Top 7 Smallest Museums
The summertime fun shows no sign of stopping in the art community. Visiting our favorite museums can feel daunting with the hoards of tourists visiting your favorite cities. In the spirit of new experiences, we’ve gathered 7 smaller museums that will help you beat the summer heat while taking in some of the best artworks around the world.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Boston
One of the most remarkable things about this museum is its venue: a 15th-century Venetian-style palace located in the heart of Boston. Inside, there’s a peaceful courtyard surrounded by three stories of galleries. Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Matisse are all represented on these walls. This museum was also home to the biggest art heist in history; the thieves made off with works by Degas, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. The frames of these pieces still empty marking the places where the paintings once hung. Even without the stolen masterpieces, this is still home to one of the best art collections in the world.
Musee Marmottan Monet: Paris
Paris is an unyielding powerhouse of museums. Home to two of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre, and the Musee D’Orsay. However, if you head out to the Musee Marmottan and you might just find their match. The obscure tiny museum packs a giant punch of culture. Home to some of the most famous impressionist works in the world such as paintings by Renoir, Degas, Berthe Morisot, and Monet’s Impression: Sunrise, the painting that gave the Impressionists their name.
The Kröller- Müller Museum: Netherlands
You’d be hard-pressed to find yourself in a city without a Van Gogh Museum. The largest of these museums is the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. However, one of the best — and often unsung hero — is the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. Located roughly an hour outside of Amsterdam, this museum holds over 100 Van Gogh paintings As well as more than a few Seurat’s, Mondrians, and Picassos. In addition, this museum is home to one of the largest sculpture gardens in all of Europe.
The Frick: New York City
Frick is located in the opulent residence of Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919). According to the website, it’s “one of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions”. The mansion itself is a piece of art. In addition, it also happens to be home to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, Whistler, Ingres, and Bellini. Amid the city that never sleeps, this is a tranquil spot to travel back in time and admire great works of art.
Sir Johns Soane’s Museum: England
This is one of the greatest finds in all of London. Here you get a glimpse into the daily life of one the 19th century’s greatest architects: neoclassical maven Sir John Soane. An unconventional genius who directed that his home be left untouched after his death. His home, partly historic, part library, part art collection, is one of the most surprising and intriguing museums bursting with unique pieces from ancient marble sculptures to paintings by Hogarth and Turner.
For nearly 200 years, the historic domicile has been authentically preserved and exhibits his myriad collections and personal objects. Soane began to amass objects from books to casts and models that he felt would benefit them in their studies. Today, guests can view these items in the Model Room. Home to many of the world’s famous monuments and busts. In addition, the museum is always free of charge.
Peggy Guggenheim: Venice
When you think of the Guggenheim, you think of the New York mainstay or Gehry’s architectural masterpiece in Bilbao. However, there is another noteworthy addition to their collection. A stellar gallery on the canals of Venice. This museum shows off the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim. Pollocks and Picassos, Duchamps and Dalis, Mondrians, Miros, and Magritte’s — in a city rich with Italo-Byzantine architecture and Renaissance art, this jewel on the canal is an escape into some of the best modern art in the world.
Museum of New and Old Art: Australia
Possibly the world’s edgiest museum, abundantly addressing themes of sex and death, is the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA). This stylish museum showcases the audacious and precarious collection of Tasmanian millionaire David Walsh. Mona is the largest privately funded museum in the southern hemisphere. The museum itself is an eclectic mix of ancient, modern, and contemporary art in subterranean, mazelike rooms. The artwork is displayed in no particular chronology and has no labels; a far cry from most modern museums. Viewers are guided through headphones and hear a variety of interpretations for each piece. In addition to curator’s perspective on the artwork as well as Walsh’s own views. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects of Melbourne as an all-encompassing experience. It is a thrilling experience and invites visitors to descend down a spiral staircase, then work their way back up the surface, the journey as surreal as the artwork.
To summarize, if you are hoping to experience the arts without the crowds there is no better place than visiting a smaller local museum. They are no doubt they are home to some of the greatest artworks all while avoiding the hoards of people. Beyond that, they are an experience worth having.