a gallery visitor looking at hung prints


The Block Museum is Northwestern University’s art museum. 

The Block is a dynamic, imaginative, and innovative teaching and learning resource for Northwestern and its surrounding communities, featuring a global exhibition program that crosses time periods and cultures and serves as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to our lives today. The museum also commissions new work by artists to foster connections between artists and the public through the creative process. Each year, the Block mounts exhibitions; organizes and hosts lectures, symposia, and workshops involving artists, scholars, curators, and critics; and screens classic and contemporary films at its in-house cinema. The museum also reaches national and international audiences through its traveling exhibitions, publications and website. Its growing permanent collection of approximately 6,000 works focuses primarily on prints, photography, and drawings. 

Located on Northwestern’s Evanston campus, the Block is housed in a building designed by Dirk Lohan, the grandson of the pioneering modernist architect Mies Van de Rohe. The Block Museum is at the heart of Northwestern’s Arts Circle. The Arts Circle unites visual and performing arts in one neighborhood, inspiring collaborations across art forms and underscoring the University’s commitment to the arts, together.  A location and a state of mind, campus and community connect at the Arts Circle to celebrate creativity across artistic disciplines.

Mission Statement

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art enriches teaching and learning on the campuses of Northwestern University and in the communities of their surrounding regions by: 

Presenting art across time, cultures, and media;

Convening interdisciplinary discussions in which art is a springboard for exploring issues and ideas; 

Collecting art that supports the Northwestern University curriculum.

Vision Statement 

To be a dynamic, imaginative, and innovative teaching and learning resource at Northwestern University through an artistic program that is a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to the curriculum and to our lives today.

To inspire and develop a new generation of artists, scholars, and arts professionals by providing experiential learning opportunities bridging the classroom and the world beyond the campus.

To serve as a crossroad between campus and community, by creating an environment where all visitors feel welcome to participate.

AAM Accreditation

AAM sealThe Block Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Accreditation recognizes high standards and ensures that museums uphold their public trust. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for more than 35 years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability.