For promoting and highlighting the local visual arts community, museums should be celebrated and recognized; thanks to the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), they will be. On Sunday, the AAMD is hosting the fifth annual Art Museum Day, when select museums across the country will offer free or reduced admission and special tours. Here are some of the local museums taking part this year:

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is one of several museums taking part in Art Museum Day 2014. On May 18, the museum will be offering free admission to visitors. (Thomas H. Field)

The District

In conjunction with the exhibit "Chigusa and the Art of Tea," the Freer Gallery of Art will host a tea tasting followed by a 1 p.m. screening of "Rikyu," a film by Hiroshi Teshigahara that explores one man's relationship with a Japanese warlord he has been instructed to teach the art of tea.

The Kreeger Museum is closed on Sunday, so the museum will offer two-for-one admission on Saturday. Check out "K@20," a 20th anniversary exhibition including works by 14 regional artists.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts will offer free admission Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. While you’re there, be sure to visit "Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships," a new exhibit by the surrealist artist whose works explore the meaning of friendship.

Take a tour of the “Visions of the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone” at the National Museum of African Art during regular museum hours. The exhibition, which opened April 9, includes masks, body ornaments and more. The museum's store will offer discounts from 1 to 3 p.m.

The National Portrait Gallery will be showing the 1925 film "Ben Hur," accompanied by an original score by pianist Andrew E. Simpson, at 1 p.m.

Visit the Phillips Collection for a special exhibition tour of “Made in the U.S.A.,” an exhibition that presents pieces from the museum’s collection of American art. The museum's Tryst Cafe will offer the American Royal, a sparkling cocktail made with prosecco, Campari and sweet vermouth.


The Baltimore Museum of Art offers a half-hour guided tour at 2:30 p.m, and families can take part in an imaginary landscape activity in the sculpture garden from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tour the Walters Art Museum and browse the ArtCarts spread throughout the museum for activities for children and families.


Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for a chance to view "Posing Beauty in African American Culture," which opened last month and examines the perceptions of African and African American beauty in historical and contemporary contexts. The exhibit features works by Carrie Mae Weems, Garry Winogrand and Charles Harris. Admission is free.

Charlottesville’s Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia invites guests to tour the exhibit, "Joseph Cornell and Surrealism," running through June 8, at 2 p.m.

Docent tours will be offered at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.