The 7 Best Museums in the World

The dog days of summer are here. What better way to beat the heat than spending some time in our favorite places. Whether you’re in Paris or Pawtucket there are a few good museums in your city. Here is a list of the 7 best Museums in the World.

The Smithsonian (United States)

Did you know that the Smithsonian museum is actually a collection of museums? There are 19 world-class museums within the collective. Offering eleven galleries museums and zoos on the national mall in Washington, D.C. Included in this a collection are the American Art Museum, African Art Museum and the Archives of American Art to name a few. If you happen to be in the DC area, any of the Smithsonian museums would be a great way to spend a late August afternoon.

Hero Lincoln Gallery, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

National Gallery of Canada: Ottawa

National Gallery, Ottawa - Best Museums
The National Gallery, Ottawa

This museum has a great collection of art spanning the Middles Ages to the present day. The museum has sections including American, Indian, European, Inuit and Canadian works. It offers a unique, near-complete overview of Canadian art! From early Quebec religious work, through Inuit work from the 1950s, to avant-garde contemporaries. Including the well-represented Group Of Seven. Their passion in the early 20th century was to create art that derived exclusively from Canada and its sublime landscapes. The successful fruits of their labor captured the spirit of a country, and are now displayed on these walls.

Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

Johannes Vermeer, View of Delft, c. 1660 – 1661

With the Rembrandt and Van Gogh museums with the capital city. It is hard to just pick one great museum from the Netherlands. And while the Mauritshuis may not have the encyclopedic scope of many of those other great museums. It does play exceptionally well to its strengths. At the Maurithuis you will find, pictures from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. Three pieces, in particular, have ripened in this palace on the pond. For example, Vermeer’s “View of Delft”. Which miraculously handles real light and atmosphere in paint. While conveying an overwhelming sense of rest.

Musee D’Orsay (France)

Musee D'Orsay, Best Museum
Main Gallery, Musee D’Orsay

The city of lights, Paris is home to some of the best museums around the world. In fact, within France’s capital city there are over 100 museums. The biggest and brightest among them is, of course, The Louvre. However, just a short 9-minute walk away is the Musee D’Orsay. Formally the Gare d’Orsay a Beaux-Arts, a railway station which was constructed in the late 19th century. Musee D’Orsay is home to paintings from the impressionist era, and it is much smaller and easier to navigate than some of its neighbors.

Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

Nagoya Station, Tokugawa Art Museum

Under the reign of The Tokugawa family from 1600 to 1868, Japan enjoyed the longest periods of peace and creativity in the countries history. The Edo period, as it is known, resulted in a Japanese renaissance in which the arts flowered. Due to this enormous influence art from this period directly influenced Western masters. Familiar names such as Manet, Gauguin, and Whistler which have since gone on to become household names. Other exhibits at the Tokugawa Museum, effectively present and contextualize, aspects of Japanese life at the time. They include exquisite samurai swords and armor, pottery and clothing.

The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

Egyptian Museum, Cairo - Best Museums.
Main Gallery, Egyptian Museum, Cairo

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is undoubtedly home to some of the finest archaeological finds from all Egypt. This museum also provides a rare opportunity to simply pop in and within minutes stand tete-a-tete, with Tutankhamun’s golden mask. One of the greatest works of mankind. This portrait is of unbelievable quality, craftsmanship, and beauty. The highly polished gold face — at once a god, a king, and a teenager is worth the trip alone.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa ( South Africa)

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa aptly known as Zeitz MOCAA is a contemporary art museum located at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. Which houses the largest collection of contemporary African art in the world. The museum was commissioned through a public/private partnership between the V&A Waterfront and German businessman, Jochen Zeitz. The museum building was constructed from the conversion of the 57m tall historic Grain Silo, built originally in 1921. Considered by many to be one of the world’s leading collections of contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora,  Zeitz’s collection includes works by artists like Chris Ofili, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kehinde Wiley, Glenn Ligon, Marlene Dumas, Wangechi Mutu, and Julie Mehretu.

Homer once wrote, ” The world is wide, and wonderous is the ways of man”. Lucky for us, some of those wonders are in art museums near us. And while this list doesn’t scratch the surface of all the wonderful museums around the world hopefully it has inspired you to visit those in your neck of the woods.

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