Over last weekend Sandy and I drove to Kansas City to attend a funeral. Later we went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is, we think, one of the great museums in America. We started talking about the wonderful museums we’ve been privileged to see in the United States and elsewhere and out of curiosity Sandy looked up the ten top museums in the world. Right away we discovered that top picks vary according to who is making the list, but one of them listed the following.
Smithsonian Institution, Washing, D.C.
Le Louvre, Paris, France
The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
The British Museum, London, England
The Prado, Madrid, Spain
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York
The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Italy
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
We were surprised that we’ve visited all but three on that list: State Hermitage, The Prado, and Rijksmuseum. We’ve also been to three others that appeared on a different list: Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), New York City, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY; and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. There are many, many other fine museums here and abroad that we’ve visited and loved. Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas is a good example. That one recently featured an exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s incredible glass sculptures.
Thank goodness for museums. The big ones keep and protect the evidence of our past, the geniuses and anonymous artisans whose creative work has graced the lives of every generation. The Smithsonian alone houses 137 million objects.