Museums hold a mesmerizing realm within themselves with vast collections of artifacts and objects of artistic, cultural and historical significance. Regardless of your artistic opinion or location, there are some museums that everyone must visit in their lifetime.
People usually go about exploring these institutions when they are traveling across the world. There are plenty of museums, of which a handful will truly take your breath away. From world-famous museums to lesser-known institutions, here are 10 incredible museums that you should add to your post-pandemic bucket list.
The Louvre, Paris
Home to da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ the Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. The Louvre contains over 380,000 objects, out of which nearly 38,000 items are on permanent display from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The collection is distributed among eight departments – Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. Once a royal residence, this iconic institution is decorated with gilded crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, frescoed ceilings and Baroque panel modeling.
MoMA, New York
Known to the world as MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan is among the best-known museums. It houses one of the most impressive collections of modern art on the planet. Artworks of famed artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, Cézanne, Magritte and Warhol are displayed here. MoMA’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, visual and performance arts and electronic media.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
MET is the largest art museum in the US with a permanent collection of two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. Established in 1870, the museum features an impressive range of art, sculptures and paintings that showcases 5,000 years of art. Its permanent collection includes artworks from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from almost all the European masters. The MET contains an assortment of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, Egyptian, European and Islamic art.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Located on the bank of the Seine, Musée d’Orsay is home to many artworks, mainly French art dating back to 1848 to 1914. Famous for its collection of Impressionist work, this museum features the largest number of Impressionistic paintings in the world. It also contains paintings, sculptures, furniture and photographs from Impressionism and post-Impressionism era. It houses masterpieces by Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Morisot, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Located in central Madrid, the Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum. It is famous for one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating back from the 12th century to the early 20th century. It was founded as a museum of paintings and sculptures in 1819, but it also contains important collections of other artworks. The Prado Museum contains many works by Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian and Diego Velázquez.
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Located in St. Petersburg, the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace is the second-largest art museum in the world. Founded in 1764, the museum contains an impressive range of the Western European Art collection that includes European paintings, sculpture and applied art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Its collections comprise over three million items including the largest collection of paintings of the world. The museum is home to masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Rembrandt.
Accademia Gallery, Florence
Located in the birthplace of the Renaissance, the Accademia Gallery is best known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture ‘David.’ The gallery features various other sculptures by Michelangelo and a large assortment of paintings by Florentine artists, mostly from 14th century to 17th century, the Trecento to the Late Renaissance period. It includes works of Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea del Sarto and Giambologna.
The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
This famous Dutch art museum is dedicated to the artworks of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries. Opened in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum contains the largest collection of iconic artist’s paintings and drawings in the world. The museum displays the works of this Dutch post-impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the renowned artists. It is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands, with millions of guests annually.
Musée Picasso, Paris
The Musée Picasso is dedicated to the work of the famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The museum features over 5,000 artworks including paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, engravings and notebooks, and tens of thousands of archived pieces from Picasso’s personal store. Picasso’s family donated a large portion of these items after his death. It showcases an overwhelming collection of the artist’s life and work.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, Africa
Located in Cape Town, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world. This museum showcases a diverse collection of modern art from throughout the continent. The Zeitz MOCAA features a collection of 21st century African art spanning over 100 galleries and includes works by eminent artists such as Chris Ofili, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, Glenn Ligon, Marlene Dumas and Julie Mehretu.