Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ours Go to 11: Volume 17, My Favorite Art Museums

I love art.

Not just in the wider context of artistic creation, in terms of theater, film, music, etc., but specifically in terms of fine art.

Though the breadth and depth my appreciation has evolved over the years--and continues to--I enjoy art of many styles, eras, genres, countries and levels, from the world's most renowned museums to art fairs and student exhibitions.

On a recent trip to Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, I explored 11 art museums (and/or sculpture galleries) over just 4 days, and have now visited nearly 160 museums plus a variety of churches, palaces, schools and other places where art is prominently displayed.

I certainly don't have a photographic memory about what paintings, sculptures and other art pieces I've seen and enjoyed at each museum, especially ones I was last at many years ago. So this list is something of an unscientific melange blending my (sometimes vague) recall of the quality of the collections and how much I enjoyed my visit(s)--including for reasons that could go beyond the art itself, such as the building, setting, cost, etc. (Although the art must be pretty incredible to merit inclusion, which is why the Guggenheim Bilbao isn't here despite the amazing architecture by Frank Gehry.)

Museums I've been to more often might naturally feel like favorites, even if their collections are perhaps lesser than those ranked lower or omitted, and those I've been to more recently are also likely to benefit. So it's quite possible this list would be ordered differently at another time, but to be taken with an inevitable grain of salt, these are:

My Favorite Art Museums Visited (not necessarily a "Best of" list) 

1. The Art Institute of Chicago
2. National Gallery, London
3. Pitti Palace, Florence
4. Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
5. Museum of Modern Art, New York
6. National Gallery, Washington, DC
7. Louvre, Paris
8. Prado, Madrid
9. Detroit Institute of Arts
10. Guggenheim Museum, New York
11. Secretaria de EducaciĆ³n Publico building, Mexico City (Diego Rivera murals)

And several more great ones: 

Cleveland Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia
Tate Modern, London
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Courtauld Gallery, London
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Milwaukee Art Museum
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Getty Center, Los Angeles
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Belvedere, Vienna
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Reina Sofia, Madrid
Vatican Museum, Vatican City
St. Louis Museum of Art
Legion of Honor, San Francisco
Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Centre Pompidou, Paris

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