10 of the best contemporary art museums in the world


You can browse Google Arts and Culture all day, but that will never match seeing an amazing work of art in person. Watching the craft and experiencing its presence can be an awe-inspiring moment. Even better, looking at works that aren’t part of our culture encourages us to think beyond ourselves, much like travel.

When visiting a new place, get a double dose of local culture by visiting a contemporary art museum. Some of the best institutions offer a mix of work that has both world-renowned names and top manufacturers in the region. They will also push the boundaries in terms of format and welcome new media. If you visit the MoMA PS1 in Queens, for example, it prides itself on being an experimental platform where new ideas can flourish. But they are not alone; you will find similar attitudes in Tokyo and Shanghai.

If you have a permanent sense of wanderlust, here are 10 of the best contemporary art museums in the world to get you started.

Scroll down to learn more about the best contemporary art museums in the world.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art & Broad Contemporary Art Museum Los Angeles, USA

Best art museums

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo: Tourists at LACMA by Maks Ershov/Shutterstock.com

The best contemporary art museums in the world

Broad Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo: The Broad Museum in Los Angeles with a crosswalk by artist Carlos Cruz-Diez by Kapi NG/Shutterstock.com

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum in the western United States. With an acquisition of over 120,000 objects, they have a collection of modern pieces as well as a contemporary selection which is augmented by the Broad Museum of Contemporary Art. The Broad opened in 2008 and features the work of Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Barbara Kruger. Together, the two museums present the history of art after the Second World War.

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

Best art museums

Photo: MusicAnimalown work, CC BY-SA 4.0

More commonly known as the “Whitney», this institution focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Their 21,000-piece collection showcases the conventional formats of paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs, in addition to new media, film and video. One of their best-known and longest-lasting events is the Whitney Biennial. Every two years, it presents a survey of contemporary American art and highlights lesser-known talents.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

Best art museums

Photo: Pennsylvaniaown work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The architecture of the Guggenheim Bilbao precedes the works kept inside. Created by architect Frank Gehry, the institution is best known for hosting “large-scale, site-specific works” by contemporary artists from around the world. One of the most notable displays featured Richard Serra’s 340-foot-long piece titled Snakemade for the inauguration of the museum in 1997. Serra’s work was again celebrated in 2005 at The question of timewhich presented his sculptures in “patinated steel” (including Snake).


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