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Your opinion- Europe's greatest art museums

Your opinion- Europe's greatest art museums

Mar 18th, 2000, 09:19 AM
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Your opinion- Europe's greatest art museums

My travel mission is to see the world's greatest art museums. Of the multitudes, in your opinion, which are the best? I'm primarily interested in paintings. Also, since this is a Europe forum understandably you may want to limit your reply to Europe, but if you'd like to toss in your other favorites, please do!
Mar 18th, 2000, 09:47 AM
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Musee d'Orsay
Art Institute of Chicago
Vatican Museum

I will let others nominate the Louvre, Prado, Alte Pinakothek, Rijksmuseum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim(s) and others.
Mar 18th, 2000, 09:56 AM
the turnip
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I truly love Impressionism so my vote is for the Musee D'Orsay in Paris.
Mar 18th, 2000, 11:19 AM
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I echo Rex's sentiments for the top ones. Plus, I'd bring the Metropolitan to the top list.
Mar 18th, 2000, 11:48 AM
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Metropolitan Museum, Uffizi, and Louvre, but also Tate Gallery, the Frick Collection, and Peggy Guggenheim's collection in Venice.
Mar 18th, 2000, 01:41 PM
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In general terms, Rex alluded to some of the obvious answers to this question. My personal greatest are:

- Musee D'Orsay
- Louvre
- Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY
- Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA (wonderful town; awesome collection).

I just visited last Saturday the Guggenheim Museum in NY. Add to the list.
Mar 18th, 2000, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Here is my list so far, any others? Also where are the Prado, Alte Pinakothek, and Rijksmuseum?

MOMA ( New York)
The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York)
The Guggenheim (New York)
The Frick Collection (New York)

National Gallery (Washington, DC)
The Smithsonian Institution - Museum of American Art (Washington DC)

The Baltimore Art Museum (Baltimore)

Kimball Art Museum and Amon Carter Art museum (Fort Worth, TX)

Musee Rodin (Paris)
Louvre (Paris)
Musee de’Orsay (Paris)

Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)
The Vatican Museum (Italy)

Gardner Museum (Boston)
The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)
The Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA)

The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago)

The Norton Simon Museum (Los Angeles)
The Getty Museum (Los Angeles)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia)
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia)

Mar 18th, 2000, 08:21 PM
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For sheer, overwhelming stuff -- including lots of paintings -- but a relatively uncomfortable building (as of 6 years ago) -- the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
For a very comfortable building and lots of great paintings -- the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
For lots of great paintings, but a fairly uncomfortable building -- the Prado, in Madrid.
And, for really intricate and ornate objects d'art, the second floor of the Cultural History Museum in Vienna.
Mar 18th, 2000, 10:44 PM
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A little known gem:
the Kroeller Mueller Museum in National Park De Hoge Veluwe, Netherlands. Beautiful building in a huge park, surrounded by a sculpture garden. Lots of Van Gogh's.
Mar 19th, 2000, 03:05 AM
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Gigi, in New York, you added MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) to your list, as it probably should be, but you omitted Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wouldn't want you to miss that one! The Metropolitan has its medieval collection, the Cloisters, in a completely different part of town. It's worth a separate trip if medieval art is one of your interests. Are you really going to do this? You probably already have a lifetime mapped out!
Mar 19th, 2000, 04:30 AM
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May I add a couple that are off the beaten track? Because the Moslem faith forbids replication of life in art, certain collections of their art might not fall within your definition of "art museum" -- but the artistic taste, skills, and craftsmanship are hardly debatable. The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul now that the Sultan's audience rooms have been re-opened is an even greater treasure. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo -- vast, dusty, cluttered, and magnificent. And in Berlin, the museums at Dahlem and on Museum Insel. In Mexico City, the Museum of Cultural Anthropology.
Mar 19th, 2000, 04:45 AM
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In answer to your questions, the locations of the Prado and Riksmuseum have already been given above; the Alte Pinakothek is in Munich, and described very lavishly by Rick Steves (read it no charge, since he took it out of his book "Mona Winks") at www.ricksteves.com/services/munich.htm - - you might also want to read Rick's descriptions of the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna (a two parter) at www.ricksteves.com/services/kunst1.htm and ...2.htm - - and file away the information he gives at www.ricksteves.com/0999museums.htm to avoid lines at the Uffizi.

Many, many of these museums have great websites, and you can get a very good sense of what is like to visit them by traveling "online".

Or find a few friends, and there may be substantial interest among Fodorites in a museum-themed tour of some of the masterpiece destinations of Europe.

Write me.

Mar 19th, 2000, 07:44 AM
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For the architecture, don't forget that new pilgrimage site, The Guggenheim museum in Bilbao Spain, designed by Frank Gehry. It's not a coincidence that the Guggenheim in NYC, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is also an architectural landmark.
Mar 19th, 2000, 09:21 AM
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You really could spend the rest of your life going from one special exhibit to another - - from today's newspapers comes this announcement of big news at the Rijksmuseum:

The Rijksmuseum is proud to present this ambitious jubilee exhibition in 2000: a major survey of Dutch art of the 17th century. The dream of every museum is to put together the ideal overview. In the case of the Rijksmuseum, of course, it would have to involve the 17th century, the Golden Age, the period on which the museum's world-wide reputation is based. In 2000 the museum is going to achieve what seems impossible: the first major survey of the highlights from the 17th-century in the Netherlands: paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings and prints.

For more information, see www.rijksmuseum.nl

and in the process of trying to find a newspaper that had the Rijksmuseum story online, I happened to stumble across this announcement from Detroit:

March 12 - June 4, 2000

Van Gogh: Face to Face is the first comprehensive museum exhibition devoted exclusively to Vincent van Gogh's achievements in portraiture. It explores the full range of his portrait activity—from his earliest drawings and character studies to his numerous self-portraits and likenesses of friends—and spans the entire course of his brief but intense career.


Last of all, you might enjoy the website or the bi-monthly (I think) newsletter from www.musexpo.com - - it's very oriented to France, and not at all limited to major blockbuster exhibitions.
Mar 19th, 2000, 06:08 PM
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Another great museum that is not often mentioned is the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna - loads of fantastic old masters, including Brueghel, Rembrandt and one of my faves, Durer.
Mar 19th, 2000, 07:57 PM
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Personally, I loved the Louvre. Also, I've been to The Prado twice and would go back in a heartbeat. If you happen to be in Madrid, don't forget the Museum of Modern Art. Some of Picasso's works are amazing.
Mar 20th, 2000, 04:50 AM
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Perhaps someone can explain the attraction of the Louisiana museum of modern art north of Copenhagen. The setting is different, certainly. But we were puzzled at all the ooo's and ahhh's of those who went there. Perhaps it is a matter of taste, but we thought the works were not worthy of so much hype.
Mar 20th, 2000, 06:01 AM
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I don't think anyone has mentioned my favorite, the National Gallery in London. Unlike many other great European art museums, the National Gallery has an extraordinarily comprehensive collection.
Mar 20th, 2000, 06:30 AM
Beth Y.
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I have been to many of the major museums listed and echo the above posts, but I have to add a special second to Tiff's post. Of all the art museums I have been to, the modern art museum in Madrid, I think it is called the Reina Sofia now, moved me the most. I has some incredibly memorable Picasso's and others, including Guernica, which will stop you in your tracks. And I really never cared for modern art!?
Mar 20th, 2000, 06:54 AM
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Don't forget the great museums of Venice: the Accademia, the Frari (Titian) and the Scuola di San Rocco (Tintoretto). In London, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tate. In Italy, many of the greatest painted works of art are not in museums at all, but in the churches--e.g., the frescos of the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi.

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