Top Art Museums and Why You Should Visit

There are so many reasons you should visit America’s top art museums. When most people think about fine art, they instantly think about travelling to Europe. You don’t have to go far to see great art. No matter where you travel in the United States, you are sure to find some amazing, world class art collections to fill your life with beauty and inspiration. Be sure to check one of these amazing places out on your next trip!

  1. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

This is the biggest collection of art in the country, by far. The enormous and majestic building is sure to have an exhibit you will love. It faces Central Park on Fifth Avenue. After you see the amazing works, take a walk through New York’s gorgeous Central Park to reflect. The first floor has ten wings chock full of masterpieces. This floor is home to the American Wing, Modern and Contemporary Art, Egyptian Art, Medieval Art Greek and Roman Art, Oceana and the Americas, and Arts of Africa.

The second floor is home to musical instruments, drawings and prints, photography and other art from Asia. This is also where you will find their collection of sculptures and European Paintings. They also just finished renovating their Islamic Wing, which I have yet to see. Here you will see decorative objects, tapestries, and an entire room taken straight from 18th century Damascus. There are few places with such a wide range of art.

  1. New Museum of Modern Art in New York City

This is the place to go if you are looking for the more modern, and sometimes strange art. I visited when they had an Andy Warhol photography exhibit and it was a beautiful look behind the scenes into his life, work, and relationships. They host a wide range of interactive exhibits as well. Some are so large and you can climb through and even touch the art. While you can’t touch everything, it is cool to be in a place that allows you to interact with the sculptures and structures.

It is certainly an experience like few others. I often suggest exhibits from this museum to people looking to get their teens interested in art. They often have some of the most relatable works for young, modern people, which is a good way to start thinking about how classical art shows lives of the past.

  1. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is the second largest collection of art in the United States. They are most well-known for their extensive collection of impressionist, American, and post-impressionist art and you can see more Claude Monet than nearly anywhere else. I love the collection of 20th century furniture. It is interesting to see the shift from the intricate designs of old, to the streamlined, mass manufactured furniture of today.    

  1. Philadelphia Museum of Art

This massive art museum has over 225,000 pieces from all over the world. They are most known for their Chinese porcelains, Turkish and Persian rugs, and one of the largest Rodin (sculpture) exhibits in the world. They have some of the most important and influential modern, impressionist and post-impressionist art pieces of any museum. You are sure to get a beautiful and inspiring view of the world here.

  1. National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC

This is another one of the largest art collections in the United States. They even have the only da Vinci piece on display in the Americas. They also have a huge renaissance collection, Spanish art, impressionists, and Dutch masters. The East Wing is dedicated to their vast collection of modern art. They have a total of over 115,000 pieces on display. Whether you are looking for painting, photographs, decorative objects, sculptures, or drawings, you will have a ton to look at.  

  1. The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California

This museum is a piece of modern art in and of itself. Richard Meier designed the new complex. It was built from gleaming white travertine marble. It has five pavilions all connected to the courtyard. Each building is filled with art from a specific time period. It is so interesting to see how different areas of the world created art during the same years.

I hope visiting these museums will enhance your life like it has mine. Art is something that has been around forever, and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Everyone can benefit from looking at the world through someone else’s eyes. You will learn more about yourself, and the people around you. Use this link to find a great museum near you: