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Museums Dedicated to Visual Artists

Travelling the world and visiting exhibitions in new cities is one of my favourite past times since pursuing art as a career. I love the idea of emerging myself in new experiences, exhibitions and researching places where I can travel to in the future that offer something different. I wanted to share some of the museums I would like to travel to around the world that are dedicated to the artists I consider to be some of the most fantastic creative geniuses of our time!

I have seen a few of their works at MoMA, The Met, QAG, GoMA and various other places, however I believe that being immersed in just their works would be the best source of inspiration for me ever! It excites me to think about being there. I hope that if you are planning a trip overseas you consider these in your itinerary!

 

Joan Miró Foundation:

Centre of Studies of Contemporary Art  

Constellation IV by Joan Miró

Where: Montjuïc in Barcelona 

The idea for the foundation was made in 1968 by Joan Miró. He wanted to create a new building that would encourage younger artists to experiment with contemporary art. The building was designed by Josep Lluís Sert to ensure that his work could also be make available to the public and exhibited. The building has courtyards and terraces and a natural path for visitors to move through the building. 


The foundation officially opened on 10 June 1975 and the first president was Miró's close friend Joaquim Gomis. Miró was also apart of the first board. Together they wanted to create a new foundation that represented a new way of viewing a museum and how the people of Barcelona could relate to their cultural heritage.


Miró donated many of his own artworks to the foundation, with works dating from 1917 to 1979. In line with Miró's original idea the foundation has a space named "Espai 13" which is dedicated to promoting the work of young experimental artists. 

Visit their website here!

 

  

Musée Marmottan Monet

Bridge over a pond of Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Where: 2, rue Louis Boilly Paris XVIe

The museum was originally a hunting lodge for the Duke of Valmy, it was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882 who left it to his son Paul Marmottan. After Jules's passing, Paul moved in and expanded his father's collection of paintings, furniture and bronzes. Paul gave his estate to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and the academy opened up the house and collection as the Museum of Marmottan in 1934.


Originally the museum was hosting art from the First Empire but took a change of course when two major donations were added to their collection. The first was in 1957 by Victorine Donop de Monchy who gave them an important collection of Impressionist works that had belonged to her father, Doctor Georges de Bellio, a physician to Manet, Monet, Pissaro, Sisley and Renior. He is also considered to be one of the earliest supporters of the movement. The second was in 1966 by Claude Monet's second son Michel Monet who left the museum his own collection of works by his father. This donation made the worlds largest collection of Monet paintings. Later in 1985, Nelly Duhem, the adopted daughter of Henri Duhem, donated his large collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works which included several Monet's to the museum.


After these donations, then curator Jacque Carlu built a special exhibition space for the Monet collection in a lower level of the museum. This houses some of Monet's last works including the Water Lilies. One of the most notable works within the collection is Monet's Impression, Sunrise the painting that inspired the movements name.


With all the success of the museum it has had it's losses. In 1985, five masked gunmen threatened security and visitors taking nine pieces. The valuation of the theft was at $12 million and was later recouped when arrests were made in Japan and the paintings were located in a small villa in Corsica in December 1990. 

Visit their website here!

 

 

Frida Kahlo Museum (Museo Frida Kahlo) aka the Blue House (La Casa Azul)

Self Portrait by Frida Kahlo

Where: Colonia del Carmen, Coyoacán in Mexico City

The museum is known by many names by the Blue House is most recognisable as the historic structure is cobalt-blue. The building was Kahlo's birthplace, the home where she grew up, lived with her husband Diego Rivera for a number of years and where she later died in a room on the upper floor. In 1958, Rivera donated the home and its contents in order to turn it into a museum in Frida's honour. It contains a collection of artwork by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and other artists along with the couple's Mexican folk art, pre-Hispanic artefacts, photographs, memorabilia, personal items and more. The collection is displayed in rooms and remains as it was then it was donated in the late 1950's.


It is the most popular museum in Coyoacán and one of the most visited in Mexico City. There are roughly 25,000 visitors a month and the museum is supported solely by ticket sales and donations.

 
It offers a complex insight to the lifestyle of wealthy Mexican bohemian artists and intellectuals during the first half of the 20th century. Neighbouring is the Anahuacalli Museum which was also established by Diego Rivera, they lived next to each other for a long time between her health issues and his infidelities. 

Visit their website here!

 

Van Gogh Museum 

Van Gogh's last ever painting.

Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

There are multiple places to visit regarding Van Gogh in the Netherlands. There is The Van Gogh Museum dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam. There is also the Van Gogh House (his old residence) which can visited in Zundert. The city of Tilburg, the old drawing room of Van Gogh's has been reconstructed and certain parts of the city are dedicated to him with monuments and murals. He is largely celebrated within his country of origin and more so around the world.

 
The Van Gogh Museum opened on 2 June 1973 and houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings. In 2017, the museum had 2.3 million visitors and was the most visited museum in the Netherlands and the 23rd most visited art museum in the world. Many of Van Gogh's works were unsold and inherited by his brother Theo. Theo passed away six months later and the works were then inherited to his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. She sold many of the artworks and maintained a large private collection herself. In 1925, Vincent Willem van Gogh inherited them after his mother's death. He loaned them to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam where it was displayed for many years and later transferred to the state initiated Vincent van Gogh Foundation in 1962.


The Dutch government commissioned the museum in 1963 and it was not finished until 1973. The famous Gerrit Rietveld created the designs and died a year after the commission had commenced. The museum has undergone several renovations since opening it's doors with architects from the Netherlands and Japan both having influence over several wings.


The museum has also had some of it's own drama with thefts. In 1991, twenty paintings were stolen and although the thieves escaped the paintings were recovered thirty minutes later from an abandoned car. Three of the paintings were severely torn during the theft (Wheatfield with Crows, Still Life with Bible and Still Life with Fruit). Four men and two guards were found guilty and given six to seven year prison sentences. In 2002, two paintings were stolen from the museum. The FBI Art Crime Team listed the robbery on their Top Ten Art Crimes list and estimated the combined value to be at US$30 million. They were recovered in September of 2016 by the Guardia di Finanza in Naples, Italy. They were found in a "relatively good state", according to the Van Gogh Museum.

Visit their website here!

 

 

The Andy Warhol Museum

Where: Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum in North America dedicated to one single artist. It holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives from the Pittsburg-born pop art icon Andy Warhol. It is a collaborative project of the Carnegie Institute, the Dia Art Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It is seventeen floors in total, containing 17 galleries featuring 900 paintings, close to 2,000 works on paper, over 1,000 published unique prints, 77 sculptures, 4,000 photographs and over 4,350 Warhol films and videotaped works. The museum has sponsored 56 traveling exhibits that have attracted close to 9 million visitors in 153 venues worldwide since 1996.

 
Two years after Warhol's death the plans for the museum were announced in October 1989. At the time the works had an estimated value of $80 million, which were donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Dia Foundation. The first director was Thomas N. Armstrong III who had been the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1974 to 1990. 

Visit their website here!

 

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Ram's Head With Hollyhock, 1935

Where:  Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

The museum is dedicated to the artistic legacy of Georgia O'Keeffe, her life, American Modernism and public engagement. It opened it doors on the 17 July 1997, eleven years after the artist's death. The museum was founded in November 1995 by philanthropists Anne and John Marion. The collection is the largest permanent collection of O'Keeffe's work in the world with over 3000 paintings and drawings. Subjects range from the artist's innovative abstractions to her iconic large-format flower, skull and landscape paintings to paintings of architectural forms and rocks, shells and trees. It includes gifts from the Burnett Foundation, the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation and more. Initially the collection was made of 140 paintings, watercolours, pastels and sculptures by now includes nearly 1,200 objects. 

Visit their website here!

 

Dalí Theatre and Museum

Where: Catalonia, Spain

The museum is dedicated to the artist Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres in Catalonia, Spain. Dalí is buried there in a crypt below the stage. The museum received 1,368,755 visitors in 2016. The museum is in the town's theatre that Dalí knew as a child. It was where one of the first public exhibitions of young Dalí's art was shown. It was burnt down during the Spanish Civil War and remained in a state of ruin until 1960 when he met with the mayor of Figueres to rebuild it as a museum dedicated to him. The plan was approved by the council in 1968 and construction begun the following year. The museum opened on the 28 September 1974 and expanded construction through to the 1980's. It now includes several buildings and courtyards adjacent to the old theatre.


The museum displays the single largest and most diverse collection of works by Salvador Dalí, the core of which was from the artist's personal collection. In addition to the Dalí paintings from all decades of his career, there are sculptures, three-dimensional collages, mechanical devices and other curiosities from Dalí's imagination. The collection also houses some works collected by Dalí, ranging from El Greco and Bougereau to Marcel Duchamp and John de Andrea.

 

 


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