Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Favorite Museums Visited in the '00s

Since I have been to many more art museums than anything else, I'll separate out this list accordingly. I'm basing my rankings on how well I remember my visit, focusing mainly on the quality of the collections and special exhibits, not the architecture, price, gift shop, etc., and fully admit that my recollections are inexact. And while I have tended to visit art museums in almost every major city I've been to, I have not typically sought out history or science museums on vacation so omissions are not to be taken as a quality judgment.

Non-Art Museums (U.S. & Worldwide)

1. The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI
2. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
3. Vasa Museum, Stockholm
4. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO
5. The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
6. Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, KY
7. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem
8. Winston Churchill Museum, Fulton, MO
9. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland
10. Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago

Honorable Mention:
Experience Music Project, Seattle; Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville; Dublin Writers Museum; Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Springfield, IL; Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum; Cabinet War Rooms, London; Skansen (outdoor museum), Stockholm; Field Museum, Chicago; Chicago History Museum; National Museum of American History, Washington, DC

Art Museums (U.S. & Canada)

1. The Art Institute of Chicago
2. The Barnes Collection, Lower Merrion, PA (will be moving to downtown Philadelphia)
3. Museum of Modern Art, New York
4. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
5. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
6. Philadelphia Museum of Art
7. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
8. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
9. McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
10. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Honorable Mention:
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; Detroit Institute of Arts; Cleveland Art Museum; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; Musee de Beaux Arts, Montreal; Indianapolis Museum of Art; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Toledo Art Museum; Milwaukee Art Museum

Art Museums (Rest of World)

1. National Gallery, London
2. Hermitage, St. Petersburg
3. Pitti Palace, Florence
4. Musee d'Orsay, Paris
5. Prado, Madrid
6. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
7. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
8. Reina Sofia, Madrid
9. Tate Modern, London
10. Vatican Museum, Rome

Honorable Mention:
Egyptian Museum, Cairo; Museum Borghese, Rome; Rodin Museum, Paris; Louvre, Paris; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Courtauld Institute Gallery, London; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Picasso Museum, Barcelona; Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid; Museo El Greco, Toledo

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