story woven into the fabric, and art galleries serve as an amazing look into the past. However, visiting an art gallery is not a common activity for Americans as, in a study of art gallery attendance in recent years, it was found that only 24% of the U.S. adult population visited museums or art galleries. Learn everything there is to know about the most famous art galleries from around the world so that you can see why adding these destinations to your next vacation is so important.
Put simply, an art gallery is just a place where artwork is exhibited and completely open to the public for viewing. Entry is often free, but at prominent art galleries around the world there may be a fee to enter. Generally, once a person is inside, they have free reign to explore all parts of the gallery at their own pace. Galleries are often divided into different types of art due to the fact that, for example, the symbolism in the Allegory of Peace and Justice painting will be vastly different than the inherent beauty of sculptures meant to depict a person’s likeness.
Naturally, finding the right art gallery to visit will feel impossible if you have never been to one in your life before. To that end, the following eight art galleries are some of the most notable in the world and can serve as great starting points for your art visiting journey:
Perhaps one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre Museum is located in Paris, France. It was originally created in 1793 under the idea of creating one of the most famous public museums in the world. It is the national museum and art gallery of all of France and was constructed on top of the 12th century fortress of Philip Augustus. The artwork inside spans from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. in an effort to help people understand and enjoy the visual arts of our time. Situated in New York City and opened in 1929, the museum became so popular that they had to move venues three times before settling in their current location in 1939. Their library holds over 320,000 items and has individual files on over 90,000 artists, making it one of the largest in the world.
Located in Chicago, the Art Institute was founded long ago in 1879 when the city was being rebuilt following the Great Fire of 1871. The goal of this museum has always been to inspire a just society by fostering a progressive understanding of the past. This museum has hosted nearly 300,000 works of art in fields ranging from Chinese bronzes all the way to contemporary design.
The Getty is a museum located near Los Angeles in California and was founded in 1953 by J. Paul Getty who was an art collector. It was then opened to the public in 1954 in J. Paul Getty’s ranch house in the Pacific Palisades. Currently, the museum is home to over 120,000 separate pieces with nearly 20 different exhibitions mounted each year at the Getty Center and Getty Villa.
Few people are aware that the Vatican has its very own museums of contemporary art, founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II. Some of the most prominent works of art inside of these museums include the Apollo Belvedere, the Sleeping Ariadne, the Laocoon group, and the Venus Felix.
The Prado museum first opened its doors to the public in 1819 having been designed by Juan de Villanueva. Originally meant to be a house of science, the wife of King Ferdinand VII convinced him to use the space as a museum to store royal paintings instead.
This art museum was originally founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg, and has grown over the years to now be housed within five interconnected buildings that have been remodeled over the years. There are nearly three million items held within this massive museum, with pieces ranging from stone age era all the way to modern art.
Finally, the Uffizi Gallery has been open to visitors since the 16th century by request and open to the general public since 1769. It was originally built by Giorgio Vasari at the request of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany in order to house the administrative and legal offices of Florence. The most prominent art held inside this gallery includes Renaissance era painting, sculptures, drawings, and more.
Finding the right art museum can be a challenge, especially if you have multiple in your immediate vicinity. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to choose the right art gallery to visit:
While walking through an art gallery may not be the ideal activity for everyone, the beauty and history behind each piece of art tells an important story. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a connoisseur of the arts, an art gallery is family friendly which makes it an ideal place to spend an afternoon. Take the time to find an art gallery in your area so that you can begin exploring the history embedded in art around your area.