8 Art Destinations Worth the Trip

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Paris, France

Paris is a triple threat when it comes to art institutions. Between the Musèe de L'Orangerie, The Lourve, and the Musèe D'Orsay you can see anything from Medieval artifacts to Renaissance paintings at the Lourve, to the infamous waterlilies by Monet at the Musée de L'Orangerie and the Van Gogh masterpeices and strikingly realistic Orientalism period works at the Musée D'Orsay.  Don't miss wandering the streets of Monmarte as Picasso, Pissarro, Mondrian, Renoir, Monet and Modigliani did back in their time when Paris was the center of the arts.  If you want a more contemporary scene visit when the FIAC art fair is set up in the Grand Palais in October for some contemporary art works on view in a magical setting. 

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

With more to offer than you probably thought, Amsterdam is known as the home to Dutch realists, and their works are largely represented within the Rijksmuseum.  Wander the halls of this beautifully designed museum where traditional dutch architecture and contemporary materials meet. Meanwhile you'll marvel at the detailed material like lace, velvet and silver that the Dutch Masters' paint to look like photographs with their steady hands.  Take a photo in front of the I Amsterdam sign before strolling across the Museumplein to the Stedelijk design museum.  You can't leave Amsterdam without visiting everyone's favorite, the Van Gogh museum which houses the largest collection of his work in the world.  If you're looking for an experience a bit more off the beaten path, check out Museum Van Loon.  The canal-side house turned art gallery hosts rotating exhibitions and some Roman romanticism paintings on the second floor. 

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New York, NY

You can't beat New York if you're looking for a exciting fast-paced art scene.  Fashion, art and wealth collide at major cultural events in NYC.  The highly revered institutions paired with the extensive gallery scene and the loaded art fair and auction calendar, there's always an event to go to.  Hop from the Whitney Museum and blue chip galleries in Chelsea to the MoMA and Christie's auction house in midtown.  Peruse the aisles of the Armory Show, Frieze NY or Spring/Break art fairs with a drink in hand or head uptown to The MET. The massive museum houses an immense collection of historical artifacts and artwork that spans centuries. In the summer they have a seasonal exhibition on the roof with a fully stocked bar which overlooks Central Park.  After The MET, stroll up Central Park East and visit the Guggenheim, the Neue Galerie (which is home to Klimpt's masterpieces and a collection of Egon Schiele's best works) and continue on to the new Met Breur. If modern art is more your style you can't miss the MoMA in midtown. It's a modernists dream with vertical layout, masterpiece filled walls and and windows looking out into the city.  No matter how many times I go it's always my go to for an artsy afternoon in the city.

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LOS ANGELES, CA 

Los Angeles is a burgeoning art scene to say the least. More and more creatives are moving to LA in order to have more space for less money than in other powerhouse cities such as NYC or London.  Many major collectors reside in LA and more and more blue chip galleries with spaces in NY and London are opening locations on the west coast.  The institutions in LA are young, continuously growing and already world renown.  The newest member of the family, being The Broad Museum which has entered the heart of LA with a big bang. It's founding family (being one of the most generous families in the Los Angeles area) has created the museum as a gift to the city bringing their collection to life.  The famous LACMA spans many genres and decades of art and cultural history.  And don't forget the famous photo op you can't leave without taking advantage of the Urban Light assemblage by Chris Burden.  The Getty Institution is the king on the hill, with it's magnificent views, scholarly reputation and fabulous restaurant...In addition to an epic collection you can't go wrong with a (free!) visit.  There's even more that LA has to offer with it's growing arts district, the MoCA's three locations, slew of street and mural art, art fairs, and gallery walks.

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London, England 

London is known for it's museums, historical sites and educational institutions, but in addition to all that, the city boasts some of the world's most impressive art collections.  I will never get tired of looking at contemporary art hung in traditional British buildings, it's probably my favorite way to view modern art. The intersection of tradition, history, and the "old" right next to innovation, the future and "the new" is most interesting and dynamic way to look at art. Walking around picturesque London and then popping into the colossal Tate Modern and finishing up at one of London's oldest pubs is a dichotomy that spurs the senses. You can't miss the collection of French and Post Impressionist art that hangs in the Neoclassical Courtauld Gallery.  And you definitely can't skip the British Museum, a living encyclopedia documenting thousands of years with a modern glass dome connecting the older museum walls.  London is also the home of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Frieze Art Fair, the Affordable Art Fair, and the home to Sotheby's Auction house. If you visit in the summer when you're strolling through Hyde Park make sure you check out the Serpentine Gallery and experience the seasonal architecture pavilion project. 

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Berlin, Germany 

A hipster's paradise, Berlin has everything from street art, hip galleries, art historical institutions and quirky foundations.  The East Wall Gallery is home to famous graffiti images along a still-standing part of the Berlin Wall in the uber cool area of Friedrichshain on the east side of the city.  Head to museum island to check out the Pergamon museum which contains the Pergamon alter and Ishtar Gate among other ruins from the Middle East and an extensive collection of Islamic Art.  Also on the island is the Neues Museum, Bode Museum, Altes Museum and the Berliner Dom.  I highly recommend checking out Sammlung Boros gallery which can only be viewed by appointment only and strictly houses contemporary art.  The collection is on view in an old WWII bunker converted into a gallery space, and the collectors built their home on the top! 

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San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is one of the most original and creative I've visited. San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art just re-opened after an insane renovation by the Norwegian firm, Snohetta.  Now, as one of the largest museums in the world after it's renovation, it holds a stunning collection of 20th century art  including the famous Doris and Donald Fisher collection.  For a completely different vibe, take the trolly over to groovy Haight-Ashbury and see some 60s street art and wander the local shops that were hippie hangouts during the Summer of Love.  San Francisco also has it's fair share of contemporary galleries and quirkier ones throughout the city.  The Mission district's Clarion Alley has some amazing murals to admire while sipping a deliciously strong local coffee. And don't miss the de Young museum's American art collection highlighting art from the Americas, the Pacific and Africa. There's something for everyone in San Francisco! 

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Turin, Italy

Turin isn't the first place to come to mind when you think about the arts, but little did you know, in and around this underrated Italian city, there's more of an art world allure than you'd expect. Turin has some extremely impressive foundations within it's reach.  The Castello di Rivoli Contemporary Art Museum is one you musn't miss.  It's not just an art museum but also a creative space that fosters artistry in the surrounding region and abroad.  Plus the structure is perched above the city and the views are on point!  Don't skip the ultra contemporary Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.  If you're staying in Turin take a day trip to Collezione Maramotti, the collection belongs to the founder of Max Mara, Achille Maramotti, and was originally created to inspire the company's designers and employees to explore creative expression.  After touring the impressive collection take a pit stop in Bologna which is only about 30-45 minutes away!