By Kim Windyka
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but we can probably all agree that some of the top museums in the country – and the pieces within them – are undeniably gorgeous! Find your muse at one of these captivating art hotspots.
Guggenheim (New York, NY)
Head to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and you can’t miss this architectural landmark, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Indeed, the building is a masterpiece in itself, but the art inside is equally impressive. Instead of separate collections, visitors are treated to a fully integrated museum experience, where all of the pieces complement each other rather than compete with each other. View our list of free museums in NYC.
The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
It’s not very old – only built in 1997 – but this museum, which is part of The Getty Center complex, has quickly become a popular and treasured centerpiece of SoCal culture. Not only will you find a large selection of European art, but Asian and American photos can be spotted as well. There’s also the beautiful Central Garden, featuring tranquil fountains and hundreds of plant species, that’s perfect for a sunny afternoon stroll.
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA)
The MFA was established in 1870. Over the past 144 years, it has amassed incredible collections of Egyptian artifacts, paintings and pottery from China and Japan, French impressionism, and work from the good ol’ US of A. As a bonus, on a few special days throughout the year, museum admission is completely free to the public!
Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)
This institution, in our nation’s capitol, has the fitting distinction of being the first collection of American art in the country. In addition, more than 7,000 artists are featured throughout the SAAM, where the pieces span from the Revolutionary War era to present day. Modern art fans will appreciate that the museum has been focusing on adding to its contemporary offerings in the last few years.
De Young Museum (San Francisco, CA)
While the nearby San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is temporarily closed until 2016 for a major renovation and expansion project, you can still get your fill of culture in the Bay Area at this Egpytian-inspired space. Specializing in costumes and textiles in addition to art from around the globe, this isn’t your typical stuffy gallery. Before you leave, make sure to scope the priceless views (for free!) from the in-house observation deck.