Good morning you wonderful lot, are you all doing ok or has anyone else been hit by a sore throat, stuffy nose, headache etc. now that flu season is upon us? Because of not feeling well we haven’t really gone out much apart from Sunday when we went out for a few hours to Meadowhall (located in Sheffield, UK) to get a few little presents for Christmas, which turned out to be a nightmare as the shopping mall was jam-packed with people who didn’t care about barging past us and hitting us from one side to another, it was chaotic, and the roads turned out to be no better as we almost swerved off the motorway due to some driver not being careful and cutting in front of our car, as I’ve said in previous posts, thank god my dad is a safe driver and always alert and careful whilst driving.
Anyway, I do apologize as that was quite a bit of a rant, shall we move on with today’s post… All over the world, there are vast collections of art and artefacts that are available for everyone to see. Some are centred on a particular artwork or place, others bring together masterpieces collected across the globe. But one thing for sure galleries and museums across the globe have in common? An ability to make your jaw drop as soon as you step through their doors. The best art museums in the world document a culture’s and an artist’s experience within a chronology and a social environment, which helps visitors comprehend an artwork and how it represents the settings in which it was made. A museum is a facility that preserves things of aesthetic, historical, cultural, or scientific significance. And these museums scattered across the globe are the ideal destinations for people who love traveling and art.
There is a plethora of amazing museums out there, but the best art museums in the world have become destinations in themselves. Being home to the vast majority of the world’s most valuable paintings, sculptures, and artifacts, these famous art museums are a chest of knowledge, providing a unique chance to navigate through the history of creative expression throughout the ages. All of these famous art museums are respected leaders in their field of work, with an extraordinary and profound task of collecting, preserving and exhibiting the most important artworks created by the biggest names in the art world throughout time. One could easily get lost in each one of them for at least a day!
The Louvre, France
Located in Central Paris, and originally built as a fortress in the 12th Century, the Louvre is one of the worlds oldest and most visited art museum, opening its doors in 1793. Not only is the Louvre the largest museum in the world, but it is also the world’s most popular too, boasting over 9 million visitors a year. Ranking highest in all five key reputation drivers regarding its collection, the Louvre has over 38,000 artefacts in eight specific departments, including Egyptian antiques, paintings by the notable European artists (before 1800), ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, crown jewels, paintings, and other artifacts with its most iconic being Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which has resided within the Louvre for more than 200 years.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Dedicated solely to the work of Vincent Van Gogh, the Amsterdam based museum attracts over 2 million visitors annually. Established in 1976, it has the largest collection of Van Gogh artwork worldwide, possessing 1,300 pieces, including his iconic paintings Sunflowers, Self-Portrait and The Potato Eaters. It also houses art pieces from other great artisans. Van Gogh Museum has two buildings; Rietveld and Kurokawa. Rietveld focuses on permanent collection while Kurokawa is used for temporary exhibitions. The museum hosts an official Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, which is a traveling 3D visual portrayal of the life and works of Van Gogh. But this experience doesn’t involve any of his original artworks as they’re too fragile to travel. The first “experience” was in 2016 in Beijing, and it has since been toured globally to Europe, Asia and North America.
Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Located in the historical and religious landscape of Vatican City, The Vatican Museums is the oldest in the rankings, opening its doors in 1506. Originally used as papal palaces, it is now a series of galleries, housing over 70,000 artefacts including several monumental works, such as the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and the Borgia Apartment. One of the most famous Renaissance artists in the world, Michelangelo, painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is one of the most popular works in fresco art in the history of Western art. This museum consists of 20 centuries of history and art. Attracting over 6 million visitors annually, the Vatican Museums is both the 5th most visited museum globally and the 5th largest in the world. If you visit Rome, you have to experience the art of the Vatican museums. It is an experience that you’ll never forget and will always remind you of the artistic place this city is!
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Opened in 1872, in Manhattan, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to over 2 million artefacts, housed in seventeen specific curatorial departments. The museum’s art collection is diverse and varied. It represents over 5000 years of art from around the world. But it is popular for its ancient Egyptian art collection. The Temple of Dendur temple built around 15 BC by the Roman Governor of Egypt, is a star attraction. The Met is one of the most popular museums globally, and with over 7 million visitors annually it is the most visited art museum in America and 2nd globally. The museum focuses on art education for the American public and hosts a vast collection of artefacts including work from the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh. New York as a city is already overwhelming for art lovers, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art makes this city a must-visit art destination.
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
The Reina Sofia is located in Madrid and is Spain’s national museum of 20th-century art. The art and architecture of Spain make it a must-see destination for all art lovers. The museum was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1990, and is named for Queen Sofia. The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art. Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain’s two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Picasso’s Guernica is the most haunting and impressive work exhibited in the museum. It showcases the tragedies of war that happened in 1937 in which hundreds of civilians died. The museum introduced modernity and democracy previously absent from the Spanish context. Museo Reina Sofia thrives even today because it evolves with time. It also hosts a free-access library specializing in art, with a collection of over 100,000 books, over 3,500 sound recordings, and almost 1,000 videos.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection includes works of art from 5000 years ago to the present from North America, Europe, Asia, and North African cultures. The museum has the greatest collection of post-classical sculptures in the whole world, and its collection of art from the Italian Renaissance is the largest outside of Italy. Art from China, Japan, South Asia, Korea, and the Islamic world may be found in the Asian art sections. With specific strengths in pottery and metalwork, the East Asian collections are among the greatest in all of Europe. Without a doubt, the V&A museum is one of the world’s leading art museums. Along with showcasing art and design, it also has resources for the study of different aspects related to art in general. The art here evolves with time and has changed the public’s interpretation of art and design.
The Nationale Kunst-Galerij, an art museum founded in 1800, provided the initial collection of the galleries, which were based on a royal museum built by Napoleon I’s brother Louis Bonaparte, then king of Holland, in 1808. After the Bonaparte’s were overthrown, the collection was placed in the Trippenhuis and became the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 1815. Rijksmuseum is located at Amsterdam’s museum square and is also one of the most renowned art museums. The art in this museum will give you a glimpse of Dutch history. The Golden age of the Dutch’s history is preserved here. They were one of the artistic leaders in the world when it came to landscapes, still life and, genre painting. The museum also has a library, Cuypers library, which is the oldest and biggest art history library in the Netherlands. This place can be considered as a landmark in the Dutch’s history.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D.C., United States, located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW. Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was privately established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. The core collection includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Browne Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art. It is one of the largest museums in North America.
Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
The Multimedia Art Museum Moscow was founded in 1996 as the Moscow House of Photography (MDF). It was the first Russian state art institution focused on the art of photography. In 2001, it was transformed into the Multimedia Complex of Contemporary Arts. The Complex includes the Moscow House of Photography; The Alexander Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia, opened in 2006 and named after Russian classic of photography Alexander Rodchenko; and the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (MAMM), intended to acquaint Russian audiences with contemporary art and multimedia technologies. In 2010, the Complex returned to its renovated building numbering approximately 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq. ft) of space. The new space has four floors for exhibitions and archives for its 90,000-photograph collection. Cumulative exhibition history of MAMM and Moscow House of Photography numbers more than 1300 exhibitions in Russia and abroad, and more than 100 books issued.
State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the largest art museum in the world by gallery space. It was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items (the numismatic collection accounts for about one-third of them). The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Western European Art collection includes European paintings, sculpture, and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. It is displayed, in about 120 rooms, on the first and second floor of the four main buildings. Drawings and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions. The Hermitage is a federal state property.
Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It plays a major role in developing and collecting modern art, and is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media. The MoMA Library includes approximately 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, more than 1,000 periodical titles, and more than 40,000 files of ephemera about individual artists and groups. The archives hold primary source material related to the history of modern and contemporary art. Considered by many to have the best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world, MoMA’s holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces in addition to approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills.
British Museum, London
The British Museum is a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection of eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The British Museum was the first public national museum in the world. The museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the Anglo-Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened to the public in 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. The museum’s expansion over the following 250 years was largely a result of British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, or independent spin-offs, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881. In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all national museums in the UK it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza Della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive. The project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano Nobile; the plan was carried out by his son, Grand Duke Francesco I. He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels; it became a highly influential attraction of a Grand Tour. The octagonal room was completed in 1584. Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe. At any time about 3,000 art pieces are on display within Musée d’Orsay. Within the museum is a 1:100 scale model created by Richard Peduzzi of an aerial view of Paris Opera and surrounding area encapsulated underneath glass flooring that viewers walk on as they proceed through the museum. This installation allows the viewers to understand the city planning of Paris at the time, which has made this attraction one of the most popular within the museum.
Museo del Prado, Madrid
The Prado Museum, officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado, is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is widely considered to house one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish royal collection, and the single best collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. The Prado Museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. The numerous works by Francisco Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez, are some of the highlights of the collection. Velázquez and his keen eye and sensibility were also responsible for bringing much of the museum’s fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now one of the largest outside Italy. The collection currently comprises around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to many other works of art and historic documents. As of 2012, the museum displayed about 1,300 works in the main buildings, while around 3,100 works were on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions. The remainder were in storage.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, with an exhibition of 250 contemporary works of art. Built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea, it is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is one of the largest museums in Spain. One of the most admired works of contemporary architecture, the building has been hailed as a “signal moment in the architectural culture”, because it represents “one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all completely united about something”, according to architectural critic Paul Goldberger. The museum was the building most frequently named as one of the most important works completed since 1980 in the 2010 World Architecture Survey among architecture experts.
Tate Modern, London
Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of international modern and contemporary art, and forms part of the Tate group together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is located in the former Bankside Power Station, in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark. Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. As with the UK’s other national galleries and museums, there is no admission charge for access to the collection displays, which take up the majority of the gallery space, whereas tickets must be purchased for the major temporary exhibitions. The collections in Tate Modern consist of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 until today. Levels 2, 3 and 4 contain gallery space. Each of those floors is split into a large east and west wing with at least 11 rooms in each. Space between these wings is also used for smaller galleries on levels 2 and 4. The Boiler House shows art from 1900 to the present day. The Switch House has eleven floors, numbered 0 to 10. Levels 0, 2, 3 and 4 contain gallery space. Level 0 consists of the Tanks, spaces converted from the power station’s original fuel oil tanks, while all other levels are housed in the tower extension building constructed above them. The Switch House shows art from 1960 to the present day.
There are many art museums all over the world that are home to hundreds of wonderful pieces of art and exhibitions, each containing some breathtaking antique frames. As mentioned before some of these art museums have become destinations in themselves, and a must see for all art lovers as they travel the world.
Thank you for coming to my blog and reading today’s post, I hope you all have a lovely week and manage to stay warm especially with the weather getting colder. For now though, I shall say see you next week!