Our Favorite 40 Museums – Part 3

As we continue to celebrate our gallery’s fortieth year in business we encourage you to explore some of these exceptional museums located throughout the US.

*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 and here for Part 2 and here for part 4 of this series.

21. Yale University Art Gallery

Established in 1832 to open up dialogue between students, faculty, and the wider public, the Yale University Art Gallery is both one of the oldest university art museums, and one of the biggest with a collection which has grown to more than 200,000 works of art. The breadth of artworks range from ancient Mediterranean to American decorative arts, paintings, and sculptures; and include the art of Islam, Asia, Europe, and Africa. The museum also has strong holdings of photography, modern, and contemporary art. Located on the Yale University campus in downtown New Haven, Connecticut this encyclopedic museum is worth a trip if you are traveling through southern New England. Separate, but not to be missed is the Yale Center for British Art, which was originally formed from a collection donated to the university by Paul Mellon ’29. Housed in a building designed by Louis I. Kahn, it is home to the largest collection of British art anywhere outside the United Kingdom.

henry Koerner, Tunnel of Love

“Tunnel of Love” by Henry Koerner at the Yale University of Art Gallery.

22. Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The cornerstone of this Texas museum’s collection lies in the Western American artworks of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell which, along with the funds for constructing a building, were a bequest of Amon G. Carter. In the half century since the museum opened they have added significant works by American artists including Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Daniel Chester French, Grant Wood, Stuart Davis, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Robert Laurent. The museum also houses an impressive research library containing over 50,000 volumes which compliment their collection of American art.

23. Fenimore Art Museum

Located in Cooperstown, New York, the Fenimore Art Museum was one of the first museums in the country to acquire a major collection of American Folk Art. This charming house museum, which has grown into an art museum, contains rich collections of American decorative arts; the Clare and Eugene Thaw collection of American Indian art; and fine art which engages and educates visitors about the early history of New York state. They also hold a significant number of materials relating to and about James Fenimore Cooper and his family. Turn your visit to Cooperstown into a double header by visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame once you’ve enjoyed the Fenimore Art Museum.

24. Adirondack Museum

An open air museum located on Blue Mountain Lake which preserves the history and culture of the Adirondack region, this museum is dedicated to showing how people lived, worked, played, and interacted with this region of upstate New York. The natural setting is exquisite, especially when the fall foliage is at its peak, though we like to visit in spring and summer as well. The museum features collections and exhibitions which focus on the unique perspective and history of the Adirondacks. *Note this museum is open seasonally so check their website before stopping by.

25. Hunter Museum of American Art

The Hunter Museum of American Art houses an exceptional range of diverse artworks from Colonial to contemporary and is located on top of a bluff in Chattanooga overlooking the Tennessee River. When visiting you’ll see works by Thomas Cole, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Charles Burchfield, Louise Nevelson, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others.

Charles Biederman #17

Charles Biederman’s #17 from The Hunter Museum of Art.

26. Hyde Collection

An unexpected gem of a small house museum the Hyde Collection holds the personal art collection of Charlotte Pruyn Hyde who wanted to establish an art museum for the city of Glens Falls, NY. Works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Cézanne, Picasso, and Van Gogh share the rooms with 18th century French antiques and American artists including Eakins, Homer, and Whistler.

27. Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Ranging over twenty acres in downtown Los Angeles the LACMA is the largest art museum located in the western US. With more than 100,000 objects it might be easier to mention what they do not have rather than try to synthesize their extensive collections. Their campus includes the Broad Contemporary Art Museum and the Pavilion for Japanese Art, along with five other buildings. LACMA has exceptional holdings of Asian, Latin American, European, American and Islamic art; as well as iconic pieces by Magritte, Matisse, Lichtenstein, Eames, and Cassatt.

28. Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum has wonderful collections of Western American and Asian art, as well as modern and contemporary pieces. Be sure to stop by their superb set of Thorne miniature rooms (the 2nd largest such collection in the US) which were created by Narcissa Niblack Thorne. Outside is a one-acre oasis you can stroll through while enjoying a variety of sculptures and exquisite gardens.

29. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Director Gary Tinterow thinks of works of art as mirrors which can reflect the interests, beliefs, values, personality, and culture of the viewer. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston offers a wealth of collections which visitors may engage with and reflect upon. Housing works from an ancient Roman sarcophagus depicting the Amazon Warrior Women to Charles Willson Peale to Constaintin Brancusi to Frank Stella, this is a museum where one may explore many cultures and works from around the globe. Be sure to take time to visit the “First Lady of Texas”, Ima Hogg’s house museum Bayou Bend, which has a fabulous collection of American art and furnishings situated on 14 acres in Houston.

30. Johnson Museum of Art

Designed by I.M. Pei and located on Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York; the Johnson Museum permanent collection contains over 35,000 works from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Substantial European and American collections include works by Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Dix, Bierstadt, Inness, Hassam, O’Keeffe, and Warhol. The photography collection spans the history of American photography up to the present, and the museum also has wonderful collections of Asian and Pacific artworks.

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