Museum reviews/recommedations


we are spread across the globe and have a knack for finding great spaces to explore .
please share hidden gems you’ve found during your travels (or the best spots from the communities where you’ve lived) and why you love em

conversation with Fumitake Tamura about dia:beacon incredible collection of artists creating minimal work is what sparked my idea for the thread

built in 2003 and features stuff from the 60s to the present day



My two favorite vaguely lesser known museums in the United States are the Wolfsonian (which focuses on art and design from 1950 to 1950) in Miami and the Clyfford Still Museum (dedicated to just that one artist, an abstract expressionist) in Denver. I’ve seen amazing work at the Wolfsonian, most memorably an exhibit of the influence of car culture, in particular architectural sketches from when road-side gas stations were still a rough idea being developed.

My favorite Tokyo museum is the NTT-ICC, which was second on my to-do list every time I visited. (First on my list was a club in Sendagaya called Loop Line that has sadly closed.) The NTT-ICC always has interesting forward-looking and historic exhibits about the intersection of art and technology.



hmm not particularly hidden, but in recent years i liked

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the permanent collection is quite stunning, and presented in an original and non-boring way
  • Musée d’Art moderne de Villeneuve-d’Ascq (northern france), which has a great outsider art collection
  • La Maison Rouge, in Paris, present interesting exhibitions (also often in the field of outsider art) (and it’s gonna close in a year, so hurry up ^^)
  • Musée départemental d’art ancien et contemporain, in Épinal, eastern france, well it’s a place of my teenage years but revisiting it after having seen lots of other “musées départementaux” (museums funded by an administrative subdivision of the territory containing ~500.000 inhabitants and being more or less an affirmation of the local power relationship to culture) i realized its contemporary art collection is actually impressive and well chosen, spanning most important currents while retaining a cohesive feeling.
  • and while you are visiting eastern france, the FRAC Lorraine (regional fund for contemporary arts) in Metz should be worth a visit (i haven’t been there for a long time but i remember an edgy place in a beautiful part of the city).
  • a (12 hour drive) bit further east, Kraków, Poland, has lots of small places hidden around, where you can chase after Tadeusz Kantor’s spirit.


Excellent picks

There used to be some Clyff Still pieces exhibited at the Hirshhorn (DC) and I would love to see an entire gallery dedicated to his work!

A great museum w/ sole focus on one artist was the highlight of my 08 trip to Barcelona. Highly recommend Fundacio Joan Miro to anybody visiting the city.

1 Like



To clarify…these don’t have to be hidden or particularly obscure

As long as you have good memories of the place and want to share thought provoking exhibits with us that is enough

We’d all enjoy hearing more about them



Oddly perhaps, what comes to mind straight away is The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.

Not widely known outside the area (and even, frankly, to most people in the area), the museum is itself its own kind of conceptual work of art.

Baffling, curious, whimsical–not about art itself per se, but fans of surrealism, Dada, absurdist art/experiences, apocrypha et al., might find a visit engaging.



a few off the beaten path spots that we visited on the last tour that i’d highly recommend:

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum - amazing archive of cartoons dating back to the birth of comics in newspapers at Ohio State in Columbus, OH. found this one at random after leaving a cindy sherman show at the university gallery, and it was just fantastic. so many originals, from winsor mccay to bill watterson, curated beautifully. well worth the trip!

KMAC Museum - great arts & crafts space in Louisville, KY, again beautifully curated. the current main show there was quietly astounding, an exploration of the concept of an eclipse through contemporary art.

Heard Museum - in Phoenix, AZ, and focuses on american indian artwork. we went for a kahlo/rivera exhibit but stayed for their gorgeous collection of southwest native american work. as a bonus we were there in time to see a demonstration of hoop dancing by the current world champion. so cool.



The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in Manhattan was really interesting. It had a lot of thought-provoking work and didn’t feel overwhelming in terms of stuff to see (a couple of hours seemed like a good amount of time to see most things).

Also very interested to know of cool places to check out in the LA area…gonna be there for the first time for a few days later this month.



If you’re in LA, make a point to visit the La Brea Tar Pits, and see if you can get inside to take a look at their collections and specimen processing facility.

You will never ever forget the smell.



Thanks for linking this, will be in LA later in the month and I’ll definitely have to make a visit



That’s great that you had such a meaningful experience at KMAC. :slight_smile:

I’m proud to have played there, organized music performances there, but also played in bands with the curator. He’s got a great eye and vision for that space. They had a special Louisville flyer show of a lot of the old punk rock posters from the White Glove Test book there…



St. Petersburg, FL - The Salvador Dali museum. It’s the biggest collection of Dali’s works anywhere in the world. And it’s enough to saturate you, have you taking a break, and saturate you again when you go back in.

Venice, Italy - The Peggy Guggenheim collection. What a place! She had an amazing private collection (and Venice is super surreal.)

Manchester UK - I Come From Taiwan. The best bubble tea I’ve ever had ; )



Visited the Dali museum last year while holidaying in Florida, stunning building, with an even more stunning collection inside



YES! What a great suggestion!



Kansas City, Missouri: Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. You don’t expect a world class art museum in Missouri, but there it is. One of the better general art museums I’ve visited anywhere in the world. I feel very fortunate that I got to grow up nearby and spent so much time during my youth there. Kansas City Art Institute (where Walt Disney went to college) is across the street. The downtown area has become quite the arts scene as former meatpacking warehouses have been gentrified into gallery spaces.

Bentonville, Arkansas: Crystal Bridges art museum. You REALLY don’t expect a world class art museum in Arkansas, but, well, they are definitely working hard at it, and have made some notable acquisitions.



Mainly because it’s local to me in S.E London, UK but Lines-related it has one of largest collections of musical instruments in the world.



There is the Setia Darma House Of Mask And Puppets in Ubud Bali that is worth a visit if you are in the area. The masks and puppets are almost all from Bali or Indonesia but with a few from Japan. They have a lot of complete Wayang Kulit sets including, bizarrely, a life of Jesus one. It is run on donations and when I was there it was pretty deserted which is a welcome change in Bali.

I am a fan of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum in Singapore. I used to be a member and spent a bunch of time sketching the exhibits there. No where near the scale of the one in New York but beautifully put together with lots of interesting SE Asian animals. It was funny hearing a group of Chinese tourists discussing which of the exhibits made good eating.

The Siriraj Medical Museum in Bangkok is worth a visit if you are into anatomy or the macabre. Lots of preserved human anatomy and the mummified remains of a notorius serial killer. It can all be a bit confronting.



while visiting museum of jurassic tech be sure to stop by center for land use interpretation, a few doors down.

beautifully researched projects are often on display–



This is an amazing thread! Here are a couple of my favourites:

  • Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis. Amazing collection and special exhibits, also home to EyeO Festival every June.

  • Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo. Fantastic contemporary art museum, and a great reason to visit Buffalo and also do an architecture walking tour (some of the best early/mid-century architecture in America)

  • The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh. Easily one of my favourite places on earth. A museum dedicated to site specific installations, including a permanent collection. Like stepping through the looking glass. Also right down the street from Randyland, a must see folk-art masterpiece.

  • Lousiana Museum, Denmark. A huge museum near Helsingor dedicated to contemporary and installation art. The grounds alone are worth a visit.

  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. I’d be remiss to not include my home town art museum :slight_smile: It’s a lovely museum with a great permanent collection of Canadian modern art, and international works. Really well curated and presented. They also host phenomenal special and touring exhibitions.



I visited a friend in Brussels recently and he recommended the Musical Instrument Museum

I was sceptical but they have a fantastic collection - also of mechanical instruments. My favourite is the Componion made by Diederich Nicolaus Winkel in 1821 which produces (seemingly) endless random variations on a theme! It’s also mentioned in Roussel’s amazing book Locus Solus. Algorithmic music avant la lettre. Cool building too with views over the city.