Not every art exhibit or museum is worth traveling to, but some definitely are and should be placed high up on every art lover’s bucket list. While artistic taste is subjective and some people will love what others cannot stand, there are also some pieces and museums which everyone can agree are astounding and awe-inspiring.
Although there are many art museums and exhibits that can truly take your breath away, we have attempted to compile a list of the ones you definitely need to visit, should you ever get the chance. Keep reading to check out the list – and think of any others you would add.
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul
Many people do not go to Istanbul for its modern art, but for its ancient and medieval culture and art. However, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art should not be missed. Touring through the extremely well-curated art exhibits will help any traveler to better understand Turkey’s history and the extreme social, political, and cultural changes that the country has experienced in just the last few decades.
The Broad, Los Angeles
The Broad is one of Los Angeles’ art gems and is focused on contemporary art from the 1950s until the present. The building itself is a work of art and worthy of a visit. The Broad was designed by the famous architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. It features an innovative and aesthetically compelling “veil and vault” concept. However, form does not completely override function – The Broad has two separate floors of gallery space along with the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s international library.
Not only is the museum building itself interesting, dynamic, and commanding, but The Broad has been consistently displaying top-tier content for the last decade. The Broad’s curators focus on collections that are dynamic, contemporary, and diverse, and which engage the public in an aesthetic dialogue.
One of the more interesting exhibitions at The Broad over the course of the last ten years was the piece (Female figure), 2014 by Jordan Wolfson. This piece remains in The Broad collection and is a large installation featuring a life-size figure of a woman with blonde hair, a ballerina dress, and thigh-high, white stiletto boots.
The most arresting aspect of the figure however is the fact that this quintessentially beautiful woman is wearing a deranged witch’s mask. Further observation also shows that she is grimy and covered in dirt. What was once a beautiful display of the female form becomes something much different, more nuanced and complicated.
The Louvre, Paris
While the Louvre is something of a cliché, it is arguably a cliché for a reason. Whether you are bored by classical art or not, everyone needs to wander through the storied halls of the Louvre at least once in their life.
Whether you want to gaze upon the Venus de Milo or join the crowd gazing up at the Mona Lisa, you are sure to remember and enjoy the experience. Just do not bring cake anywhere near the Mona Lisa!
Secession is an absolute wonder of a museum tucked away in a neighborhood of Vienna. Although you may never have heard of this museum, you cannot miss it – it is a gorgeous white building topped with a giant golden sphere which is itself made of metal leaves and filaments.
While the Secession building regularly hosts a number of different exhibitions, it is a phenomenal example of art nouveau majesty both inside and out. You will often find contemporary art shows and pieces and can even attend events in this historically significant building.
The most inspiring aspect of the Secession building however is Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, 1902, which can be found circling one of the lower rooms. The frieze depicts the cycle of birth, life, love, and death in startling beauty and creativity. The delicate beauty of the piece is arguably enhanced by the knowledge that Vienna, and the frieze, would survive two World Wars in the city soon after its installation.
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, Ho Chi Minh City
This gorgeous museum carries the weight of a colonial and war-torn history in its walls, which are, themselves, colonial remnants. While you can spend a full afternoon wandering around the museum, taking in its beauty, and trying to fully understand its history, you can spend just as much time admiring the art which is displayed.
Another fantastic museum in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Temple of Literature. This amazingly preserved medieval garden is a true testament to the value of education, learning, and academia in ancient Vietnam, and is a perfect oasis of calm in an extremely busy city.