Best Art Museums in America
Greatest Arts Galleries & Collections in USA.
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Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City. One of the
best art museums in the world.

HOW TO APPRECIATE PAINTINGS
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a painting, please see our
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and How to Appreciate Paintings.

UNDERSTANDING SCULPTURE
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sculpture, please see:
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How to Appreciate Modern Sculpture.

ART SCHOOLS
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Best Art Museums in America: A-Z List

The public galleries on our list hold all types of art, including painting and sculpture, as well as all forms of decorative art. Some focus on American art, while others have acquired exceptional holdings of Greek sculpture (marbles, statues, reliefs) or Chinese art (bronzes, pottery), as well as works of contemporary media such as installation and conceptual art. Founded by some of the world's greatest art collectors, these diverse collections represent a cross-section of the best art museums in the United States today.

American Art Museums: Listed A-Z by State

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Wisconsin
Museums in Europe
Museums in Australia


 

 

• Alabama

Birmingham Museum of Art
Opened in 1951, the museum and sculpture garden has one of the finest collections in the south-eastern United States, with over 24,000 paintings (notably Renaissance and Baroque), sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art representing numerous cultures, including Asian (notably Vietnamese ceramics), African, Pre-Columbian art, and Native American, as well as mainstream European and American.

• Arizona

Phoenix Art Museum (PAM)
At 285,000-square-feet it is one of the largest art centres in the south-western United States. Its collection holds more than 18,000 works of American, European, Asian, Latin American and American art, which acts as a base for its a year-round program of festivals, films and educational programs.

• Arkansas

Arkansas Arts Center (Little Rock)
Derived from the Museum of Fine Arts of Little Rock, which was founded in 1937, the center features a permanent collection which focuses on drawings by masters like Rembrandt, Odilon Redon, Paul Signac, Pablo Picasso, Andrew Wyeth, and Edgar Degas. Also represented are contemporary artists such as William Beckman, John Connell, Enrique Chagoya, Gregory Gillespie, Susan Hauptman, Jane Frank, and others.

 

 

• California

Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento)
The longest continuously operating art museum in the West, it has a historically important collection of Californian art (from the Gold Rush to the present day), a world-famous assembly of drawings, European paintings, one of the largest and most comprehensive international ceramics collections in America, as well as collections of Asian, African, and Oceanic art.

Getty Museum (Los Angeles)
One of the finest cultural museums in America, the Getty Center focuses on Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection encompasses antiquities, illuminated manuscripts, drawings and sculpture. Highlights of the picture collection include: Arii Matamoe (1892) by Paul Gauguin, and Irises (1889) by Vincent Van Gogh, and sculpture by Bernini, Rodin, and Moore.

Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles)
This art centre is devoted to the visual arts and culture of Classical Antiquity, including outstanding examples from ancient Greece, Etruria and Rome.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
America's largest museum west of Chicago: its collection of Japanese artworks is magnificent. Collection highlights include works by Constantin Brancusi, Giacometti, Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Picasso, Henry Moore, Willem de Kooning, Louise Nevelson, Archipenko, Edward Kienholz (Back Seat Dodge '38), Richard Serra, and Jeff Koons.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Established in 1935, the museum stages numerous exhibitions and educational programs each year. Collection highlights include major works by European artists Paul Klee and Marcel Duchamp, American photographer Ansel Adams, and American painters Jackson Pollock and Richard Diebenkorn. (See also: Art Schools in California.)

• Colorado

Denver Art Museum
Famous for its holding of American Indian art, its permanent collection contains more than 68,000 works from across the world. Four galleries are devoted to the arts of India, China, Japan and Southwest Asia. Other galleries display works from Tibet, Nepal and Southeast Asia. It has a European collection strong in Renaissance and 19th-century French paintings, while its modern and contemporary art department (containing an important Bauhaus resource) features some 4,500 works by artists including Man Ray, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, and John DeAndrea (notably his photorealist sculpture, Linda). It also has separate sections on photography and textiles.

• Connecticut

Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford)
The oldest public art museum in the United States, its collection of 50,000 objects contains major holdings of French and American Impressionist paintings, Hudson River School landscape paintings, modernist masterpieces and contemporary works, as well as extensive holdings in early American furniture and decorative arts. It also has ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian bronze sculptures,and 18th century French porcelains (Meissen and Sèvres). One of its highlights is St. Francis in Ecstasy (c.1595) by Caravaggio.

Yale Center For British Art
Established in 1966, the museum has one of the largest collections of British painting and sculpture outside Britain.

• Delaware

Delaware Art Museum (Wilmington)
Founded in 1912, it has a collection of over 12,000 works focusing on American painting (such as the Ashcan School, John Sloan and The Eight) and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century, as well as works by English Pre-Raphaelite painters of the mid-19th century.

• Florida

Bass Museum of Art (Miami Beach)
Founded in 1963 by art collectors John and Johanna Bass, the museum's collection features works from the Renaissance to the 20th-century, and alongside the Lowe Art Museum and the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, is regarded as one of Miami's best museums for ancient artifacts. Famous artists represented include Peter Paul Rubens, Ferdinand Bol, Benjamin West and Armand Guillaumin.

Frost Art Museum (FIU)
Founded in 1977, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum is located on the campus of Florida International University. It boasts an unrivalled collection (2,300 items) of Latin American and 20th century American art. Highlights include paintings from Hawaii, works by modern American sculptors, paintings, and photographs.

Lowe Art Museum (Coral Gables)
Opened in 1950, the museum is run by the University of Miami and has an extensive collection including Greco-Roman antiquities, European paintings from the Renaissance, Baroque, 17th and 19th centuries, plus 19th century American art. It also contains a major collection of glass objects.

Miami Art Museum (MAM)
Established in 1984, it became the Miami Art Museum in 1996. The MAM is devoted exclusively to contemporary art (including video, installation, sculpture and other late 20th century mediums), and receives over 60,000 visitors a year.

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA)
Attached to the University of North Florida it is one of the largest contemporary art institutions in the South-eastern United States. It runs a year-round program of exhibitions by international, national and regional artists.

Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota)
Founded in 1927, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has a permanent collection of more than 10,000 items, including antiquities, paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts from Antiquity to the present day. Highlights feature a world-renowned collection of paintings by the Flemish Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens.

Wolfsonian–Florida International University (Miami Beach)
The Wolfsonian-FIU museum collection contains roughly 120,000 objects from the period 1885 to 1945 in a variety of media, including: rare books; works on paper; paintings; ceramics; works in glass; metal; furniture; industrial-design items and textiles. Highlights include works from the British Arts & Crafts movement; Dutch and Italian Art Nouveau objects; and architectural design drawings. (See also: Art Schools in Florida.)

• Georgia

High Museum of Art (Atlanta)
The High is the leading art museum in the south-eastern United States and one of the most-visited art galleries in the world. Its collection contains more than 11,000 works, focusing on 19th-century and 20th-century American art; European painting and sculpture; decorative arts; contemporary art and photography. Highlights include works by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Claude Monet, Martin Johnson Heade, Dorothea Lange, Clarence John Laughlin, and Chuck Close. Every year, it runs a number of special exhibitions in partnership with the Louvre and other international museums.

Michael C. Carlos Museum (Atlanta)
Located on Emory University's main campus, the Carlos Museum's collections contain more than 16,000 works, and they attract 120,000 visitors annually. It boasts the largest assembly of antiquities (ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near East, and the ancient Americas) in the south-eastern US.

Telfair Museum of Art (Savannah)
The American South's first public art museum, opened in 1886, it contains an extensive 4,500-item collection of American and European paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art, housed in three buildings - the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Owens-Thomas House, and the Jepson Center for the Arts.

• Hawaii

Honolulu Academy of Arts
Founded in 1922 by Anna Rice Cooke, its collection now holds over 40,000 works, featuring the Samuel H. Kress collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, American and European paintings and decorative arts, as well as artifacts from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Other collections include the Hawaiian collection, recording the history of art in Hawaii, and the James A. Michener collection of ukiyo-e prints.

• Illinois

Art Institute of Chicago
One of the greatest art museums in America, the AIC has a world-renowned collection of French Impressionist paintings and American art - as well as a significant number of works by European Old Masters. Also has galleries of Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art and Pre-Columbian sculpture. Highlights include American Gothic by Grant Wood, and Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago
Houses over 2,400 objects, including contemporary artworks by artists from Lee Bontecou to Robert Smithson. Highlights of the collection include: Campbell's Soup Cans II (1964) by pop-artist Andy Warhol - see our short guide to Andy Warhol's Pop Art of the sixties; Polychrome and Horizontal Bluebird (1991) by Alexander Calder; Cindy (1998) by photorealist portrait painter Chuck Close. (See also: Art Schools in Illinois.)

 

• Indiana

Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA)
Among the Top 10 art museums in the United States, its permanent collection includes over 54,000 works, featuring European painting and sculpture; American painting and sculpture; prints, drawings, and photographs; Japanese paintings of the Edo period; Chinese ceramics and bronzes; Asian, African and Oceanic art; Mediterranean antiquities; prints by Paul Gauguin; a large holding of works by J.M.W. Turner; Design Art; textile and fashion; and contemporary works. (See also: Art Schools in Indiana.)

• Iowa

Des Moines Art Center
Founded in 1948, it has a wide collection of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media. Artists in the collection include Edward Hopper (Automat), Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Francis Bacon (Portrait of Pope Innocent X), Georgia O’Keeffe, Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, Mary Cassatt, Auguste Rodin, Grant Wood, Paul Gauguin, Stanton MacDonald Wright's (Synchromy), Eva Hesse, Roy Lichtenstein, George Segal, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, and Joseph Cornell.

Figge Art Museum (Davenport)
Opened in 2005 as the successor to the Davenport Museum of Art, the Figge has over 4,000 works, including Haitian, Colonial Mexican and Midwestern artworks, Regionalism and American Scene painting by Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, plus works by Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase, Andrew Wyeth, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. It also has photographs by Ansel Adams. The Figge Art Museum also currently holds the University of Iowa's collection, numbering some 12,000 works.

• Kansas

Wichita Art Museum
Established in 1915, its collection includes paintings by Mary Cassatt, Arthur G. Dove, Thomas Eakins, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, John Marin, Horace Pippin, Maurice Prendergast, Albert Pinkham Ryder and Charles Sheeler. The Museum's entrance lobby features a ceiling and chandelier created by Dale Chihuly.

• Kentucky

Speed Art Museum (Louisville)
Opened in 1927, and situated next to the University of Louisville Belknap campus, it houses a collection of some 12,000 items, including classical and modern works from around the globe.

• Louisiana

New Orleans Museum of Art (or NOMA)
The oldest fine arts museum in New Orleans, it owns more than 40,000 objects, from the Italian Renaissance to the 20th-century. Highlights include paintings and sculptures by modern European and American masters like Rodin, Pissarro, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, Miro, Braque, Raoul Dufy, Jackson Pollock, Mary Cassatt, and Georgia O'Keeffe. The museum also has collections of photography, ceramics, glass, Faberge eggs, Native American Art, Chinese ceramics, Japanese painting, and folk arts from Africa, and Oceania.

• Maine

Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland)
Concentrates on American painting of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries (especially that involving Maine), with works by Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Thomas Eakins, Fitz Henry Lane, Eastman Johnson, Childe Hassam, Frank Benson, and Maurice Prendergast, as well as a number of pieces by the Russian-born American modernist sculptress Louise Nevelson. The collection also features numerous paintings by the Wyeth family: N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth.

Portland Museum of Art (Maine)
Established in 1882, it is the largest and oldest public art institution in Maine. Its collection encompasses 17,000 objects, including works by Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Marsden Hartley, George Bellows, John Marin, Louise Nevelson, and Andrew Wyeth. In addition, it owns a major holding of European works, including those by Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, Picasso and Rene Magritte. (See also: Art Schools in Maine.)

• Maryland

Baltimore Museum of Art
Established in 1914, its permanent collection contains over 90,000 objects, from Africa, Oceania, the Americas, Asia (including rare Chinese bronzes and pottery, Japanese prints), American painting and sculpture, mosaics from Antioch, and European paintings. Masterpieces include The Thinker (1904) by the French sculptor Rodin.

Walters Art Museum (Baltimore)
Founded in 1934, the Walters' collection was acquired mostly by William Thompson Walters (1819-1894) and his son Henry Walters (1848–1931). Today, it includes Egyptian antiquities, Greek sculpture, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, paintings by European Old Masters and 19th-century modernists, Chinese ceramics, and Art Deco jewellery. (See also: Art Schools in Maryland.)

• Massachusetts

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
One of the very greatest museums in America, its mammoth collection contains over 450,000 works. Highlights include its Oriental collections, its American painting and sculpture, and its 19th century paintings.

Harvard Art Museum
Includes the Fogg Art Museum, noted for its Renaissance, Pre-Raphaelite, 19th-century Impressionist and post-Impressionist works; the Busch-Reisinger Museum, noted for its 20th century German Expressionist painters, and others); and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, noted for its ancient, Islamic and Asian art.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston)
A high quality bijou museum, known for its magnificent collection of Renaissance art, as well as Dutch Realism paintings of the 17th century, it features works by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer, and others. (See also: Art Schools in Massachusetts.)

• Michigan

Detroit Institute of Arts
One of the greatest art museums in America, founded in the early 1880s, the DIA is the fifth largest art museum in the United States. American painters represented in the collection include: George Bellows, George Caleb Bingham, Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Revere, John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart, Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, and Whistler.

University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) (Ann Arbor)
One of the largest university art museums in the USA, its collection numbers almost 19,000 works of art, including works by Joshua Reynolds, Claude Monet, Whistler, Picasso, Max Beckmann, Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, and many others. The museum reopened in 2009 after a $41.9 million renovation. (See also: Art Schools in Michigan.)

• Minnesota

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA)
Permanent collection includes some 80,000 items, featuring Chinese architecture, jades, bronzes, and pottery, art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas, plus the Purcell-Cutts House of Prairie School architecture. (See also: Art Schools in Minnesota.)

• Mississippi

Mississippi Museum of Art (Jackson)
The Mississippi Museum of Art now has an important collection of American paintings by Albert Bierstadt, Arthur B. Davies, Robert Henri, George Inness, Georgia O'Keeffe, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Sully and Whistler; as well as photographs, prints and drawings by Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and others. Sculptors represented include John DeAndrea, Malvina Hoffman, Paul Manship, Elizabeth Catlett Mora and Reuben Nakian. The museum also features items of folk art by Mississippians, as well as British 19th-century portraits, Pre-Columbian ceramics and Mississippi quilts are also on display. (See also: Art Schools in Mississippi.)

• Missouri

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri)
Famous for its extensive collection of Asian art, and an American painting collection featuring works by Thomas Hart Benton, George Bellows, George Caleb Bingham, Frederic Church, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent. In addition, the museum owns the entire Hallmark Photographic Collection.

Saint Louis Art Museum
One of the major art centres in the United States, its collection contains 30,000 items from Prehistory, Antiquity, Africa, Asia, Islamic civilizations, Oceania, Pre-Columbian and American Indian cultures, as well as American and European items. Has the largest collection of paintings by the frontier painter George Caleb Bingham. (See also: Art Schools in Missouri.)

 

• Nebraska

Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha)
The main fine arts museum in Nebraska, it has an exceptional assembly of Western American and Native American artifacts. In addition its collection features Greek pottery; Mannerist and Baroque paintings by Paolo Veronese, Titian, Claude Lorrain and El Greco; 19th century romantic works by Eugene Delacroix, realist works by Gustave Courbet, and Impressionist works by Pissarro, Degas, Monet, and Renoir. American portraiture is represented by James Peale and Mather Brown; landscapes by the painters of the Hudson River School; classical realism by Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins; Impressionism by Childe Hassam and William Merritt Chase. Modern 20th-Century painting is represented by Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Stuart Davis, John Sloan and Robert Henri, Jackson Pollock, Hans Hofmann, and Helen Frankenthaler. Sculpture is represented by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and others.

• Nevada

The Nevada Museum of Art (Reno)
The only American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited art museum in the state of Nevada, its permanent collection contains over 2,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries is thematic, focusing on the growing interest in the protection of the land.

• New Hampshire

Currier Museum of Art (Manchester)
Collection contains European and American paintings, sculptures, decorative art, and photographs. Artists represented include Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alexander Calder, John Singer Sargent, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Andrew Wyeth.

Hood Museum of Art (Hanover)
Reportedly North America's oldest museum in continuous operation, dating back to 1772, the museum has over 65,000 objects in its collection, including: ancient Assyrian antiquities; Renaissance, Baroque and Dutch realist paintings by artists like Perugino, Luca Giordano, Claude Lorrain, Pompeo Batoni, Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun, and Jan Davidsz de Heem. European painters of the 19th-century include Alfred Sisley, Edouard Vuillard and Picasso. Famous American painters represented include: Rockwell Kent, John French Sloan and Georgia O'Keeffe.

• New Jersey

Princeton University Art Museum
Totalling over 72,000 objects, the museum's permanent collection features the following. Greek and Roman antiquities; Chinese bronzes, tomb figurines, paintings, and calligraphy; an important collection of Pre-Columbian art; medieval European sculpture, metalwork, and stained glass; Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and 19th-century paintings; 20th-century works by contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol; a major collection of 27,000 original photographs; and 20th-century sculpture, featuring masters like Calder, Lipchitz, Moore and Picasso.

• New Mexico

New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe)
Highlights of the museum's 20,000 works of art include: collections of the Cinco Pintores; the largest holding of works by Gustave Baumann; important American photographers, including the Jane Reese Williams Collection of women photographers; contemporary media, including video installations; and an important exhibit of works by Georgia O'Keeffe.

• New York

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo)
Noted for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Gauguin and Van Gogh; works of Cubism, Surrealism, Constructivism, abstract expressionism, pop and contemporary art by Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

American Folk Art Museum (NYC)
Devoted to traditional folk art from the Americas, predominantly from the 18th-century onwards. Highlights of the museum's permanent collection of arts and crafts include rare Native-American artworks, as well as masterpieces like the Bird of Paradise Quilt Top (1858-63) and Ammi Phillips's Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog (1830-35).

Frick Collection (NYC)
One of the finest bijou museums in America, founded by Henry Clay Frick, the Frick museum houses one of the best compact art collections in the world, featuring oil paintings, sculpture, porcelain, rare furniture, Limoges enamel, and Oriental carpets.

Samuel R Guggenheim Museum (NYC)
One of the greatest museums of 20th-century art in America, founded by Samuel Guggenheim in 1937, its current Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building houses one of the world's great collections of early modernism, as well as contemporary works by major artists from Europe and America. Has European branches in Venice, Bilbao and Berlin.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)
The largest art museum in the United States, established by John Taylor Johnston and others, it is also one of the best and most extensive museums in the world, with a collection of 3 million items covering almost every era and culture. It employs around 1,800 full-time staff.

Museum of Modern Art, MoMA (NYC)
Has the world's finest collection of modern art. Highlights include Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, by Picasso; House by the Railroad, by Edward Hopper; The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dali; Broadway Boogie Woogie, by Piet Mondrian; One: Number 31, 1950, by Jackson Pollock; Bed. 1955, by Robert Rauschenberg, among others. It remains the biggest modern art museum and one of the best galleries of contemporary art in America.

Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC)
Established by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, it has one of the greatest collections of American art - both painting and sculpture. Artists in the Whitney's permanent collection include: Thomas Hart Benton, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Arthur Dove, William Eggleston, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Eva Hesse, Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and others. The Whitney's Annual and Biennial art exhibitions are the standard for contemporary American art. For more about the Whitney Biennial, see: Best Contemporary Art Festivals. (See also: Art Schools in New York.)

• North Carolina

Nasher Museum of Art (Duke University, Durham)
A $24 million museum opened in 2005, dedicated to under-recognized contemporary artists, it contains more than 13,000 works, including works by Christian Boltanski, Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, John Singer Sargent, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and many others.

North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh)
Has one of the finest collections of painting and sculpture in the South-eastern US. It features Egyptian antiquities; Greek sculpture and pottery; African, Pre-Columbian, and Oceanic art; American painting of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries; Renaissance, Baroque and 19th century European painting; and Jewish ceremonial objects.

• North Dakota

North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) (Grand Forks)
Founded in the 1970s as the University of North Dakota Art Galleries, it is located on the campus of the University of North Dakota. In 1981, it was designated as the state's official art museum and renamed.

• Ohio

Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) (Oberlin)
Founded in 1917 and run by Oberlin College, its collection ranks alongside those of Harvard and Yale. Totalling almost 14,000 objects – including paintings, sculpture, decorative art, prints, drawings and photographs – the collection is especially strong in European and American painting (1400-2000). In addition it owns significant holdings of Asian paintings, scrolls, sculpture, and Ukiyo-e prints.

Cincinnati Art Museum
Founded in 1881, its permanent Collection features some 60,000 works, including European and American paintings, and sculpture. Highlights of its collection include Cubist paintings by Picasso and Juan Gris, Cezanne, Degas, Matisse, Monet, Edward Hopper, and Norman Rockwell.

Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA)
The museum houses more than 43,000 works divided into 15 departments including art from China, the Americas, Oceania, Ancient Greece, and Africa, as well as Islamic art, European painting and sculpture, prints, photography and contemporary artworks. American artists represented include Thomas Eakins, Jackson Pollock, Kiefer, Chuck Close, and Sol LeWitt, among others.

Toledo Museum of Art
The museum houses an important collection of glass items, together with a collection of Classical, Renaissance, and Japanese artworks. Highlights include works by Rubens, Rembrandt, El Greco, Willem de Kooning, Henry Moore and Sol LeWitt. (See also: Art Schools in Ohio.)

• Oklahoma

Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa)
Founded in 1939 and renowned for its holdings of Native American and African artifacts, its collection also includes Renaissance works by Piero di Cosimo, Gentile da Fabriano, and others; 19th-century paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Camille Corot, Thomas Moran and William Merritt Chase. It receives an average of 123,000 visitors every year.

 

• Oregon

Portland Art Museum
Founded in 1892, and among the twenty-five largest art museums in the United States, it has a permanent collection of 42,000 works, as well as a center for Native American art, a center for modern and contemporary art, permanent exhibitions of Asian artifacts, and an outdoor public sculpture garden. Highlights include: Water Lilies by Claude Monet; Seine at Argenteuil by Pierre Renoir; The Ox-Cart by Vincent van Gogh; Castel Gandolfo by George Inness; Mount Hood by Albert Bierstadt. (See: Art Schools in Oregon.)

• Pennsylvania

Barnes Foundation (Merion)
Founded in 1922 by Dr Albert Barnes, arguably the greatest single American collector of the 20th century, it has a world-famous collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including works of American Impressionism, plus works by artists of the Ecole de Paris.

Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh)
Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, the museum owns a collection of some 35,000 works, including European and American paintings, drawings, prints (notably Japanese prints), sculpture, decorative art, architecture, photography (notably the archive of African-American photographer Charles "Teenie" Harris) and installations.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
One of the finest art museums in America, known initially as the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, its collection has more than 225,000 items, embracing paintings, ceramics, sculpture, armour, tapestry, furniture and other decorative works.

Rodin Museum (Philadelphia)
Contains the largest collection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin outside Paris, including The Thinker (1880–1882) and a cast of The Gates of Hell. The museum has many other works, including The Kiss (1886), Eternal Springtime (1884), The Age of Bronze (1875–76), and The Burghers of Calais (1884-89). (See also: Art Schools in Pennsylvania.)

• Rhode Island

Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence)
Founded in 1877 and the 20th largest art museum in America, its collection of 80,000 works includes works by Rhode Island artists like 17th century furniture makers Goddard and Townsend and 19th century painters, such as the portraitist Gilbert Stuart. The museum also features modernists like Picasso, Manet, Monet, Paul Revere, and Andy Warhol. Its recently established department of Contemporary Art oversees an eclectic mix of painting, sculpture, video, and mixed media by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Sam Francis, David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Wayne Thiebaud, Larry Rivers, and Andy Warhol, among others. (See also: Art Schools in Rhode Island.)

• South Carolina

Columbia Museum of Art
Its museum has a Renaissance and Baroque collection, including a large and rare painting by the Florentine master Sandro Botticelli. Also in the collection are The Seine at Giverny, by Claude Monet, and glass art by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Some Asian objects in the Oriental collection date from the T'ang Dynasty. Other holdings include silver, Chinese porcelain, American furniture, textiles and sculpture.

• Tennessee

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Founded in 1916, the museum is the oldest and largest art centre in Tennessee. It comprises 29 galleries, a print study room with over 4,500 works on paper, and a research library with over 5,000 volumes. The permanent collection of 7,000 items includes paintings (notably Renaissance, Baroque and Impressionist works), drawings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and decorative artworks. (See also: Art Schools in Tennessee.)

• Texas

Amon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth)
Endowed by Amon G. Carter and opened in 1961, the collection today includes works by American artists like Alexander Calder, Thomas Cole, Stuart Davis, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and Charles Demuth. The museum also owns one of the best collections of American photography, amounting to more than 30,000 exhibition prints by some 400 photographers.

Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1909, the Museum is home to paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by leading Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern artists. Other collections include Egyptian antiquities, Chinese porcelain; Oriental and European carpets; iron, bronze, and silver objects and antique glass.

Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth)
Owns a small but high quality art collection. Highlights include: The Cardsharps by Caravaggio. The museum's European collection includes Michelangelo's first known work, The Torment of Saint Anthony, as well as paintings by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Fra Angelico, Andrea Mantegna, El Greco, Rubens, Georges La Tour, Poussin, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Boucher, Gainsborough, Caspar David Friedrich, Cezanne, Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Matisse, Mondrian and Picasso. Classical antiquities from Egypt, Greece and Rome, plus sculptures, ink and wash paintings, bronzes, ceramics, and works of decorative art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Cambodia, and Thailand, are also represented.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
Home to more than 56,000 artworks from the cultures of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa, including Renaissance paintings, Impressionist works, American painting, and post-war sculpture. (See: Art Schools in Texas.)

• Utah

Brigham Young University Museum of Art (Provo)
Opened in 1993, the museum - part of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications - displays paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, video, and photography.

• Vermont

Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by Electra Havemeyer Webb, the museum's collection of American works consists of roughly 150,000 items, including paintings, artifacts, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, and a range of 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th-century artifacts. Shelburne also houses collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, Waterfowl decoys and carriages.

• Virginia

Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk)
Established in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, a 1971 donation by Walter P. Chrysler Jr made it one of the major art museums in the south-eastern United States. Consisting of over 30,000 objects the core of the collection comprises American and European paintings and sculpture from Medieval times to the present day. Highlights include masterpieces by Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Rubens, Velazquez, Bernini, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, Delacroix, Manet, Cezanne, Albert Bierstadt, Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Gauguin, Georges Rouault, Matisse, Braque, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, and Franz Kline. The Museum also has one of the world's greatest collections of glass art (including outstanding works by Louis Comfort Tiffany), plus quality holdings of decorative works and photographs. (See also: Art Schools in Virginia.)

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
Founded in 1936, its collection embraces various types of art, such as: African, American, and Ancient artifacts, including antiquities from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Etruria, Rome, and Byzantium; Art Nouveau and Art Deco, including works by Hector Guimard, Emile Galle, Louis Majorelle, Louis Comfort Tiffany; works by the Vienna Secession and Peter Behrens; Arts & Crafts works by Charles Mackintosh, and Frank Lloyd Wright; East Asian art; European art, featuring works by Murillo, Poussin, Gentileschi and Goya; decorative art, including gold, porcelain and enamel boxes, silverware, The Pratt Faberge Eggs collection; South Asian art from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Tibet.

• Washington

Seattle Art Museum ("SAM") (Seattle)
The SAM complex collection includes some 25,000 pieces. Sculpture highlights include Alexander Calder's Eagle (1971), Richard Serra's Wake (2004) and Cai Guo-Qiang's Inopportune: Stage One (2004). Painting highlights include The Judgment of Paris by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Mark Tobey's Electric Night (1944). Traditional highlights include paintings by Paolo Uccello, Emanuel De Witte, Luca Giordano, and Camille Pissarro. Aboriginal Australian artifacts are also represented. (See also: Art Schools in Washington.)

• Washington D.C.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Endowed originally with the permanent collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, in the 1960s, and conceived as the United States museum of contemporary and modern art, it is now part of the Smithsonian Institution. Focusing mainly, though not exclusively, on works created after 1945, the collection includes pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Henry Moore, Jackson Pollock, Rothko, Franz Kline, Hans Hofmann, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Nevelson, Arshile Gorky and Edward Hopper among others. The sculpture garden displays works by Rodin, Jeff Koons, and Alexander Calder.

Phillips Collection
Founded in 1921 by Duncan Phillips, its highlights include paintings by Old Masters like El Greco and Goya, Impressionists Renoir, Monet, Whistler and Degas, the French Cubist Georges Braque, the German-Swiss fantasy painter Paul Klee, and the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko.

National Gallery of Art (Washington DC)
One of the greatest art museums in the United States, it has a world-renowned collection of painting, sculpture, graphics, prints, photographs, and other items of decorative art. Includes a high quality collection of Old Masters and works by American artists.

National Portrait Gallery
Collection includes portraits of famous Americans, such as the celebrated "Lansdowne" portrait of President George Washington.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The museum's collection comprises a wide variety of American art, exemplifying all major regions and movements. Artists represented include Albert Bierstadt, David Hockney, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Jenny Holzer, Thomas Moran, Georgia O'Keeffe, Nam June Paik, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and John Singer Sargent. The Smithsonian American Art Museum also embraces the Luce Foundation Center for American Art and the Lunder Conservation Center. (See also: Art Schools in Washington D.C.)

• Wisconsin

Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM)
Opened in 1957, the museum houses over 25,000 works, including an important collection of Old Masters, and 19th-century and 20th-century works, as well as some of America's finest holdings of German Expressionism (eg. works by Gabriele Munter), Haitian art, American decorative art, and post-1960 American works. The museum also owns a large number of paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe. (See also: Art Schools in Wisconsin.)

Best European Museums

For the finest public art galleries and collections across the continent of Europe, please see: Best Art Museums in Europe.

Best Australian Museums

The best arts museums in Australia include: the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra); the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), the Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane), the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), the Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide), and the Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth).

• For more about museums of contemporary arts and crafts, see: Homepage.


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