virginia Women’s Club, the Art Center is the oldest arts organization in West Virginia in continuous operation. The nonprofit, non-government entity offers six separate gallery areas exhibiting emerging local talent to internationally revered artists. PARKERSBURG ART CENTER

Generously funded by W. Jerome Frautschi and designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the striking 51,500 sq ft facility offers many art galleries, a 230-seat lecture hall, a children’s classroom, a new-media gallery, a study center for drawings, prints, and photographs and an enormous rooftop sculpture garden. THE MADISON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART annually awards 25 museums and galleries in spring, and with their critique in autumn, awards 300 artists (painters, photographers, sculptors and digital artists) from across the globe.



Thom Bierdz

One of Medium’s TOP ART CONTRIBUTORS, award-winning author, actor, film-maker, painter. 12 books: 6 on art. President of WAA & AAA & ACCA.