Want to get your cultural fix in before the end of the year? We give you the scoop on the five museums you should put on your must-visit list today.
The impressive Vasa Museum brings us face to face with the history of a mighty European warship built more than 300 years ago.
In 1990, the Vasa Museum opened its doors on the island of Djugarden, Stockholm. Since opening, it has received millions of visitors, becoming one of the most important museums in northern Europe. Visitors can see up close— thanks to strategically placed ramps— the most famous 17th-century warship, fully restored. There are also multiple exhibits showcasing the battleship’s history, naval battles, living conditions on board, and documents and utensils found inside. On the ground floor, guests move around with the help of interactive computers, and there are programmed visits with specialized guides several times a day.
SOUMAYA, Mexico City
The Soumaya Museum in Mexico City is part of the Carlos Slim Foundation, a non-profit institution founded by the man many consider the richest in the world. The Foundation implements social and cultural programs with the goal of reducing poverty. Visitors can admire pieces by Rodin (the largest collection outside France), and by artists such as El Greco, Van Gogh and Picasso. There are also Mexican works from the Vice-royalty until the 20th century, by artists like Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and Toledo.
Located opposite Charlottenburg Palace, the Museum holds Heinz Berggruen’s precious collection of modern classics. Heinz Berggruen (1914-2007) was born in Berlin. With Adolph Hitler’s rise to power, he went into exile in the US in 1936, like many other German Jews of his generation. He returned to Europe in 1994, and three years later opened a gallery in Paris, where he started his collection. Before his death in 2007, he bequeathed all the works (with the consent of his heirs) to his native Berlin.
The museum’s permanent collection presents more than 60 pieces by Paul Klee, his poetic world from 1917 until 1940; more than 20 works by Matisse, including about a dozen of his paper cut-outs; sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, and a fine selection of African art.
MALBA, Buenos Aires
The permanent collection of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) contains a vast sample of Latin America's artistic production from the early 20th century to the present. It includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, objects and installations created by leading Latin American artists such as Frida Kahlo, Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, Fernando Botero, León Ferrari and Guillermo Kuitca, among others.
The Museum’s valuable collection elucidates the different variants of the Latin American avant-garde of the 1920s, the diversity of surrealism and the arrival of political expression in art, along with the abstract and concrete movements. The Latin American expressive panorama continues with contemporary artworks that range from Pop-art to the conceptualism and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s.
NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE, Singapore
In November of 2015, the most important gallery devoted to the arts in Southeast Asia opened its doors. At a cost of more than 530 million dollars, the gallery houses 8,000 works of art in 690,000 square feet (64,000 square meters). We are talking about the National Gallery Singapore. The government of the city-state of Singapore aims to establish the nation as a leading cultural tourist destination. With that premise in mind, they created—in its civic center—a stunning museum to display the most relevant works of local contemporary artists. At the same time, the institution serves to promote education, cultural exchange and the development of the arts in the region. Two emblematic neoclassical metropolitan palaces were repurposed for this project: the old city center and the former Supreme Court building.
The National Gallery Singapore has an extensive permanent collection from the leading contemporary artists in Southeast Asia. It includes masterpieces such as Lee Man Fong’s Self Portrait; Wounded Lion by Raden Saleh, and Marketplace During Occupation by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo, among many others. ■
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