A Comprehensive List of the World’s Most Popular Art Museums
Art museums are homes to some of the finest, most revered artworks in history. Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a staggering effect on global art museum attendance, with a recent study claiming traffic has dropped by 77% since the first lockdowns began.
All of these historical buildings play an important role in the preservation of culture and help to foster curiosity and understanding between different groups and standpoints from all over the world.
They are hubs of inspiration, history, and intergenerational empathy. Here are the top ten most popular art museums from across the globe.
1. Musee du Louvre in Paris, France
The largest and perhaps the most famous art museum in the world, this relic is best known for being the home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
On a regular day, the Louvre would host up to 15,000 guests and display as many as 380,000 precious objects – a truly iconic institution that has remained beloved by artists, art critics, and art-lovers alike for over 228 years.
2. Vatican Museums, Vatican City in Rome, Italy
Founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century, the Vatican Museums are a formidable presence brimming with the richness of religious history and Italian culture.
Formally the Vatican Palace, the 1400-roomed Vatican Museums now contain the world’s largest collection of art. Almost exclusively religious in theme, visiting this museum will almost certainly invoke new curiosity about the Christian faith.
3. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA
Colloquially referred to as “The Met,” this American art museum boasts 17 curatorial departments and over 2 million works within its permanent collection.
Opened in 1870 (though on separate premises), this marginally more contemporary museum contains works by the likes of Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. It is also home to the world’s oldest grand piano!
4. Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France
Originally a train station for the world’s first electrified urban rail terminal, this architectural beauty is one of the topmost visited places in France.
Most famous for its impressive collection of 19th century Western art and globally renowned impressionist art, Musee d’Orsay displays works produced by figures such as Gustav Courbet, Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, and Eduard Manet.
5. Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
Before becoming a world-class art museum, Uffizi Gallery was a governmental building whose name literally means “offices” when translated to English.
This historic building houses Michaelangelo’s only free-standing painting, “Doni Tondo” and is visited by an average of over 2 million foreigners every year. If you ever find yourself there, don’t forget to search for the secret Vasari Corridor which stretches over the Ponte Vecchio river.
6. Tate Modern in London, England
Last but certainly not least on this list is the crowning glory of England’s art galleries, the Tate Modern where ever art lover wants to play Australian pokies online games now. Significantly more contemporary than the other popular international art museums, the innovative Tate displays iconic works by more progressive artists such as Salvador Dali, Picasso, Rothko, Duchamp, and Parreno.
Founded by sugar merchant Henry Tate in 19th century Liverpool, it is with thanks to this man that England is supplied with such a wide variety of artistic masterpieces (and sugar cubes!).