History & Culture in the USA
North America, land of the free and home of the brave, is also home to some of the world’s most outstanding museums and art galleries. From charting the evolution of man to celebrating some of the most incredible scientific feats to immortalising the works of the artistic avant-garde, The Luxury Travel Guide presents the best five best museums and galleries across the United States.
The Getty Center – Los Angeles, California
Opened in 1997, The Getty Center is one of the newest and yet most well-known museums in the United States. Known for its architecture and stunning views over Los Angeles, The Getty attracts 1.3 million visitors annually; flocking to see pre-20th Century European paintings as well as intriguing sculptures on show in the large Central Garden. The 134,000-square foot Central Garden is an amazing piece of horticulture, with its designer, artist Robert Irwin, calling Central Garden “a sculpture in the form of a garden, which aims to be art.” Rather than being a traditional museum, The Getty Centre prides itself in offering visitors something different a little bit different from what they might have come to expect.
Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
The Art Institute of Chicago is widely known to house one of the finest art collections in the world. Its holdings include American art, Old Masters, Asian art and modern and contemporary art; as well as including renowned pieces such as Nighthawks, American Gothic and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Located right in the heart of the bustling city of Chicago, the Art Institute has been at its current location since 1893 and pulls in almost 2,000,000 visitors annually.
The collection at the museum encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression and contains more than 260,000 works of art. A must for all art buffs who want to see genuine Jackson Pollock’s, Picasso’s and Van Gogh’s up close in the flesh.
National Museum of Natural History – Washington DC, District of Columbia
Opening its doors to the public in 1910, The National Museum of Natural History is located in the nation’s capital of Washington DC and is the third most visited museum in the world. Administered by the world renowned Smithsonian Institution it also boasts the title of ‘most visited museum in North America’, with over 7.2 million visitors annually. Visitors can expect to see collections spanning more than 5,000 years of culture from prehistory to present. Exhibits currently on at the museum include National Geographic Into Africa; an in depth look at the wonders of wild Africa through the lens of a camera, and The Last American Dinosaurs; a history of the last pre-historic beasts to roam the Western Interior of North America 66 million years ago. A must see museum for travellers of all ages; the National Museum of Natural History truly has it all!
The National WWII Museum – New Orleans, Louisiana
If you take an interest in the politics of warfare, you’ll no doubt want to visit the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The museum attracts almost half a million visitors every year and focuses on the contribution made by the United States during the Second World War. The museum opened its doors to the public in 2000, on the 56th anniversary of D-Day. The large atrium at the front of the museum is home to famous aircrafts used in WWII such as a Messerschmitt Bf 109, Supermarine Spitfire and also two Douglas aircrafts. Visitors can expect to see genuine artefacts such as an Enigma Machine used to decode messages from the enemy, a genuine air raid shelter and also a Sherman Tank used by US military forces. Offering a wealth of history, The National WWII Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring the past in the cultural city of New Orleans.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Located on the iconic 5th Avenue and inhabiting one of the most spectacular architectural marvels in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is home to an overwhelming collection of Impressionist, post-Impressionist, early Modern and Contemporary art. Designed by the architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum is home to original artworks by some of the world’s most famous modern artists such as Picasso, Pollock, Kandinsky, van Gough and Gauguin, including works by the Father of Impressionism – Monet. In addition to permanent collections, the Guggenheim hosts short-term exhibitions, experimental new media art installations and performance art by 21st Century conceptual art legends such as Marina Abramovic. The museum is one of the city’s most popular so it is advisable to plan what exactly to see beforehand and avoid the weekends when it can get extremely crowded. Don’t miss stopping for a quick bite at Café 3 (located on the third floor) which boasts panoramic views of Central Park.
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