From mesmerising public sculptures, respected art galleries to burgeoning street art, the world’s creative talent has flourished, and great artworks exist throughout.
If you are a person who loves both art and travel like me, then you likely seek out art destinations as you go. Whether it is a specific work by a historic and reputed artist, contemporary art, or just a visit to learn about the culture of the country you’re in and draw down from the creative energy, here is a list of the cities best known for their vibrant art scenes, impeccable art galleries and museums.
Paris should be the first on the list of art destinations for any art lover. France’s capital city has many captivating museums, one being The Louvre, constructed in the 12th Century, which was previously a royal citadel. Paris is home to some of the world’s great masterpieces, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa. Another renowned art gallery is Musee d’Orsay, located in the historic rail station named Gare d’Orsay. This is the place where you’ll find the most extensive artworks of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. The French National Collection, curated between 1848–1914, includes the works of Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Cezanne, and Gauguin. One should include the prestigious Modus Art Gallery to satisfy the love for contemporary art. Other popular modern art galleries include Yvon Lambert, Galerie Xippas, and La Maison Rouge exhibition galleries.
New York City, USA
New York City is the hotspot of reputed museums like ‘The Met’ or the highly popular Metropolitan Art Museum. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is enchanting and it is recommended to explore the galleries’ network in the most favoured areas like Lower East NYC, Chelsea, and the lower Manhattan SoHo and Tribeca areas. Head towards Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighbourhood to explore the graffiti-filled streets and trendsetter contemporary galleries that showcase new talented artists. Make sure to walk the NYC Socrates Sculpture Park and the Queens Museum.
Whether it is a classic form of art or a more modern and contemporary genre, London is the city for all. Established in 1824, The National Gallery at that time showcased 38 paintings, and at present displays over 2,300 works of art. Located in Trafalgar Square, the gallery has classic pieces like the Sunflower portrait by Vincent van Gogh and Hay Wain art by John Constable. At Tate Modern, you can find masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, David Hockney and Andy Warhol. Saatchi Gallery is another exhibition gallery that houses transformative contemporary works. For a less formal setting, you should visit Shoreditch, situated in the East End, where you’ll find some of the city’s most impressive street art.
Tokyo is beautiful, as is it’s the art and cultural scene. With several galleries in skyscrapers, backstreets and historic neighbourhoods. SCAI — The Bathhouse is the premier, most reputed contemporary art gallery tucked away in an original architecture style buildings. Even though the 200-year-old enchanting Bathhouse is presently an attractive white-walled space for artwork, it still offers glimpses of the past such as the robust wooden lockers where bathers used to keep their shoes before bathing. Roppongi is home to the iconic Mori Art Museum, an exceptional draw to any art lover.
There is nowhere quite like Florence for exploring the art of the Renaissance period. Visit Uffizi — I saw a Picasso, Miro, Dali exhibition there — to explore the Medici family’s colossal collection that includes art pieces by Michelangelo, Giotto di Bondone, Sandro Botticelli, and Da Vinci, among others. The Gallery of the Academy of Florence gives a more in-depth insight into the Renaissance period with their displayed works. Visit the iconic David sculpture by Michelangelo, the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, and Raphael’s artworks. To explore contemporary art, head towards the Center for Contemporary Culture in Florence for premier works by Italian artists.
Miami’s vibrant art scene includes Art Basel in Miami, one of the world’s most renowned international art fairs. Visit the Wynwood Arts District for galleries galore and find over 30 contemporary art spaces and studios to browse. For the best of modern and contemporary art, visit the waterfront Perez Art Museum.
The home of Museu Picasso, Barcelona, should feature as mandatory for passionate art lovers. Museu Picasso has a comprehensive art collection by Pablo Picasso. For vast Romanesque architecture, Gothic paintings and Baroque artworks find your way to Museu Nacional d’Art. Don’t overlook the young, contemporary galleries like Artevistas. No Barcelona trip will be complete without a visit to see Gaudi’s awe-inspiring architecture.
Vibrant artworks and renowned galleries are scattered around the globe, this guide offers just a little taster of what awaits us for when we can get back out there to visit them. Always seek out the street art too, as it offers an invaluable look at the culture, politics and voice of the people. All, benefit from the insight of a guide.