The Eight Most Memorable Museums In The World
Museums continually expand perspective and understanding. Whether it’s by confronting dark chapters in human history, witnessing the future of visual arts, or exploring artefacts from around the world, they’re institutions that leave a lasting impression.
From a traveller’s point of view, however, museums take trips one step further, providing visitors with more in-depth knowledge of a local area, as well as a look at the destination’s past and future. Here are just a few of the world’s most memorable.
The Louvre, Paris
The most obvious entry on this list, Paris’ time-honoured The Louvre, is easily one of the world’s most widely recognised and praised institutions of art.
The Louvre began life as a medieval fortress before becoming the icon it now is. Today, it houses collections that span centuries and contain some of the most famous and important works in history, including Leonardo da Vinci’s storied ‘Mona Lisa’ and the ancient ‘Venus de Milo’.
Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver
Contained within an award-winning structure of concrete and glass famously built by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson is the Museum of Anthropology. The museum houses almost 50,000 artefacts and art pieces procured from just about every conceivable part of the world. From Asia and Oceania, to Latin America and Europe, it provides visitors a comprehensive and adventurous look at the culturally diverse ways of knowing life.
The sheer multitude of Indigenous artefacts from cultures around the world will take hours – perhaps even days – to fully explore. And that’s not even scratching the surface, as the museum then leads to the Laboratory of Archaeology, which houses an additional 535,000 archaeological objects.
Museum of Modern Art, New York
From the MET to the Guggenheim, New York has long been an endless well of discovery for enthusiastic art lovers. Although few can claim the consistency and kinetic energy of the great Museum of Modern Art (MoMa).
The museum’s collection of more than 200,000 pieces of contemporary art across paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, films and more, is legendary. And it’s this fiercely inclusive, all-encompassing approach that has expanded the idea of modern art in the 21st Century. Not bad for a museum that opened with only eight prints and one drawing.
Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
Though confronting and brutally honest, those who want to learn from of the darker chapters of human history, should look no further than South Africa’s Apartheid Museum.
Vulnerable and open, the exploration of South Africa’s complicated history with racial segregation details life back then before emerging with the triumph of human spirit and guiding principles of equality, responsibility and democracy.
Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC
Part of the world’s largest museum and research complex, the National Air and Space Museum enjoys immense popularity attracting around 8 million visitors per year. And it’s no wonder; there are more than 60,000 things to see here, each a piece of aviation history as humankind’s obsession with exploring the skies and beyond is detailed by objects both small and large.
Must-sees include Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit, various out-of-service spaceships, and chunks of moon rock you can actually touch.
Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid
Often cited as one of the greatest art institutions of our time, the Museo Nacional Del Prado (widely known as the ‘Prado Museum’), stands as a symbol of national pride in Madrid. An indelible part of European culture, it’s best known as the home for various seminal masterworks that each had an immense impact on the history of art itself, from ‘Las Meninas’ by Velazquez, to ‘The Three Graces’ by Rubens.
The museum’s collection of mainly 16th to 20th Century art was procured over centuries by members of the Spanish Royal Family, making up a tastefully displayed and highly curated series of galleries that are amongst the most visited in Europe.
Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless, Tokyo
The world’s first digital art museum, teamLab Borderless is a multi-sensory experience that completely submerges visitors in the tech-forward universe of Japan’s maverick art collective. Various technicolour digital artworks are displayed here, each large in scale. They pull visitors into visually arresting and extraordinary spaces across five different zones designed to break barriers between audience and art through intense interaction.
Transforming physical spaces into otherworldly evolutions of graphics, colour and light, teamLab Borderless has quickly become one of Tokyo’s most sought after museums. So it’s advisable to book tickets in advance.
Museum Island, Berlin
Berlin’s UNESCO World Heritage Listed Museum Island isn’t just one museum, it’s comprised of several, all adjacent to each other on the banks of the river Spree. The veritable oasis of historical wonders ranges from the Islamic art of The Pergamom Museum, to the meticulous sculptures and Byzantine art of the Bode Museum. For art and history buffs, there’s no other space with such grand scope.
(Lead image:The Way of the Sea – The Nest at Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless / supplied)
Published 05 August, 2019