Museums of all kinds are found in the heart of Columbus.
The Columbus Museum of Art in downtown Columbus houses art that speaks to diverse interests and styles. The museum features an outstanding collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century American and European modern art. Its collection includes spectacular examples of Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Cubism. The museum is also recognized for extraordinary regional collections such as the largest public collection of woodcarvings by Columbus folk artist Elijah Pierce and the world's largest repository of paintings and lithographs by Columbus native George Bellows, widely regarded as the finest American artist of his generation.
Thurber House, located near downtown Columbus on Jefferson Avenue, is the restored home of James Thurber and his family. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Thurber House is a living museum open to the public every day for free, self-guided tours. Thurber House features many literary events, including Evenings with Authors, a series of readings featuring nationally known bestselling authors. Enjoy good food, good friends, and good books with the Summer Literary Picnic series featuring readings by Ohio-connected authors on the side lawn of Thurber House. Just bring your lawn chairs and enjoy!
Columbus is also home to COSI, an interactive educational museum in downtwon Columbus dedicated to the exploration of science and technology.
The Kelton House Museum & Garden, located in the East Town Street Historic District, interprets urban life and the decorative arts in Columbus during the second half of the 19th century and was one of several safehouses for the Underground Railroad.
Located in downtown Columbus, The Topiary Park is a one-of-a-kind landscape of a paiting of a landscape. Located on the site of the former Deaf School, the park is the work of James T. Mason, sculptor and creator of the topiary interpretation of George Seurat’s famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte. It also features The Topiary Park Museum Store.
The Ohio Historical Center offers visitors a rewarding museum experience of Ohio’s past and an archives/library that provides rich resources for genealogists and other researchers. The center serves as the headquarters for the Ohio Historical Society and is the flagship museum of the society’s network of over 50 historic sites and museums.
Adjoining the Historical Center is Ohio Village, which recreates a typical county-seat town in Ohio during the mid 19th century, about the time of the Civil War. Ohio Village features events year-round including a Dickens of a Christmas, bringing Christmas to life in a Victorian wonderland, and a Glorious Fourth Independence Day Celebration.
Columbus also docks the only existing reproduction of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria. More than 500 years later, you can tour the world's most authentic, musieum-quality replica of the flagship. Fascinating displays show the ra-ragning imapct of the encounter of two worlds that existed in 1492.
Serving as the heart of Ohio democracy for the last 150 years, the Ohio Statehouse stands as a symbol of the legislative and executive branches of state government, and the people of Ohio. After 22 years of construction, the Ohio Statehouse was completed in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. One hundred and fifty years later, it continues to serve as heart of Ohio democracy. Tours are available of the building, which serves as both a place of learning and the state's working seat of government. Visitors can experience Ohio's rich history and witness the making of history through the modern lawmaking process.
Columbus features many interesting historic districts in and within close proximity to the downtown area, including German Village, the Brewery District, Olde Towne East, Italian Village, Victorian Village and the Short North, and the University District around Ohio State University. For more information, visit the Experience Columbus website.