Seven Art Museums to go to even if you aren’t into Art

by - Saturday, November 09, 2013

7. The Uffizi- Ok, they don't let you take pictures inside, so this is from the Loggia de Lanzi nearby. Even if you aren't into art, or you don't know much about the Renaissance, walking through this museum will make you feel like you are in the presence of something very special. If you can only name 5 paintings, I bet you will see something you recognize while walking through this space. You will realize how much Renaissance imagery is still highly familiar in everyday life.


6. The Getty Museum- You know, this is the only art museum I can think of where the art is the least interesting part. The Getty has a relatively conservative collection on display, but the space is the most beautiful place in Los Angeles. If you are visiting the city and are sick of the ugliness of the place (it is not attractive), head up the trams to this area, and you will have such a great day exploring the many buildings, gardens, and overlooks.
5. City Museum in St. Louis- This museum itself is already a work of art. Very often, art museums are pretty strict about their "no touching" rules, because these objects an incredible amount of value. That can suck the joy out of the experience if you aren't too excited about art. City Museum in St. Louis is its own piece of art, which you can climb on, touch, get totally lost in. This is a great one for kids, but they actually have late nights for adults as well, and that would be a blast.

4. The Pergamon Museum- There is an entire Greek temple in there. This museum is pure magic in the middle of Berlin, which has my favorite collection of (relatively cheap!) museums in the whole world. It is that good. You walk down the road to see Nefertiti's head, but this museum has one of the most spectacular set ups of Greek sculpture that I have ever seen in my life. You don't have to care about reliefs or Greek iconography to be totally taken by this place.

3. The Warhol Museum- Not so big into art? No big deal. The Warhol Museum oozes cool joy from every room, much like Warhol did from every poor. The space is funny, cheeky, and even has big mylar balloons. If you want to know why he was a genius (and really, he was), you can find out here. If you want to just enjoy the kitschy, gossipy fun of the man, you can do that too.

2.The Metropolitan Museum of Art- I think I have been here 3 or 4 times now, but everytime I leave, I still feel like I missed things. This museum is not only huge, but its curators are incredibly thoughtful about the art viewing experience, so moving from the different areas of art feels like moving to totally different worlds. Worth the whole trip just to see their Egyptian collection in that incredible room that overlooks Central Park. Spend a day here and in the park, and you will feel so inspired.

1. Your local museum- Almost everywhere in the world has some sort of museum. It may not be a straightforward art museum, but I guarantee you there is something. Go there. Actually, go there often. Even the small museums are usually designed to encourage repeat visits and rotating collections. In Venango County, there is the Venango Museum and Debence Antique Music World. Neither charge themselves as being aesthetically driven, but those antique music machines are beautiful (not to mention the space itself). The Venango Museum tells the history of the county, often in how it relates to Oil, but it does so with photography. Where we live, the closest museum is the Computer History Museum. It was also very aesthetically driven.

The point here is that your most local museum might be the best way to experience artistic medium in a way that teaches you specifically about the world in which you currently live. The history of art is really just history, and no matter how bizarre the thing in front of you might be, it has something valuable to say and teach you. Going to a local museum may help you see all the wonderful things about living where you do. It also may make you realize your smallness even in a small time, where many other people have come through that same small town with vastly different yet warmly familiar experiences. Even larger local museums, like University art museums usually have spaces that are about where they are at as well as spaces that contain their more national or international collection of art.

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