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Baltimore Living

Place to Take Out-of-Town Visitors

American Visionary Art Museum

800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900,

We actually did this recently: A distant relative was passing through town with her fiancé, whom we'd never met, and we planned a Sunday afternoon meet-up at AVAM. Baltimore doesn't lack for great museums with don't-miss collections, but something about AVAM (then featuring the now-closed Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness show) felt right. And it was, well, a little odd. We didn't know them, and they didn't know us, and everyone tried politely to make sense of each other in this strange and unusual place. But something about AVAM's embrace of the oddly passionate, the dogged and damned, made it feel like a perfect intro to the town, and it didn't just break the ice between relative strangers, it melted it. Oh, and they made out like bandits with souvenirs at the huge, insane gift shop.

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