Skip to content

10 Best Museums in the United States.

Los mejores museo de Estados Unidos de América.

Are you visiting the United States and want to know its most outstanding museums? In this article we have compiled the 10 best museums in the United States, describing their main features so that you know in advance what you will find in them

1- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City

Museo MoMA de Nueva York en Estados Unidos.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue.

It plays an important role in the development and collection of modern art, and is often identified as one of the largest and most influential modern art museums in the world.

MoMA’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media.

The MoMA Library includes approximately 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, more than 1,000 periodical titles, and more than 40,000 files of ephemera on individual artists and groups. The archives contain primary source material related to the history of modern and contemporary art.

Attracted 1,160,686 visitors in 2021, a sixty-four percent increase over 2020. Ranked 15th on the list of the world’s most visited art museums in 2021

Museo de arte de Nueva York o MoMA.

The museum contains works by such prominent artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Joan Miró, Aristide Maillol, Piet Mondrian, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, René Magritte, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Arshile Gorky, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and hundreds of other internationally recognized artists.

Some of the museum’s most outstanding works include:

  • The Starry Night (Van Gogh)
  • The Persistence of Memory (Salvador Dalí)
  • Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (Pablo Picasso)
  • The Dance (Henri Matisse)
  • Campbells Soup Cans (Andy Warhol)
  • Self-Portrait with Short Hair (Frida Kahlo)

2- The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York

Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, colloquially“the Met“, is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere

Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among 17 conservation departments

The main building, located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, along Museum Mile on the eastern edge of Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is one of the largest art museums in the world in terms of floor space. A second, much smaller venue, The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, contains an extensive collection of art, architecture and artifacts from medieval Europe.

Interior del MET de Nueva York.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 with the mission of bringing art and art education to the American people. The museum’s permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings and sculpture by nearly all European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art.

The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum houses encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, as well as ancient arms and armor from around the world. Several remarkable interiors are installed in its galleries, ranging from 1st century Rome to modern American design.

The Fifth Avenue building opened on March 30, 1880. In 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, the museum attracted 1,958,000 visitors, ranking fourth on the list of most visited art museums in the world.

3- Art Institute of Chicago

Instituto de Arte de Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Chicago’s Grant Park and founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the world. Renowned for its curatorial work and popularity among visitors, the museum receives approximately 1.5 million visitors a year.

Its collection, managed by 11 curatorial departments, is encyclopedic and includes such iconic works as Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on the Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Its permanent collection of nearly 300,000 works of art is augmented by more than 30 special exhibitions organized annually that illuminate aspects of the collection and present cutting-edge curatorial and scientific research.

As a research institution, the Art Institute also has a conservation and conservation science department, five conservation laboratories, and one of the largest art history and architectural libraries in the country-the Ryerson and Burnham libraries.

Interior del instituto de arte de Chicago.

The growth of the collection has justified several additions to the 1893 museum building, which was built for the World’s Columbian Exposition. The most recent addition, the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, opened in 2009 and increased the museum’s square footage to nearly one million square feet, making it the second largest art museum in the United States, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Art Institute is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leading art school, making it one of the few remaining unified art institutions in the United States.

In 2017, the Art Institute welcomed 1,619,316 visitors, and was the 35th most visited art museum in the world. However, in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum was closed for 169 days, and attendance was down 78% from 2019, to 365,660.

4- National Gallery of Art, Washington

El National Art Gallery de Washington DC.

The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D.C., United States, located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, on Constitution Avenue NW

Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was created privately in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated a major art collection and funds for its construction

The core collection includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Browne Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale

The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals and decorative arts traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in America and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder.

The Gallery’s campus includes the original neoclassical West Building, designed by John Russell Pope, which is attached in the basement to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 25,000-square-meter sculpture garden. The Gallery often presents special temporary exhibitions spanning the world and history of art. It is one of the largest museums in North America.

For the breadth, scope and magnitude of its collections, the National Gallery is widely regarded as one of the finest museums in the United States of America, often alongside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts

Of the top three art museums in the United States by number of annual visitors, it is the only one that does not charge admission. In 2021 it attracted 1,704,606 visitors and ranked fifth on the list of most visited art museums in the world.

5- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Museo de arte del condado de Los Ángeles.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is an art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the vicinity of Miracle Mile in Los Angeles. LACMA is on Museum Row, next to the La Brea Tar Pits (George C. Page Museum).

LACMA was founded in 1961, separating from the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Four years later, it moved to the Wilshire Boulevard complex designed by William Pereira. The museum’s holdings and collections grew in the 1980s, and it added several buildings beginning in that decade and beyond

Colección del Museo de Arte del Condado de Los Ángeles.

In 2020, four campus buildings were demolished to make way for a rebuilt facility designed by Peter Zumthor. Its design drew strong opposition from the community and was criticized by architectural critics and museum curators, who objected to its cramped gallery space, poor design, and exorbitant costs.

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. It attracts nearly one million visitors a year and features more than 150,000 works spanning the history of art from antiquity to the present. In addition to art exhibitions, the museum offers film series and concerts.

6- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Museo de Arte Whitney de Nueva York en Estados Unidos.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, informally known as“The Whitney“, is an art museum located in the Meatpacking District and West Village neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York City.

It was founded in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), a wealthy and prominent American socialite, sculptor and art patron, after whom it is named.

Colección del museo Whitney.

The Whitney focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Its permanent collection, which spans from the late 19th century to the present, comprises more than 25,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and new media artifacts by more than 3,500 artists

It places special emphasis on exhibiting the work of living artists, as well as maintaining an extensive permanent collection of important pieces from the first half of the last century. The museum’s annual and biennial exhibitions have long been a gathering place for younger, lesser-known artists whose work is exhibited there.

From 1966 to 2014, the Whitney was at 945 Madison Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in a building designed by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith. The museum closed in October 2014 to move to its current building, designed by Renzo Piano at 99 Gansevoort Street and opened on May 1, 2015.

7- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Museo Hirshhorn exterioir.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum located adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. The museum was initially endowed in the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn.

It was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the museum of contemporary and modern art in the United States and now focuses its collection and exhibition planning primarily on the post-World War II period, with special emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.

Galería del Museo Hirshorn.

The Hirshhorn is located midway between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, at the southern end of the so-called L’Enfant axis (perpendicular to the green carpet on the Mall). The National Archives/National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, across the Mall, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery/American Art Gallery building, several blocks north, also mark this key axis, a key element of both Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 urban plan and the 1901 MacMillan Plan.

The building itself is an attraction, an open cylinder raised on four enormous “legs,” with a large fountain occupying the central courtyard.

Notable artists in the collection include: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, John Chamberlain, Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Milton Avery, Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Nevelson, Arshile Gorky, Edward Hopper, Larry Rivers and Raphael Soyer, among others

Outside the museum is a sculpture garden with works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, David Smith, Alexander Calder, Jean-Robert Ipoustéguy and Jeff Koons, among others.

Yoko Ono’s Wishing Tree for Washington, DC, a permanent installation in the Sculpture Garden (since 2007), now includes contributions from around the world.

In 2018, the collection acquired its first performance art piece, by Tino Sehgal: This You (2006), which depicts a singer performing outdoors.

In 2019, Barbara and Aaron Levine donated their entire Marcel Duchamp collection, one of the largest in the world,to the museum. The exhibition “Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection” was on view from November 9, 2019 to October 12, 2020.

8- Getty Center, Los Angeles

Getty Center de Los Ángeles en California.

The Getty Center, in Los Angeles, California, is a campus of the Getty Museum and other Getty Trust programs. The $1.3 billion center opened to the public on December 16, 1997 and is known for its architecture, gardens and views of Los Angeles

It sits atop a hill and is connected to a visitor parking lot at the bottom of the hill by a three-car cable people mover.

Located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, the center is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum and attracts 1.8 million visitors a year. (The other location is the Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California)

On display at the museum’s headquarters are pre-20th-century paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, as well as photographs from around the world, from the 1830s to the present. In addition, the museum’s collection at the center includes outdoor sculptures displayed in terraces and gardens and the large Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin. Among the works of art on display is Vincent van Gogh’s painting Iris.

Designed by architect Richard Meier, the campus also houses the Getty Research Institute (GRI), the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust. The center’s design included special provisions to address earthquake and fire concerns.

9- Philadelphia Museum of Art

Museo de Arte de Filaderfia.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally founded in 1876 for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

The museum’s main building was completed in 1928 on Fairmount, a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Eakins Oval

The museum manages collections containing more than 240,000 objects, including important holdings of European, American and Asian origin. The various classes of artworks include sculptures, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, armor and decorative arts.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art operates several annexes, including the Rodin Museum, also located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, located across the street just north of the main building

Galería del Museo de Arte de Filadelfia.

The Perelman Building, which opened in 2007, houses more than 150,000 prints, drawings and photographs, along with 30,000 costume and textile pieces, and more than 1,000 modern and contemporary design objects, including furniture, ceramics and glassware. The museum also manages the historic colonial-era homes of Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove, both located in Fairmount Park. The museum’s main building and outbuildings are owned by the City of Philadelphia and managed by a registered non-profit corporation.

Several special exhibitions are held at the museum each year, including traveling exhibitions arranged with other museums in the United States and abroad. The museum had 437,348 visitors in 2021, making it the 65th most visited art museum in the world.

It houses more than 240,000 objects, highlighting the creative achievements of the Western world and those of Asia, in more than 200 galleries spanning 2,000 years

Themuseum’s Egyptian and Roman art collections, as well as many of its pre-Columbian works, were transferred to the Penn Museum following an exchange agreement whereby the museum houses the university’s Chinese porcelain collection.

Notable Asian collections include paintings and sculpture from China, Japan, and India; furniture and decorative arts, including important collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics; a large and distinguished group of Persian and Turkish carpets; and rare and authentic architectural ensembles, such as a Chinese palace hall, a Japanese teahouse, and a 16th-century Indian temple hall.

The European collections, which range from medieval times to the present, include Italian and Flemish masterpieces from the early Renaissance; strong representations of later European painting, including French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism; sculpture, with a special concentration on the works of Auguste Rodin; decorative arts; tapestries; furniture; the second largest collection of arms and armor in the United States; and period rooms and architectural settings ranging from a medieval Burgundian church façade to a magnificently decorated English drawing room by Robert Adam.

The museum’s American collections, spanning more than three centuries of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, are among the finest in the United States, with special attention to 18th- and 19th-century Philadelphia furniture and silver, Pennsylvania German art, furniture and pottery from rural Pennsylvania, and paintings by Thomas Eakins. The museum houses the most important Eakins collection in the world.

Modern artworks include works by Pablo Picasso, Jean Metzinger, Antonio Rotta, Albert Gleizes, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí and Constantin Brâncuși, as well as American modernists.

The growing contemporary art collection includes important works by Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns and Sol LeWitt, among many others.

The museum houses encyclopedic holdings of costume and textiles, as well as prints, drawings and photographs that are displayed in rotation for conservation reasons.

10- Cleveland Museum of Art

Museo de Arte de Cleveland en el estado de Illinois.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) is an art museum in Cleveland, Ohio, located in the Wade Park district of the University Circle neighborhood on the city’s east side

Known internationally for its important holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum houses a diverse permanent collection of more than 61,000 works of art from around the world

With an endowment of $755 million, it is the fourth wealthiest art museum in the United States With some 770,000 annual visitors (2018), it is one of the most visited art museums in the world.

The Cleveland Museum of Art divides its collections into 16 departments, including Chinese Art, Modern European Art, African Art, Drawings, Prints, European Art, Islamic Art and Textiles, American Painting and Sculpture, Greek and Roman Art, Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Decorative Art and Design, Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, Japanese and Korean Art, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, and Photography

Galería del museo de arte de Cleveland.

Among the artists represented with significant works are Olivuccio di Ciccarello, Botticelli, Giambattista Pittoni, Caravaggio, El Greco, Poussin, Rubens, Frans Hals, Gerard David, Goya, J.M.W. Turner, Dalí, Matisse, Renoir, Gauguin (The Call), Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Corot, Thomas Eakins, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso and George Bellows

Recently, the museum has turned its attention to acquiring late 20th-century art, having added important works by Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Christo, Anselm Kiefer, Ronald Davis, Larry Poons, Leon Kossoff, Jack Whitten, Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Ching Ho Cheng, Mark Tansey and Sol LeWitt, among others.

The museum’s African art collection consists of 300 traditional sub-Saharan works by the Bini, Congolese, Senufo and Yoruba peoples, mostly donated by Cleveland collector Katherine C. White. The museum is especially strong in the field of Asian art, holding one of the finest collections in the United States.

In June 2004, it acquired an ancient bronze sculpture of Apollo Sauroktonos, believed to be an original work by Praxiteles of Athens. As the work has a disputed provenance, the museum continues to study the dating and attribution of the sculpture

In 2013, the museum held an exhibition focused on the statue. It announced the reattribution of the work as Apollo the Death Eater, and said that the statue was almost certainly an original work by Praxiteles himself, and that laboratory research and expert testimony showed conclusively that the bronze was neither a recent discovery nor had it been recovered from the sea.

In 2008, the United States Postal Service selected the Cleveland Museum’s famous Botticelli painting, entitled The Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist, as that year’s Christmas stamp.

Antoni A

Antoni A

1 thought on “10 Best Museums in the United States.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *