Our Favorite 40 Museums – Part 2

We’ve found one of the best ways to study art is to see it in person, which we’ve written about in this post. As we continue to celebrate our gallery’s fortieth year in business we encourage you to go out and explore some of these fabulous museums.

*Note this list of museums is not in any particular order. To read about some of the other museums on our list click here for Part 1, here for Part 3 and here for Part 4 of our favorite museums series.

11. Philadelphia Museum of Art One of the largest museums in the US, the Philadelphia Museum of Art grew out of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition art gallery at America’s first World’s Fair. Their collections showcase impressionist, decorative and modern arts, an extensive collection of arms and armor, as well as significant textile and costume holdings. Artworks by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and Philadelphian born painter Thomas Eakins are featured. The museum buildings themselves are works of art so make sure to allow time to explore the outside of the museum as well.

Irene Rice Pereira Two Triangles

Irene Rice Pereira “Two Triangles” from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

12. Bowdoin College Museum of Art A gem of a college museum located in Brunswick, Maine includes in their holdings American and European paintings and sculpture, decorative arts,  and works on paper. The museum’s print collection was recently enhanced through a generous gift of over 1,500 works. 

13. Corning Museum of Glass Located south of the Finger Lakes the Corning Museum of Glass is an amalgamation of glass seen through the lenses of art, history, technology and science. With live glass blowing demonstrations alongside incredible collections of both art glass and historical glass this museum is unique in its broad focus of a single subject and not to be missed.

14. Rockwell Museum of Western Art Though located far from the American West in Corning, New York this museum focuses on many classic topics related to western art. The superb collections of art of the American West combined with historical and contemporary Native American art and cultural objects are part of the Robert F. and Hertha G. Rockwell collection. Various western themes help tell the story of the American frontier and the cultures of Native North American Indians. 

15. Newark Museum The largest museum in NJ, the Newark Museum recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Combining the natural arts with the fine arts the Smithsonian Magazine has said this museum is “The place where Shangri-la and New Jersey meet.” You can gaze at the stars in the state’s first planetarium or enjoy their 80 galleries of American, Asian, African, and classical artworks. 

16. Greenfield County Museum of Art Housing one of the largest public collections of Andrew Wyeth watercolors, the Greenfield County Museum of Art also holds a substantial collection of art which focuses on the South. With works by Jasper Johns, Georgia O’Keefe, and Edward Hopper this museum is worth a visit if you are near Greenville, South Carolina. 

Tom Robertson Biomorphic Abstraction

“Biomorphic Abstraction” by Tom Robertson at the Greenfield County Museum of Art.

17. Anchorage Museum As their mission statement says, “The Anchorage Museum brings the best of Alaska to the world and the best of the world to Alaska.” The permanent collection houses a variety of Alaskan artwork, from contemporary Alaska artists to works done by Sydney Laurence. There also is a gallery which focuses on the history and ethnology of the state. The Smithsonian Institution has loaned the museum hundreds of indigenous Alaska artifacts for their Arctic Studies Center

18. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Co-founded by William Rockhill Nelson and Mary McAfee Atkins the Nelson-Atkins Museum was originally established in Kansas City, Missouri to rival the best museums in the country. Home to diverse collections of artworks ranging from ancient to contemporary, the museum also includes an outdoor sculpture park. Highlights from the museum include works by Thomas Eakins, Henry Moore, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh, Caravaggio, and several enormous shuttlecock sculptures by Claes Oldenburg. 

19. Connecticut Historical Society Founded in 1825 to house an extensive collection of Connecticut-related artifacts and art, the Connecticut Historical Society is a diverse look at the Nutmeg State through its various historical objects and artworks. Ranging from Colt firearms to native American baskets to exquisite examples of early American Connecticut-made furniture along with rare 18th and 19th century inn and tavern signs this small museum located in Hartford is bursting with cultural and historical items.

20. National Gallery of Art This museum was originally established to house the art collection of Andrew W. Mellon. Mr. Mellon offered both his collection and the money to construct a building to house it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which the President and Congress accepted. Designed by architect John Pope Russell the building was opened in 1941. Over the years many other famous collections of art and individual donations have been added to the National Gallery of Art. From the art of the Renaissance to present day art the National Gallery of Art now houses works by more than twelve thousand artists.

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