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What are your favorite art museums in the US?

And what are some hidden gems?

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by Anonymousreply 202December 3, 2023 2:56 PM

The Met and The Cloisters

Getty Villa

Nelson Atkins in Kansas City

by Anonymousreply 1April 18, 2023 2:41 PM


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by Anonymousreply 2April 18, 2023 3:02 PM


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by Anonymousreply 3April 18, 2023 3:04 PM

Good choice r2 / r3

by Anonymousreply 4April 18, 2023 3:24 PM


by Anonymousreply 5April 18, 2023 7:14 PM

If you like Dali, this is a treat in St. Petersburg.

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by Anonymousreply 6April 18, 2023 7:19 PM

Thanks r6!

by Anonymousreply 7April 19, 2023 2:00 AM

If you get to Cleveland, Toledo down the road is really good, too. The glass museum next to it is amazing.

by Anonymousreply 8April 19, 2023 2:10 AM

RISD Museum, Yale, Peabody, Wadsworth... little or smallish but great.

by Anonymousreply 9April 19, 2023 2:11 AM

Menil Collection, Houston

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by Anonymousreply 10April 19, 2023 10:25 AM

Op, thank you for starting this thread with the Isabella Stewart Gardner. I believe it is one of the great museums of the world. It’s got to be seen to be believed. The mansion is the art. The courtyard is of course the showstopper. I hope someday the stolen art is recovered.

I’m a Concierge in Philly, and the one museum I push hard is the Barnes Foundation. I’m really passionate about this hometown jewel. There isn’t a piece of art there I don’t love. It is one of the greatest collections of Impressionist art anywhere. Please visit. Like the Stewart, the art is in the arrangement. I think it’s better than the PMA and less touristy.

The Art Institute of Chicago is my favorite big art museum. It has quite a few heavy hitters like Sunday…, Nighthawks, American Gothic etc.

The National Gallery in DC is another favorite. It’s free, first of all, and scenes from Strangers on a Train were filmed there. They have the only Leonardo in this hemisphere. I also just happened to stumble upon a real cool Dadaism exhibit once and Edward Hopper another time.

Those are my American favorites.

by Anonymousreply 11April 19, 2023 10:37 AM


by Anonymousreply 12April 22, 2023 6:06 PM

Detroit Institute of Tthe Arts

Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio, not Spain)

Ringling Museum, Sarasota

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art for something offbeat

by Anonymousreply 13April 22, 2023 6:07 PM

Chicago Art Institute.

by Anonymousreply 14April 22, 2023 6:09 PM

The Gardner is a tea shop for old ladies and most of the art is unremarkable.

by Anonymousreply 15April 22, 2023 6:27 PM

My only complaint on the Gardner is that I don’t like those “palm” trees in the courtyard lol….for some reason they trigger me.

For me, it’s the Cloisters, hands down. Loooove the Met, love the AIOC. I have never been to the Cleveland museum, but now I’m going to try, it looks incredible.

by Anonymousreply 16April 22, 2023 6:31 PM

I love to watch the Milwaukee Art Museum shore like a bird over Lake Michigan 🐦

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by Anonymousreply 17April 22, 2023 6:34 PM

The Art Institute of Chicago is wonderful

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by Anonymousreply 18April 22, 2023 6:36 PM

Pauly Shore

by Anonymousreply 19April 22, 2023 6:36 PM

Both in NYC:

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met).

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

Aside from the Smithsonian, I've not been in any other US art museum, though I've traveled cross-country and up and down the entirety of both coasts. Weird, considering I've visited many museums, art and otherwise, in the UK and Europe!

by Anonymousreply 20April 22, 2023 6:37 PM

No fans of the Corcoran?

by Anonymousreply 21April 22, 2023 6:40 PM

What's sad is all the hype about Calatrava's entrance at the Milwaukee musem (truly a horrible museum - I think my high school had a better wall of art) even though the original building was by Eero Saarinen and is much more distinguished.

by Anonymousreply 22April 22, 2023 6:43 PM

[quote]I have never been to the Cleveland museum, but now I’m going to try, it looks incredible.

And it's free, unless you want to see a special traveling exhibit.

by Anonymousreply 23April 22, 2023 6:44 PM

@r17, *soar* like a bird 🙄

by Anonymousreply 24April 22, 2023 6:47 PM

Second Art Institute of Chicago for its collections. Isabella Stewart Gardner for the novelty of the building and setting. And, to my surprise, my hometown Palm Springs Art Museum is very satisfying.

by Anonymousreply 25April 22, 2023 6:48 PM

The Clark Art Institute, Williams College, Williamstown, MA

by Anonymousreply 26April 22, 2023 6:51 PM

Good choice r26

by Anonymousreply 27April 22, 2023 6:53 PM

When I approach a museum, there are three things that I evaluate:

1. What is the building like? Is there open space? How does the architecture of the building fit into its neighborhood or environment.

2. The collection itself.

3. How the collection is displayed. Lighting, colors of the walls and carpeting, how the items are grouped together, information displayed in descriptions and signage, etc.

I have lived in DC for several decades, and have seen countless exhibits at the National Gallery and East Wing. Sometimes there is a great coordination of elements of these three elements (the original Treasures of Tutankhamun in the 70s, the exhibit of the Barnes Collection in the 90s) and sometimes there is too much discordance for me (the Treasure Houses of Britain exhibit did not fit well in the IM Pei designed East Wing).

The Gardner is one of my favorites because of the use of space and light, and how well the collection fits the space.

by Anonymousreply 28April 22, 2023 7:07 PM

"What's sad is all the hype about Calatrava's entrance at the Milwaukee musem (truly a horrible museum - I think my high school had a better wall of art) even though the original building was by Eero Saarinen and is much more distinguished."

It may be "distinguished", but it's also about as appealing as a Soviet apartment block, circa 1975.

by Anonymousreply 29April 22, 2023 7:45 PM

The Getty in LA and the Met in NY. Would love to see the original of "The Nighthawks" in Chicago. Hopper is one of my favorite artists.

by Anonymousreply 30April 22, 2023 7:48 PM
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by Anonymousreply 31April 22, 2023 7:58 PM

I liked the Getty Villa much more than The Getty Museum.

by Anonymousreply 32April 22, 2023 8:07 PM

The Art Institute of Chicago.

by Anonymousreply 33April 22, 2023 8:10 PM

R20 here. I lied. I was to one other museum here, because of Zachariah Sitchen:

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine.

Stunning Assyrian artifacts and wall reliefs, often depicted but rarely located. Even Wikipedia simply states these and other such panels are "in some New England colleges."

by Anonymousreply 34April 22, 2023 8:28 PM

Link for r34:

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by Anonymousreply 35April 22, 2023 8:35 PM

I drove through Brunswick just last fall, but didn’t stop as I had no idea. Good to know that’s there!

by Anonymousreply 36April 22, 2023 8:37 PM

Did you see the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney, r30?

by Anonymousreply 37April 22, 2023 8:49 PM

R37, no, I don't think I went to the Whitney. My time in NY was limited.

by Anonymousreply 38April 22, 2023 8:54 PM

I LOVE the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and R11 is right. It’s not even about the paintings, it’s about the architecture.

I used to go there when I was a little kid and wanted so badly to live there. I used to look up and daydream about living on the top floor. And I’d think about Isabella living there and all the parties she’d throw and how wonderful it must have been.

Truly a remarkable place to be.

by Anonymousreply 39April 22, 2023 9:07 PM

It's sad, R39, that once she did finish Fenway Court and opened it with Boston at her feet, and then furnished it with even more art, she didn't entertain much. Small musicales but no great balls. She was a bit dotty about money towards the end, wanting to leave enough as an endowment so that her wishes to keep it as she left it would be honored, and spent the last ten or twelve years of her life more or less a recluse.

by Anonymousreply 40April 23, 2023 12:31 AM

Two San Francisco museums are favorites of ours: SFMOMA and the de Young Museum. And the newly reopened Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

by Anonymousreply 41April 23, 2023 3:16 AM

American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

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by Anonymousreply 42April 23, 2023 3:57 AM

R41, is that first museum you listed the one that’s by the Conservatory in Golden Gate? I forgot about that one, but it was a favorite of mine too.

by Anonymousreply 43April 23, 2023 5:16 AM

Love the Visionary in Baltimore, but even more for its gift shop — far and away best gift shop in the country,.

I’m also really fond of the Mutter in Philly

by Anonymousreply 44April 24, 2023 3:36 AM

The Clark is my choice. A small but exquisite collection of old masters including a Piero della Francesca "Madonna and Child With angels". Duveen tried to buy from Clark on the orders of Andrew Mellon. Signorelli, Botticelli, Pesellino, Ghirlandajo... Extraordinarily collection of Impressionists including the most beautiful group of early Renoirs in America. But Clark and his wife also loved salon paintings ...he bought two great Bouguereaus, plus genre scenes by Boldini and Alfred Stevens. The only problem is it takes forever to get to Williamstown but the trek is worth it.

by Anonymousreply 45April 24, 2023 3:54 AM

The Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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by Anonymousreply 46April 24, 2023 3:56 AM

The Met, Cleveland, Detroit, National Gallery, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago Art Institute, MOMA (sometimes) and San Francisco.

Hidden gems? Not all hidden or obscure at all, but:

Frick, Phillip's in DC, St. Louis Art Museum and the Pulitzer in St. Louis. The last IS a true hidden gem.

by Anonymousreply 47April 24, 2023 3:57 AM

MoMa for me. I prefer medium sized museums that focus on smaller time periods but have more to show, as opposed to those covering alot of periods but having less and it just so happens that turn of the century post impressionism to post war pop is my favorite art period.

Also it's no nonsense, and everything is easy to find, and I love going on Friday nights, it's free and there is always an interesting crowd.

by Anonymousreply 48April 24, 2023 4:07 AM

r46 I didn't know about that one. Thanks! (That's one of my favorite Hoppers.)

by Anonymousreply 49April 24, 2023 9:42 AM

Great thread; I'd also add Neue Gallery in NYC. It's a small collection, but they don't get huge crowds & they don't allow photography, so you don't get people endlessly wandering around taking pictures/video with their cellphones

by Anonymousreply 50April 24, 2023 9:50 AM

Thanks for the suggestion r50!

by Anonymousreply 51April 24, 2023 7:53 PM

I second Neue Galerie. The number of masterpieces contained within the small space (which is beautiful in and of itself) is truly staggering. Like being inside a jewel box.

by Anonymousreply 52April 24, 2023 8:45 PM

A bit parochial of me, possibly even provincial, but the Albright Knox in Buffalo is always a must-see. It's undergoing a rebranding as the AKG and will open its latest incarnation in June. Can't wait.

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by Anonymousreply 53April 24, 2023 9:11 PM

Need to visit the Cleveland and Detroit museums.

by Anonymousreply 54April 24, 2023 10:26 PM

R15 You are very sophisticated.

by Anonymousreply 55April 24, 2023 10:29 PM

R1 R11 The glass in the courtyard UV-blocking so all the plants and trees have to be cycled in and out.

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by Anonymousreply 56April 24, 2023 10:59 PM

R15 Dear God, this isn't even a question of taste but scholarship. You're too stupid to be here.

by Anonymousreply 57April 25, 2023 2:48 PM

Can anyone tell me about the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh? Worth a visit?

by Anonymousreply 58April 26, 2023 12:34 AM

It's been 25 years since I've been there, but I loved it. I've always loved Warhol, though.

by Anonymousreply 59April 26, 2023 12:39 AM

I love the DIA.

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by Anonymousreply 60April 26, 2023 1:35 AM

The Kimbell, Fort Worth…lovely collection, beautiful grounds, outstanding architecture.

Simply elegant.

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by Anonymousreply 61April 26, 2023 2:16 AM

Anyone planning to go and report back?

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by Anonymousreply 62April 28, 2023 6:09 PM

I’m sorry for being a philistine but I like the Museum Of Natural History in NYC and the Natural history Museum in Washington DC.

by Anonymousreply 63April 28, 2023 6:17 PM

Too many metrics to consider

On the basis of the optimal museum being a encyclopedic collection of high-quality art in symbiosis with a stunning architecture space in a beautiful physical setting, there are only three: the Met, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

by Anonymousreply 64April 28, 2023 6:47 PM

Interesting, r64. I agree.

And I’ll add that Minneapolis comes very close.

I like the collections at both MFA Boston and The Getty but they faulter in what you call symbiosis. Conversely, the edifices of Brooklyn and St. Louis vastly overshadow the collections.

While I like Baltimore a lot, my vote for a museum on the smaller side that is shocking comprehensive and curated is the High Museum in Atlanta.

by Anonymousreply 65April 28, 2023 7:15 PM

I second the Kimbell in Fort Worth. I also like its neighbors the Amon Carter Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The Modern is architecturally stunning. The Carter is less so as architecture, but its collection includes some of my favorite pieces.

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by Anonymousreply 66April 28, 2023 7:31 PM

Getty Malibu and Cloisters are actually the perfect art/structure/setting symbiosis but of course they have very limited scope in their collections.

by Anonymousreply 67April 28, 2023 7:57 PM

The thing is many of America’s best art museums are kind of the same. Beaux Arts temple with modern ad hoc additions, usually in a park or alongside a broad avenue. So you judge them on the strength of the collections or the beauty of the building, but ultimately there is a kind of institutional sameness between all of them. But then you come across something exceptional, like walking out of Cleveland on the Wade Lagoon side on a beautiful summer day, and it takes your breath away. You’ve walked into a Constabile painting.

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by Anonymousreply 68April 28, 2023 8:08 PM

Or Getty Villa at magic hour. You’ve walked into a two thousand year old fresco.

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by Anonymousreply 69April 28, 2023 8:13 PM

Has anyone been to that Creationism museum (as a joke)? It looks hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 70April 28, 2023 8:33 PM

R68. Indeed. It's just that when you do walk out to the lagoon, you're still in Cleveland.

by Anonymousreply 71April 28, 2023 8:37 PM

[quote]I’m sorry for being a philistine but I like the Museum Of Natural History in NYC and the Natural history Museum in Washington DC.

Two of the great ART museums in the US.

by Anonymousreply 72April 28, 2023 10:21 PM

The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

by Anonymousreply 73April 28, 2023 11:24 PM

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. It's a magnificent 1876 building by architect Frank Furness important as one of the very earliest museums in the U.S., the first art school, a nexus for a great group of artists, a great collection, and it still has the feel of a working academy as well as a museum.

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by Anonymousreply 74April 29, 2023 12:11 AM

Walter Gropius House. And it is across from a sculpture park so you can hit both.

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by Anonymousreply 75April 29, 2023 12:38 AM

The Erotic Heritage Museum in Vegas.

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by Anonymousreply 76April 29, 2023 12:16 PM

Great addition r74

by Anonymousreply 77April 29, 2023 5:13 PM

Love this thread. It’s actually encouraging to see that red states have made efforts toward expanding their cultural awareness by investing in some beautiful collections.

by Anonymousreply 78April 29, 2023 5:36 PM

R68 Cleveland is a lot of things. Magical is not one of them.

by Anonymousreply 79April 30, 2023 11:16 AM

You know it’s entirely possible for a not-nice place to have a wonderful institution (Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Houston are almost never described of as nice but have some of the best art museums in the country.)

Anyhow the fact that someone here keeps making that observation point me in the direction of another theory I have, that the vast majority of people who claim to like art museums are actually totally unable to appreciate or understand art, and simply gravitate to them because they attach a sense of elitism to them (the nature of the institution is elitist and condones wealth and good taste). A DLer posted on here a while ago that he couldn’t understand why a friend who went to Paris attached great importance to visiting the Louis Vuitton store there, and it occurred to me that the majority of people are just LIKE that: shallow.

by Anonymousreply 80April 30, 2023 2:17 PM

I mean no one who likes or understands art would ever say anything bad about the Cleveland Museum. It is one of the best in the country, it’s nondebateable. It’s one of the six museums that Sister Wendy chose for her Americas series (Met, MFA Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Kimball and LACMA.)

So if you come in here and say, “Oh, it’s in Cleveland, it’s not good,” basically reminds me of the scene from Woody Allen where he meets the “happy couple.”

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by Anonymousreply 81April 30, 2023 2:25 PM

For small museums, the Munson William Proctor Art Institute in Ithaca, NY has good collections of art and American furniture.

I can't say about recent years but they have had some excellent curators who have had a lot of freedom to develop strong collections and scholarship.

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by Anonymousreply 82April 30, 2023 2:35 PM

Along that line, R80, there's this comment:

[quote]It’s actually encouraging to see that red states have made efforts toward expanding their cultural awareness

I think R78 meant that as a compliment, but it struck me as condescending and insulting. It implies that "red state" people aren't as capable of appreciating art as well as "blue state" people. It comes across as "Good for you, hillbillies and rednecks! You're on your way to joining the rest of us sophisticates!" It smacks of art as elitism.

The politics of a place are (or at least should be) mostly irrelevant to consideration of its arts. Many of these "red state" museums and collections were well established long before we started dividing everyone into red and blue.

by Anonymousreply 83April 30, 2023 2:39 PM

R81 Nobody said anything negative about the Cleveland Museum.

"Cleveland is magic" won't fly.

by Anonymousreply 84April 30, 2023 2:59 PM

Cleveland is one of the most exciting cities in the world, fuck y'all!

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by Anonymousreply 85April 30, 2023 3:05 PM

R83 speaking of elitism, for the person above who admitted sheepishly, “I’m just a philistine, but I like the Natural History Museums.”

Natural History Museums are fantastic places built and curated by some of the smartest people on the planet, which try to demonstrate and explain natural processes which the vast majority of people will never be able to understand, and can give the visitor a simultaneous appreciation of the physical world but also a better understanding of their infinitesimal insignificance. (Natural History Museums try to understand God, whereas Art Museums try to interpret God.)

Yet because of the elitist cachet of art museum which in kind draws elitist, shallow people, someone is actually ashamed to bring that they like Natural History Museums in this conversation.

by Anonymousreply 86April 30, 2023 3:06 PM

No, R85, fuck you and your New York arrogance.

by Anonymousreply 87April 30, 2023 3:20 PM

It was meant to be condescending, R83.

by Anonymousreply 88April 30, 2023 3:21 PM

R87, you are delusional. Countless cities look down on Cleveland. It's not just a "New York" thing.

by Anonymousreply 89April 30, 2023 3:22 PM

r89: r87 is a troll I already have blocked on another thread. Punch and delete!

by Anonymousreply 90April 30, 2023 3:24 PM

R90, thanks, it's obvious that poster is just a deluded Cleveland "stan".

by Anonymousreply 91April 30, 2023 3:26 PM

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum

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by Anonymousreply 92April 30, 2023 3:30 PM

See r89 is continuously proving his shallowness

He only looks down on Cleveland because other cities do it too!

by Anonymousreply 93April 30, 2023 3:42 PM

R93, nobody can hear you.

by Anonymousreply 94April 30, 2023 3:46 PM

What about applied arts? I enjoyed my visit to the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. Many of the photos in Judith Miller's book "20th Century Glass" were pieces from this museum.

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by Anonymousreply 95April 30, 2023 3:54 PM

More Corning Museum of Glass

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by Anonymousreply 96April 30, 2023 3:58 PM


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by Anonymousreply 97April 30, 2023 4:00 PM

Sorry to break it to the Cleveland haters but the city still has one of the best symphonies and some of the best hospitals in the country. Therefore it can have one of the best art museums.

by Anonymousreply 98April 30, 2023 4:01 PM

I loved the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe

by Anonymousreply 99April 30, 2023 4:06 PM

Great suggestions. Anyone been to the museum of American Illustration in Newport? I've been planning to go next time I'm in the area, but it seems to be closed for renovations at the moment.

by Anonymousreply 100April 30, 2023 4:13 PM

The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson

by Anonymousreply 101April 30, 2023 4:16 PM

Lived in SFV for thirty years. When the LA grind would get too much I'd flee to the bliss of The Getty Villa in Malibu. Order a bottle of Pinot Grigio sit among the olive trees and marbles, splashing fountains overlooking the Pacific. Imagine I was Hadrian. After a bottle, I'd start seeing Antinous around every column. Actually it was Jose but who cares. Troppo bello. One of the few things I miss about El Lay. The Musei not Jose. Come to think of it miss him too.

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by Anonymousreply 102April 30, 2023 4:39 PM

[quote] Yet because of the elitist cachet of art museum which in kind draws elitist, shallow people, someone is actually ashamed to bring that they like Natural History Museums in this conversation.

Or, maybe, because this is an “Art Museums” thread, they were hesitant to bring up a non-art museum.

by Anonymousreply 103April 30, 2023 4:50 PM

Fuck you, R99!

by Anonymousreply 104April 30, 2023 5:39 PM

The International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM

by Anonymousreply 105April 30, 2023 10:32 PM

[quote][R87], you are delusional. Countless cities look down on Cleveland. It's not just a "New York" thing.

Your post just proves you are an arrogant, entitled New Yorker. Pity.

by Anonymousreply 106April 30, 2023 10:40 PM

Why do threads always devolve into pointless bickering? Was sharing info about art museums and then R85 shows up.

by Anonymousreply 107April 30, 2023 10:53 PM

R107, probably because this is a gossip forum.

by Anonymousreply 108April 30, 2023 11:05 PM

The Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington, Kentucky.

by Anonymousreply 109May 1, 2023 1:50 AM

[quote]Anyone planning to go and report back?

I have relatives there, so I might propose it as an outing some weekend.

Elsewhere in Arkansas the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art has beautiful architecture and grounds and a nicely extensive collection of Americana including [italic]The Lantern Bearers[/italic] by my favorite artist (Maxfield Parrish), a number of Warhols, Edward Hopper's [italic]Blackwell's Island[/italic], and Norman Rockwell's [italic]Rosie the Riveter[/italic] (which should be of particular cultural value to our lesbian contingent). I guess those Walton billions aren't exclusively devoted to driving small stores and shops out of business!

That said, purely in terms of the collection, I'd have to cast another vote for the Art Institute of Chicago.

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by Anonymousreply 110May 1, 2023 2:57 AM

Cleveland Museum of Art made the top ten.

I'm glad that's settled.

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by Anonymousreply 111May 1, 2023 3:51 AM

The Whitney and The Frick. I know critics made a big stink about how much they hated the new Whitney, and maybe I went in with low expectations the first time, but I like it.

Of course the Art Institute of Chicago wins by default. You can’t stage your own one-person performance of Sunday in the Park with George anywhere else!

by Anonymousreply 112May 1, 2023 4:02 AM

Surprising comment in Time Out's description of the Cleveland Museum of Art (R111):

It’s one of the most wealthy and most visited art museums in the US; its endowment means admission is free.

by Anonymousreply 113May 1, 2023 4:11 AM

I've never been to the British Museum but I'd really like someday to see the Rosetta Stone.

by Anonymousreply 114May 1, 2023 4:20 AM

We're talking about American art museums, R114.

by Anonymousreply 115May 1, 2023 4:22 AM

More about the Cleveland Museum of Art on wiki:

"With a $755 million endowment, it is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States. With about 770,000 visitors annually (2018), it is one of the most visited art museums in the world."

I guess the people on this thread who insist everything in Cleveland has to be shabby and third rate are wrong.

by Anonymousreply 116May 1, 2023 4:27 AM

The Frick Pittsburgh

by Anonymousreply 117May 1, 2023 4:32 AM

The Museum of Jurassic Technology is more of a satire of museums, both art and otherwise. But it’s so bizarre, I highly recommend it.

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by Anonymousreply 118May 1, 2023 4:33 AM

I haven't been to The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in a long time but I quite liked that.

by Anonymousreply 119May 1, 2023 4:39 AM

The PEM (Peabody Essex Museum) in Salem, MA is a surprisingly fantastic and big but an intimate and manageable regional museum with rotating exhibits borrowed from around the world. Some excellent permanent exhibits include maritime and witch trial items.

Chiluly (sp) Gardens - especially the outdoor gardens with his trippy glass works in Seattle is my favorite. The outrageous collection at The Bellagio in Vegas is the only thing I like about that town.

I get impatient and overwhelmed with major big city museums and can only last about 2 hours. I live in SF and rarely visit MOMA or The DeYoung, and have never visited The Asian and Jewish, but they're on my bucket list for retirement activities.

by Anonymousreply 120May 1, 2023 4:39 AM

^ I went to the Peabody Essex a few years back. I really liked it

by Anonymousreply 121May 1, 2023 4:43 AM

The Crocker

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by Anonymousreply 122May 1, 2023 4:58 AM

The Art Institute of Chicago - best encyclopedic museum

In DC: National Gallery (East Wing), Hirshorn Museum, Freer Gallery

Museums in NYC and LA are far too crowded to be enjoyable. The Whitney USED to be magical, when it was on 75th street. Now that it's on the High Line it feels like visiting Nordstrom.

Hidden Gems: The Kreeger Museum in DC. Private collection of the founder of GEICO. Housed in a Philip Johnson designed mansion. Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond

by Anonymousreply 123May 1, 2023 5:04 AM

The Frick museum. I loved it. In some way, it feels very little like an institution. It really does feel as if you are walking around someone’s home, exploring its treasures.

by Anonymousreply 124May 1, 2023 5:22 AM

Great thread, everyone! Keep it up.

by Anonymousreply 125May 1, 2023 10:42 AM

[quote] I guess the people on this thread who insist everything in Cleveland has to be shabby and third rate are wrong.

One museum does not make a city.

by Anonymousreply 126May 1, 2023 1:19 PM

The Hammer Museum next to UCLA has DL fave Dr. Pozzi as painted by Sargent as well as other gems.

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by Anonymousreply 127May 1, 2023 1:29 PM

r127 many years ago, I attended a Sargent exhibit at the MFA. It was sublime.

by Anonymousreply 128May 1, 2023 1:31 PM

[quote]One museum does not make a city.

I didn't say Cleveland is a rich city with a great economy. Please improve your reading comprehension, R126. Most people know that Cleveland isn't as prosperous and important as it was in the first half of the 20th century.

Btw, one of the city's hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, is ranked fourth in the nation. I'll bet people don't expect that from a Rust Belt city.

by Anonymousreply 129May 1, 2023 1:51 PM

[quote] I didn't say Cleveland is a rich city with a great economy.

And neither did I? All I said was "one museum doesn't make a city". St. Louis, Milwaukee and Detroit are all Rust Belt cities with more appealing architecture and history than Cleveland.

by Anonymousreply 130May 1, 2023 2:21 PM

Not true. Cleveland for a long time led the US in patents because capitalism there meant innovation in a way it never did in Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Louis. Cleveland was also more racially progressive than those other cities. More recently it held a gay games, UNIMAGINABLE in those other three cities. It may not be as "cultured" as Buffalo or Pittsburgh, but it certainly was a leader in the American way of capitalism.

by Anonymousreply 131May 1, 2023 2:26 PM

Some NYC-area ones:

Storm King

Dia Beacon

The Noguchi museum

by Anonymousreply 132May 1, 2023 2:57 PM

I love MASS Moca. It is the largest contemporary art museum in the US.

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by Anonymousreply 133May 1, 2023 3:28 PM
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by Anonymousreply 134May 1, 2023 3:34 PM

Re: Art Institute of Chicago

Its weakness is antiquities. If the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection included the collection of the former Oriental Institute (now ISAC) the museum would probably be considered a peer of the Met and the Louvre.

The ISAC has one of the greatest antiquities collections in the world, including massive bull statuary from Persepolis and llamassu from Babylon. Oddly the museum is relatively unknown. I don’t think anyone here has even mentioned it.

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by Anonymousreply 135May 1, 2023 5:34 PM

ISAC’s bull

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by Anonymousreply 136May 1, 2023 5:36 PM

R135, I'm a Chicagoan and I didn't know about this. It looks incredible, thanks for posting.

by Anonymousreply 137May 1, 2023 5:52 PM

See that’s what fucked up about Chicago, they constantly promote worthless things like Taste of Chicago, the Bean or Navy Pier as tourist attractions, and in fact most people do not know the Oriental Institute exists, is FREE (or was free) and is almost always cool, quiet and empty. Best thing in the city.

by Anonymousreply 138May 1, 2023 6:00 PM

R138, you are so right (although I do love the Bean). Chicago needs to do more to promote it's cultural institutions that are NOT the Field Museum, Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, etc. I have never been to the Chicago History Museum or the DuSable Black History Museum but I have heard universal praise for both.

by Anonymousreply 139May 1, 2023 6:26 PM

*its, not it's

by Anonymousreply 140May 1, 2023 6:26 PM

How about the New-York Historical Society? Doesn't get as much press as the Met or other museums in NYC.

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by Anonymousreply 141May 1, 2023 6:52 PM

R141, the NYHS has had a tumultuous few decades as seen 8n this article about its financial insolvency in 1988, repeated again years after after a new building, and various schemes to unload its collections. For all that it had/has great art collections but "Historical Society" in a name is not so great an asset in this century of "art museums" built as backdrops for IG selfies.

The Hispanic Society in America, another institution whose name probably doesn't help it, has a great collection, the largest collection of Spanish art and history materials outside Spain. A great focused museum with exceptional things, but off the usual.museum paths.

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by Anonymousreply 142May 1, 2023 7:40 PM

Yes, R142, another good choice for an inconspicuous but excellent art museum in NYC.

by Anonymousreply 143May 1, 2023 7:59 PM

[quote]I guess the people on this thread who insist everything in Cleveland has to be shabby and third rate are wrong.

I'm sure the museum looks very fetching by firelight when the Cuyahoga River is ablaze.

by Anonymousreply 144May 2, 2023 1:32 AM

Jesus Christ that was like fifty years ago. How old are people on this website.

by Anonymousreply 145May 2, 2023 1:35 AM

FFS, Cleveland has an excellent art museum, rightfully among any but the very shortest list of best U.S. art museums.

Maybe the two of you who want to argue other points might make another thread to debate the other aspects of the city? Aspects about which I don't give a shit and which have fuck all to do with the subject at hand? The subject was art museums, not boosterism, not hospital rankings, not burning rivers, not its historical place in American capitalism or amongst rust belt cities.

by Anonymousreply 146May 2, 2023 2:02 AM

Hiss hisssss hisss!

by Anonymousreply 147May 2, 2023 2:04 AM

I went to UChicago, so I know the Oriental Institute pretty well. Amazing giftshop, naturally. Maybe they don't promote it much because it is completely surrounded by the University of Chicago campus. It's right off the quad. If you go, the Robey House is practically across the street (Frank Lloyd Wright).

by Anonymousreply 148May 2, 2023 4:09 AM

It has a small museum gift shop which is more like a stand, selling Chinese-mad faux Egyptian crap to old ladies.

Again, really says a lot about a person when the first thing they can say about an art museum is “the gift shop is nice.”

by Anonymousreply 149May 2, 2023 4:14 AM

The Maridon Museum in Butler, PA. Really cool.

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by Anonymousreply 150May 2, 2023 4:33 AM

[quote]Maybe the two of you who want to argue other points might make another thread to debate the other aspects of the city? Aspects about which I don't give a shit and which have fuck all to do with the subject at hand? The subject was art museums, not boosterism, not hospital rankings, not burning rivers, not its historical place in American capitalism or amongst rust belt cities.

Um, R146. There aren't just two people arguing the pros and cons of Cleveland. The orange circle with the diagonal line through it is helpful.

You're absolutely right, R146. Let's talk about something most Americans support: figuring a way to saw off California from the mainland and letting it drift out to sea.

by Anonymousreply 151May 2, 2023 5:38 AM

R131 My goodness! Cleveland had more patents than Milwaukee? You don't say?

This is fucking hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 152May 2, 2023 2:54 PM

The Buffalo AKG Art Museum, the horrible new name for the former Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which truly is a gem.

by Anonymousreply 153May 2, 2023 2:57 PM

Any fans of the MFAH?

by Anonymousreply 154May 4, 2023 11:08 AM

MFAH is magnificent. The best collection by far south of Washington DC.

by Anonymousreply 155May 4, 2023 11:58 AM


by Anonymousreply 156May 4, 2023 12:03 PM

I love the Albright-Knox. I grew up in Buffalo and visited frequently. The Olmsted park system where it lives is truly gorgeous. I’m looking forward to visiting again and seeing the improvements of the museum.

by Anonymousreply 157May 4, 2023 12:07 PM

Museum of Fine Arts Houston

by Anonymousreply 158May 4, 2023 12:18 PM


by Anonymousreply 159May 4, 2023 12:33 PM

R158 MWAH!

by Anonymousreply 160May 4, 2023 12:45 PM

I live in NYC and really want to visit the Cleveland museum. Is it crazy to fly there for the weekend just to see it?

Love this thread.

I enjoyed this museum in Denver…

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by Anonymousreply 161May 4, 2023 1:46 PM

Argh sorry - my link didn’t work above.

This museum in Denver….

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by Anonymousreply 162May 4, 2023 1:48 PM

[quote] I live in NYC and really want to visit the Cleveland museum. Is it crazy to fly there for the weekend just to see it?

Wanna talk about crazy, R161?

Pre-pandemic I took Megabus to Cleveland just to go there. I got on at Port Authority about 9:15pm, stayed awake reading until about midnight and woke up about 6:00am in Cleveland. I stayed at a Comfort Inn (or some such) (with free breakfast included)--and my room was ready so they let me check in early instead of just dropping off my backpack as I had intended), went to the Cleveland Museum (Loved it!) and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (meh...), and aimlessly bummed around the city (including that park mentioned upthread, which is indeed lovely). I then took another bus to Pittsburgh for a day there doing the same.

Spoiler alert: I liked Pittsburgh but did not care much for the Carnegie Museum of Art.

The bus home from Pittsburgh was packed solid until it got to State College when 2/3 of the people got off and then it was as empty as it was going to Cleveland.

Oh yeah, also that same summer, I did in fact get to LaGuardia about 6am one Sunday, flew to St. Louis, saw the Kehinde Wiley exhibit, had lunch, and then flew back to New York. I got a discount fare through work (and SLAM is free) so, as I recall, the whole day cost about $200

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by Anonymousreply 163May 4, 2023 2:15 PM

The Carnegie Museum is magnificent because it combines the art museum with the natural history building. Beautiful building and setting too.

by Anonymousreply 164May 4, 2023 2:20 PM

[quote] I live in NYC and really want to visit the Cleveland museum. Is it crazy to fly there for the weekend just to see it?

You realize that many people actually do do this, right?

by Anonymousreply 165May 4, 2023 2:22 PM

R65/R163 - thank you for the info. Love that.

by Anonymousreply 166May 4, 2023 2:53 PM

[quote]I live in NYC and really want to visit the Cleveland museum. Is it crazy to fly there for the weekend just to see it?

It depends on how much money you have and how cheap the flights are.

That was an interesting story, R163.

by Anonymousreply 167May 4, 2023 3:58 PM

[quote] I live in NYC and really want to visit the Cleveland museum. Is it crazy to fly there for the weekend just to see it?

I want to travel to Detroit just to see their art museum.

by Anonymousreply 168May 4, 2023 4:00 PM

Yes DIA is magnificent and Detroit is easy to get to because of their Delta hub. As long as you are comfortable renting and driving a car, Detroit is an absolutely fine place to visit. I stayed in Bloomfield Hills. Unfortunately I did not get to Cranbook or the Henry Ford, but the DIA is worth the visit in itself.

One interesting thing about Detroit, it’s basically built for automobiles to get from far flung places very efficiently. If you cannot drive/rent a car, it is not worth it because the distances are too great to make Uber cost-effective.

by Anonymousreply 169May 4, 2023 4:20 PM

Good to know R169, I was thinking about trying to book weekends for Cleveland and Detroit for the museums if the flights are affordable.

Is it also necessary to rent a car in Cleveland? It looks like the museum is near some hotels.

by Anonymousreply 170May 4, 2023 5:04 PM

Cleveland does have rapid transit from Hopkins but I rented a car. The museum district is outside the central city. There should be hotels in that area because of Case Western.

I would recommend driving in Cleveland however because then you will get to see the abandoned industrial structures and they are FASCINATING. Otherworldly.

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by Anonymousreply 171May 4, 2023 5:15 PM

R16 palm trees trigger you?


by Anonymousreply 172May 4, 2023 5:17 PM


I stayed at the Comfort Inn on the edge of downtown, across from the university. The light rail was right outside of the front door. Nothing fancy about it but it was perfectly fine, clean and affordable (did I mention free breakfast--DIY waffles even!). The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is about 20 blocks towards the lake and the bus depot is about 10 blocks in the opposite direction.

And I actually found the people to be polite and friendly. My brother-in-law is from Cincinnati so I never heard anything good about "The Mistake On The Lake", but I enjoyed my time there.

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by Anonymousreply 173May 4, 2023 5:33 PM

I like Milwaukee's museum - I don't find it as horrifying as others but certainly its permanent collection needs a refresh or refocus.

I do enjoy the Warhol and Mattress Factory museums in Pittsburgh, though both are small and could be paired together in an afternoon. The most interesting part of the Warhol to me was when they'd open his storage boxes and display all the various papers and bits and pieces from a given two-week period of his life. I think they stopped doing that a few years ago, perhaps due to wear and tear.

by Anonymousreply 174May 4, 2023 5:42 PM

Cleveland's art museum is, as others have stated, fabulous.

However, the Rock Hall of Fame is a vast disappointment, especially for the price. You would expect all inductees to have their own little exhibit wall - even a small bit a few feet wide with a photo, some facts, maybe a costume or piece of theirs.

The RRHOF has.....signatures etched on a big blank wall. Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 175May 4, 2023 5:45 PM

R163 The Carnegie has had issues for the last decade or so. They were renovating a lot of the permanent exhibit areas when we were there circa 2017-2018 and I remember being similarly underwhelmed because SO much was closed.

by Anonymousreply 176May 4, 2023 5:47 PM

[quote] However, the Rock Hall of Fame is a vast disappointment

If I go to Hell when I die, I'm sure it will be designed by I.M Pei.

I love The National Gallery of Art and always find time to stop in whenever I'm in DC.... EXCEPT the East Wing because it infuriates me

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by Anonymousreply 177May 4, 2023 5:56 PM

YES do NOT go to RR HOF

$30 to be shuffled into a dark basement to see badly lit memorabilia with a crowd of idiots

The Smithsonian’s pop music exhibitions are beautifully done and FREE

by Anonymousreply 178May 4, 2023 6:11 PM

You don't like Pei's Louvre Pyramid, R177? Some of the dorms at my college were designed by Pei. They were interesting but not beautiful.

I think it's very cool people here journey to museums in other cities. I once got on a Megabus to Boston at 6 am to see the Goya show at the Museum of Fine Arts, then went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner, then had dinner and went back on the bus, all by midnight. It was a great little trip.

I would like to maybe see the Des Moines Art Center. They have a great Bacon screaming pope.

by Anonymousreply 179May 5, 2023 2:11 AM

Watch the documentary, “This Is A Robbery,” about the infamous art heist, OP! The art has never been recovered.

by Anonymousreply 180May 5, 2023 2:33 AM

Thanks r180!

by Anonymousreply 181May 7, 2023 4:42 PM

I visited the Walters in Baltimore for the first time recently. Loved it and highly recommend it.

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by Anonymousreply 182November 9, 2023 3:07 PM

If you visit the Menil Collection in Houston, you will be very close to the Rothko Chapel. If the weather is cool, it's walking distance. And in the neighborhood, you might notice a fair number of houses painted dark gray with white trim. Dominique de Menil saw houses painted like that in France, liked them, and had some houses in Montrose painted similarly.

by Anonymousreply 183November 9, 2023 11:18 PM

Thanks r183

by Anonymousreply 184November 10, 2023 2:17 AM

No love for the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore? Really?

by Anonymousreply 185November 10, 2023 2:41 AM

r185 meet r182

by Anonymousreply 186November 10, 2023 3:03 AM

Some favorites of mine: Cleveland, Smithsonian Asian, Isabella Gardner, Rubin (Himalayan), Toledo, Asian art Museum (SF)

Nice surprises: Rubin (Himalayan), Butler (Youngstown)

Overrated: National Gallery (terrible layout, uneven collection), Detroit (murals are worth a visit--the rest not so much), Norton Simon (the Asian art is good), High Museum (nice contemporary pieces and folk art, lots of decorative junk), Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (too many portraits of old dead guys)

Just bad: Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio), Carnegie (lots of crappy impressionists donated by a right winger)

by Anonymousreply 187November 10, 2023 3:13 AM

Philadelphia Arts Museum. World Class.

by Anonymousreply 188November 10, 2023 3:17 AM

Walters Arts Museum is awesome - and free. But you have to make it to Baltimore.

by Anonymousreply 189November 12, 2023 5:31 PM


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by Anonymousreply 190November 12, 2023 5:33 PM

I want to see this exhibit so much but I hate driving in Boston.

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by Anonymousreply 191November 12, 2023 6:06 PM

I've been to various museums over the years when I visit Boston, this year was the first time I went to see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Great ambiance with lovely architecture and excellent art. Recommended if you have the time.

by Anonymousreply 192November 13, 2023 12:57 AM

Went to the Kimbell because of Sister Wendy. Still have the T Shirt!

by Anonymousreply 193November 13, 2023 1:11 AM

I'm going to LACMA for the first time. Any thoughts?

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by Anonymousreply 194November 30, 2023 4:53 PM

I thought the Walters was disappointing. The baltimore Museum of Art has some highlights, but isn't that great either.

by Anonymousreply 195November 30, 2023 4:57 PM

The Walters is the Louvre compared to the BMA.

by Anonymousreply 196November 30, 2023 5:02 PM

Any thoughts on LACMA?

by Anonymousreply 197December 3, 2023 1:02 PM

Chrysler Museum in Norfolk and Phillips in DC are two of my smaller favorites.

by Anonymousreply 198December 3, 2023 1:19 PM

The Harvard Museums, of course! And they're free!

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by Anonymousreply 199December 3, 2023 1:22 PM

The Ringling in Sarasota is great.

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by Anonymousreply 200December 3, 2023 1:37 PM

The Phillips is very nice--well focused. I have a neighbor who was a curator at the National Gallery. He and his wife are leaving their collection to the Phillips and iu gather he's happy to have nothing further to do with the National Gallery, even though they are known for acquiring entire collection and modern work is one of their strengths.

by Anonymousreply 201December 3, 2023 2:48 PM

To be fair, the modern curation at the National Gallery is far and away the worst part of the museum. Laughably bad in fact.

Luckily it's in a completely separate building.

by Anonymousreply 202December 3, 2023 2:56 PM
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