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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Art Museum Bucket List

I have lived in a number of locations in the continental US, and visited over 40 states.  I've lived in very small towns and I've lived in staggering large metropolis (Washington DC).  I've visited many cities and many art museums and galleries.

One of the attractive aspects in the positive column for choosing to live in certain locations is the "charm" factor.  Now I'll grant that charm is a fairly nebulous term to throw out there and is highly subjective.  But one of the factors that add to the charm of a place for me is the architecture.
Santa Fe Museum of Art
Not having been there in over 7 years, I'm sure it has changed somewhat, but the Southwestern style adobe architecture of Santa Fe, New Mexico, for example, is one of the charming aspects of that area, not to mention the amazing blue sky and the unbeatable light factor (okay, the sunsets and the green chile are pretty darn fabulous also!).  The delightful art deco buildings of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, along with the mild temperatures, the ever-growing community of artists and musicians make it a cultural mecca of the South. Who woulda thought?
Asheville Art Museum
I find it very challenging to live in cities where the building are simply concrete and glass boxes that are purely functional.  BORING. I know there must be people who like this look, or maybe more to the point, people just aren't paying any attention.  Surely it cannot cost more to construct a building that at least has some aesthetic value to the structure as it does a boring utilitarian box.  Thinking about architecture and how it affects my personal affection for a given locale has made me think about art and the museums where art is housed.  I'm sure there are architects who don't believe that their architecture should be attracting attention in an artistic way.  My question? Why the hell not?

Much to my absolute delight over the past decades, I've seen a continuing trend in art museums to not only house artworks, but to be a beacon of art in and of themselves.

Here is a gallery of some of my favorites.  Some I have been to already, but I hope to eventually get a chance to visit all of them and I encourage you to visit them if you are in the area as well.  I'm sure I've missed some but I will try to remedy that.  And, call me crazy, but see if you don't agree that these museums are works of art that definitely must add to the charm factor of their hometowns.

Akron (Ohio) Museum of Art

Datong Museum of Art China

Museum of Contemporary Art Washington DC

Museum of Art Denver (Colorado)
Dubai Museum of Art

Museum of Art Hong Kong (China)

Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation (France)

Museum of Art, Minneapolis (Minnesota)

Museum of Art, Milwaukee (Wisconsin)

Guggenheim Museum of Art in Bilbao (Spain)

Museum of Art in Brazil

Centre Pompidou Metz in France

Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis (Minnesota...again)
Apartment building in Budapest (Turkey)
Okay, that last one is a cheat.  It's not an art museum.  But, in my opinion, IT SHOULD BE.  What a great way to attract visitors!  And I don't know what is going on in Minneapolis but they seem to really have it going on.  Perhaps they focus on art to forget about the frigid cold winters?  If there is a bucket list for artists, then these museums are definitely on the "get to see them" list!