Since 1977, the International Museum Day is held on May 18 every year, celebrating the inherent natural and cultural heritage as well as the scientific breakthroughs across nations. This event is organized by the International Council of Museum (ICOM), a non-profit organization, that intends to educate people about the significance of museums in the conservation of our past and in the development of the progressive society. With more than 36,000 museums participating from over 150 countries, ICOM has achieved a feat of making this event increasingly diverse with every passing year.
The organization is also responsible for deciding a theme for the International Museum Day festivities. In 2017, the participants embraced the theme, Museums and Contested Histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums. This year’s International Museum Day will revolve around the theme, “Hyperconnected Museums: New approaches, new publics” which highlights the use of technology in communication and exhibits.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best days to experience magnificent displays in different types of museums in the country. Wondering where to start from? Here are some top museums that you should visit this International Museum Day.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City, New York) – Popularly, known as MET, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the biggest landmarks for New Yorkers. Housing over two million pieces, the MET is an institution for all kinds of art collections including the works of eminent traditional artists and contemporary photographers and designers. This museum is where you can truly get a taste of the bygone era and futuristic appeal at the same time.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, Ohio) – Marking its centennial anniversary in 2016, The Cleveland Museum of Art is a recognized for its encyclopedic collections including the artworks of van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, and more. Likewise, it also has some exemplary European medieval and postwar pieces. You will also find rare, historical creations belonging to the Egyptian and Asian cultures.
Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (Detroit, Michigan) – With a copious series of over 60,000 artworks, the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum is widely recognized for its Industry Murals, a collection of frescoes created by the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. Comprising over 100 galleries, this museum is a home to America, European, Roman, Islamic, Asian, Greek, Egyptian, Etruscan, and Mesopotamian art pieces.
MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (New York City, New York) – This Midtown Manhattan museum is one of the most influential modern art institutions in the world. It has an expansive collection of diverse modern art exhibits including, architecture, design, photography, sculptures, prints, drawings, paintings, artists’ and illustrated books, and interactive media.
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J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, California) – Perching on the top of a hill in the Santa Monica mountains, J. Paul Getty Museum accommodates the Western artworks from the Middle Ages to the contemporary times. It comprises pieces belonging to renowned artists like Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Monet, Paul Gauguin, Manet, and Paul Cézanne.
National Museum of the United States Air Force (Dayton, Ohio) – One of the most frequently visited tourist sites in Ohio, the NMUSAF has an extensive display of 360 aircrafts and missiles in the world. Their collection includes Boeing planes that served during the World War II and as Air Force One planes during the 60s and 70s. You can also find a gallery dedicated to the Wright brothers and some memorabilia like vintage flying jackets, US Air Force uniforms, and clothing.
National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC) – This museum in the nation’s capital has a great amalgamation of neoclassical and contemporary artworks. You can explore the works of great artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Henri Rousseau, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, and Rembrandt.
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois) – One of the oldest museums in the country, the Art Institute of Chicago boasts of around 300,000 artworks, ranging from traditional to modern artists belonging to the European, Asian, African, and Byzantine cultures. It is home to some of the marvelous pieces such as American Gothic, The Old Guitarist, Nighthawks, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, van Gogh’s self-portrait, Water Lilies, and The Bay of Marseilles.
American Museum of Natural History (New York City, New York) – One of the largest museums in the world, the AMNH covers over 32 million specimens and artifacts belonging to biodiversity and planetary science. Some of its most popular exhibits are the fossil displays including the remains of the Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, Brontops, Edmontosaurus annectens, and Stegosaurus.