Strolling through an art museum and immersing myself in beauty is a favorite pastime. No visit to a city is complete without a trip to the local art museum. Abstracts, Old Masters, Impressionism, classical sculpture, Renaissance – every style and work strike a chord.
Every major city boasts at least one incredible art museum, with some of the most magnificent collections in New York, Los Angeles, Florence, Paris, and London.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Situated on the banks of the Seine, across from the Tuileries Gardens, this museum is a visual feast of art from 1848 to 1914 and has one of the most extensive collections of impressionist art in the world. The collection is housed in an architectural wonder built for the 1900 World’s Fair and is breathtaking. As you wander the exhibits, you find works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, Berthe Morisot, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas, to name just a few.
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre houses some of the world’s most celebrated artworks, with 35,000 objects displayed in 60,000 square meters. The opportunity to see paintings by Leonardo da Vinci (including the Mona Lisa), Caravaggio, Delacroix, sculpture by Michelangelo, the celebrated Venus de Milo, along with Islamic and Egyptian statuary, works by Vermeer… the list goes on. A trip to the Louvre is not a one-day event!
The Met, NYC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of artistic creations from around the globe, from the ancient to the most modern. The collections are extensive, and include African art, American art, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Arms and Armor collections Ancient American art, Asian art, Costumes, Egyptian art, European art, Greek and Roman art, Islamic art, medieval and Byzantine art, modern and contemporary art, and a collection of about 5,000 musical instruments, and that just scratches the surface of the experience.
The Guggenheim, NYC
The building housing the collection is a masterpiece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, first opening in 1959, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Solomon R. Guggenheim had a passion for abstract and contemporary art and founded the museum now bearing his name. Discover works by Cezanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Degas, Picasso, Franz Marc, Pissarro, and countless other artists.
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
The Uffizi Gallery is world-renowned, housing massive collection of the world’s finest masterpieces since 1765. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari, a painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, as offices for the Florentine magistrates, and the word “Uffizi” means “offices.” Imagine standing in front of “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and drinking in the beauty or seeing Michelangelo’s David in all its massive glory. Wander the galleries and experience treasures by da Vinci, Caravaggio, Titian, and a massive sculpture gallery that seems to extend as far as the eye can see.
The Getty, Los Angeles
The Getty Museum sits atop a hill where you can view the expanse of Los Angeles. The collection of paintings is over four hundred notable European works created before 1900, including the Italian Renaissance, 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings, along with art from Rembrandt, Manet, Van Gogh, Rubens, and Degas, and exhibits of Dada, Surrealist, and Fluxus artworks.
Norton Simon, Pasadena
In Pasadena, the Norton Simon collection of European paintings and sculpture spans times from the Renaissance to 20th-century works. This museum houses one of the finest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art on the West Coast. Enjoy works by Botticelli, Giorgione, Raphael, Rembrandt, Goya, and other Old Masters as you wander the galleries.
LACMA, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, has collections of contemporary jewelry, Latin American Contemporary Art, fashions from 1900 to 2000, Greek ceramic, contemporary Middle Eastern art, modern Mexican and Peruvian Silver, Spanish Colonial art, woodcuts, African art, Chinese art, Egyptian art, along with European art and sculpture, Greek, Roman and Etruscan art, Japanese art, Korean art, and modern art. It is well worth planning to spend a day musing at the creativity of humankind across the ages.
The Muses: Goddesses of Art and Science
The word “museum” comes from the Greek, and meant “seat of the muses,” and used to refer to an institution or place of contemplation, place of study, or school of art or poetry. The muses were nine goddesses from Greek and Roman mythology who were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences, and has now come to mean a person or force that inspires the creative arts.