“Summer is a great time to visit art museums, which offer the refreshing rinse of swimming pools – only instead of cool water, you immerse yourself in art.” – Jerry Saltz
Wikipedia recently compiled a list of the 100 most visited art museums in the world. While London, Paris, and other major cities throughout Europe, Asia, and South America covered a vast portion of the compilation, America proved that it’s no slouch either when it comes to art museums. Here are the top ten most visited art museums in America:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
Located in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply, the Met, is home to Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, cultural treasures in its Egyptian Collection, and works from names like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Renoir, and many other contemporary artists and features.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Established in 1937, the National Gallery of Art offers a tremendous selection of modern works, as well as an impressive collection of American and European paintings. This museum also boasts the only Leonardo da Vinci painting (a portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci) in the United States, and admission is always free.
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
We write about the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) a lot here, particularly because of the museum’s dedication to embracing technology, design, and innovative ideas in addition to displaying incredible contemporary art. Here you’ll find Van Gogh’s Starry Night, as well as works by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Not one, but two locations contain the works in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. One features a vast array of pre-20th century European paintings and sculptures, and the other features a remarkable collection of antiquities.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection features many Impressionist and Post-impressionist works, as well as a large collection of African American art. Works by Renoir, Cassatt, Monet, Manet, and Grant Wood can all be found at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
There are more than 450,000 works to behold in the Museum of Fine Arts’ impressive collection, making it one of the largest museums in the United States, and also one of the most visited. Here you’ll find sprawling exhibitions of American and Egyptian art, as well as French Impressionist paintings. The MFA also boasts the largest collection of Japanese art outside of Japan.
de Young Museum, San Francisco
Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, this fine arts museum offers an extensive collection of American art, with particular attention paid to artists from California. California Spring by Albert Bierstadt, Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks, and Three Machines by Wayne Thiebaud are just three of the many impressive works that are part of the de Young Museum collection.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA
Also known as LACMA, this is the largest museum west of Chicago, with an estimated 100,000 works of art in its possession. With impressive Asian art exhibitions, and a special focus on American artists like Chris Burden, it’s no wonder that LACMA is one of the most visited museums in the country.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC
The Guggenheim Museum opened in 1939, and is as beloved for its interior architecture as it is for its vast collection of art. Here you’ll find many abstract works as well as contemporary pieces from the Impressionist, Dada, Pop Art, and Surrealist movements.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Last but not least, another one of the most visited museums in America is also the Smithsonian Institute’s most popular museum: the American Art Museum, located in downtown DC. Works from all genres can be found here, but Manhattan Manhattan by Georgia O’Keefe and Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper are two of the museum’s most prized works.
Have you been to any of these art museums? Which one is your favorite?