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Guide to art galleries and museums in the world with permanent art collections featuring the work of old masters or historically important artists. Click on name of gallery/museum to visit respective web site.
Australia | Austria | Belgium | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Finland | France
Germany | Holland | Ireland | Italy | Poland | Russia | Sweden | USA |
Australia
Art Gallery Of New South Wales
Sydney – Home to some of the world’s most outstanding collections of art. Collections include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Asian Art, Australian Paintings, Contemporary art and Photography both Australian and international. Western art includes drawings, Modern Art, pre 1900 paintings, prints, pre 1900 sculptures, Watercolours.
Web Address: www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
National Gallery of Australia
Canberra – National Collection of Aboriginal & Torres Strait islander art, Asian art, Australian art and International art. International art collection is mostly modern, but also includes a small but historically significant group of European works pre-1800, highlights of which are works by Peter Paul Rubens and Giambattista Tiepolo. Highlights of the international collection of modern art include pieces by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. The international collection also includes a small but select group of objects and textiles from Africa, from indigenous North America and Pre-Columbian America.
Web Address: www.nga.gov.au
Austria
Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
Assembled by the Habsburgs, the museum collections are amongst the most important and spectacular in the world, and range from Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman Antiquities to collections of Medieval Art, and to splendid Renaissance and Baroque Collections. Archduke Leopold Wilhelm founded the picture gallery around the middle of the 17th century with works acquired while he was Governor of the Netherlands. His collection of some 1400 paintings consist mainly of Venetian Renaissance pieces by artists such as Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto, but also include major works of 15th to 17th century Flemish masters such as van Eyck, Rubens and van Dyck.
Web Address: www.khm.at
Belgium
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Brussels – The Museum of Ancient Art houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures and drawings from the 15th to the 18th century, the core of which is made up of works confiscated during the revolutionary period and works of art deposited by the French State. Bulk of the collection are paintings from the Southern Netherlands and includes panels of Primitive Flemish artists such as Rogier van der Weyden and Hieronymus Bosch and 4 important paintings by Bruegel. Other work includes sketches by Rubens, all the paintings of Jacob Jordaens and portraits by Anthony van Dyck.
Museum of Modern Art houses works of art from the end of the 18th century up to the modern period: paintings, sculptures and drawings.
Web Address: www.fine-arts-museum.be
Canada
National Gallery of Canada
Ottawa – National collection of art with special but not exclusive reference to Canada. Collections of European, American and Asian art, Contemporary Art, Inuit Art, Media Arts, Modern Art, Photographs, Canadian Prints and Drawings, European and American Prints and Drawings.
Web Address: national.gallery.ca
Czech Republic
National Gallery in Prague
Collections include: European Art from the Classical Era to the Close of the Baroque, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe, Mannerism and Baroque in Bohemia, Art of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries, Asian Art
Web Address: www.ngprague.cz
Denmark
Statens Museum for Kunst
Copenhagen – The Danish national gallery, featuring 700 years of Western art and cultural history in collections constituting almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, around 300,000 works of art on paper and over 2,600 plaster casts. The major part of the museum’s older collections comes from the art chambers of Danish kings. The paintings collection includes works from the Italian Renaissance, 17th century masters Rubens and Rembrandt, 19th century painters of the Danish Golden Age such as Eckersberg and Købke, and 20th century artists such as Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, and Emil Nolde.
Web Address: www.smk.dk
Finland
Finnish National Gallery
Sinebrychoff – Foreign masters in the Finnish National Gallery collection are housed in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Collection includes Dutch, Flemish, Italian and French art from the 14th to late 19th centuries, by artists such as Bonnard, Cézanne, Chagall, Corot, Degas, Delacroix, Goya, Léger, Modigliani, Rodin and Signac. Also Swedish portraits, Russian and Karelian icons, graphics and a collection of miniatures. The collection also includes some porcelain and furniture.
Web Address: www.fng.fi
France
Louvre Museum
Paris – Houses more than 6 000 European paintings dating from the end of the 13th century to the mid 19th century, in a wide variety of genres and formats, from miniatures to monumental canvases. Since 1794, the Department of Paintings has been organised into national schools. The Palace, one of the oldest galleries in Europe, having been a museum since 1793, has also been a medieval fortress and the palace of the kings of France.
Web Address: www.louvre.fr
Musee d’Orsay
National museum opened in December 1986 to show the artistic creation of the western world from 1848 to 1914. Paintings are organised chronologically and grouped according to aesthetic currents. Ground floor is devoted to the period up until the beginning of the 1870’s showing later works by Ingres and Delacroix and early pieces by Degas. Also featured are Millet, Corot and the Barbizon School, and Manet and the future Impressionists’ first works. Middle level houses a collection of foreign paintings including work by Burne-Jones, Klimt and Munch, in addition to works by Maurice Denis, Roussel, Vuillard and Bonnard. Several galleries with controlled lighting allow pastels by artists such as Millet, Manet, Degas, Redon, Mucha and Mondrian to be exhibited on a permanent basis. Highlights on the top floor include Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Galerie des Hauteurs features rooms devoted to Manet and Whistler, plus other work by Degas, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley and Caillebotte. Also galleries devoted to Monet and Renoir after 1880, and work by Cézanne and Van Gogh. Works by Redon, Gauguin, the Neoimpressionism of Signac, Seurat and their friends, the Nabis and Toulouse-Lautrec are exhibited in the Bellechasse gallery.
Web Address: www.musee-orsay.fr
Germany
Hamburger Kunsthalle
Hamburg – Art from the Middle Ages includes one of the greatest paintings in north German Gothic art, the Grabow altar of 1379 by Master Bertram. Dutch 17th century painting is represented by an early Rembrandt work, landscapes by van Goyen and van de Velde and genre paintings by Jan Steen and de Hooch. Gallery of Classical Modernism includes work by Beckmann and Kokoschka, along with artists from the Brücke and Blauer Reiter groups. German painting of the 19th century is a particularly strong feature along with work by artists such as Munch and Manet.
Web Address: www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de
Holland
The Mauritshuis
The Hague – Formerly the mansion of Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau Siegen, governor-general of Dutch Brazil, built c1640, the Mauritshuis has housed the Royal Cabinet of Paintings since 1822. Core of the collection consists of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Steen and Frans Hals, plus other Dutch and Flemish art from the 15th to the 17th century.
Web Address: www.mauritshuis.nl
The Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam – The largest collection of art and history in the Netherlands, with an internationally renowned collection based around paintings of the 17th century Dutch Republic, including 20 works by Rembrandt, 4 by Vermeer and many other paintings by artists such as Frans Hals and Jan Steen. Also superb collections of silver, delftware, doll’s houses, prints, drawings, Asiatic art and a presentation on Dutch history.
Web Address: www.rijksmuseum.nl
Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art
Amsterdam – The Stedelijk Museum has responsibility for a large part of the collection of modern art belonging to the City of Amsterdam – a diverse collection of more than 100,000 objects from 1850 onwards, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, graphic design, applied arts, industrial design and new media. Collection includes remaining works by Van Gogh which were not moved to the new Van Gogh Museum next door to the Stedelijk in 1972. Other highlights include collections of German and Dutch Expressionism, and a unique collection of works by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, including 29 paintings.
Web Address: www.stedelijk.nl
Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland
Dublin – Houses national collection of Irish art as well as collection of European master paintings. Irish art includes portraits by Lavery and Orpen. Renaissance treasures include work by Fra Angelico, Mantegna and Titian, and there is a distinguished collection of 17th century paintings. Impressionists represented include Monet, Sisley, Pissarro and Signac, and 20th century artists include Picasso and Nolde. Collection of Dutch 17th century masters includes works by Vermeer, Metsu and Ruisdael. Mostly religious Spanish painting includes pieces by El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. British painting is mostly portraiture, by artists such as Hogarth, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Raeburn. Other artists represented include Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Fragonard, Chardin and J.L. David.
Web Address: www.nationalgallery.ie
Italy
Galleria degli Uffizi
Florence – Important collection of art work, particularly of Renaissance Italy, housed in Uffizi palace, construction of which began in 1560. Collection includes work by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Dürer, Michelangelo, Veronese, Tintoretto, Rubens, Caravaggio and Rembrandt.
Web Address: www.uffizi.firenze.it
Poland
National Museum in Warsaw
Collection includes 780,000 items on display in several permanent galleries. Gallery of Foreign Painting holds one of the richest collections of European art in Poland, presenting the development of the main schools. 14th-18th-century Italian and French Painting includes early Renaissance pieces including work by Sandro Botticelli. Venetian painting is represented by an important set works and there is a set of paintings from the Circle of Caravaggio. Also collections of 15th-16th-century Netherlandish and German Painting and the 17th-century Dutch and Flemish collection includes the Rembrandtian rooms.
Web Address: www.ddg.art.pl/nm/
The National Museum in Cracow
Artefacts from every period of history, a collection of ancient art, recent works acquired from contemporary artists, and collections of medieval and modern art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The core of the collection is Polish art, though there are also numerous western European works, a collection of religious art related to the Orthodox Church, and an extremely valuable collection of oriental art, mainly from Japan. The Museum also collects library collections (including old prints, manuscripts and cartography), numismatics and historical photographs.
Web Address: www.muzeum.krakow.pl
Russia
The State Hermitage Museum
St Petersburg – Occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva. Collections of over 3 million items present the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Extensive collection of Italian painting occupies 30 rooms, encompassing development from the 13th century to the beginning of the 19th century. Pride of the collection are works by the great masters of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian and Michelangelo. The Hermitage has 2 of the 10 or 12 original works by Leonardo known in the world today. Paintings by Caravaggio, Salvatore Rosa, Gianmaria Crespi, Tiepolo and Francesco Guardi provide examples of later Italian art.
Web Address: www.hermitagemuseum.org
Sweden
Nationalmuseum
Stockholm – Department of painting and sculpture alone contains some 16,000 works by artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas, and Gauguin. Art from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century highlights Swedish 18th and 19th century painting, plus substantial collections of Dutch 17th century and French 18th century art. Collection of 18th century art is considered one of the finest in the world. Collection of 500,000 prints and drawings from the 15th to early 20th century. Decorative arts department comprises c30,000 objects from six centuries: tapestries from the 15th to the 17th centuries, Scandinavia’s largest collection of china, glass, Swedish silver and furniture.
Web Address: www.nationalmuseum.se
USA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
New York – An outstanding centre of modern art, with a collection especially strong in post-war American and European art. Artists represented include Gorky, Pollock, Warhol, and Johns. Permanent collection covers Renaissance to American and European art of the 18th and 19th centuries. Impressionism and Postimpressionism are well represented by such artists as Gauguin and van Gogh. Cubism, Surrealism, Constructivism, and other trends of the 20’s and 30’s are represented by significant works by Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Miró, Mondrian, Rodchenko, and others.
Web Address: www.albrightknox.org
The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago – Paintings sculpture, furniture, and silver in the European Art department dates from the Middle Ages to 1900. Highlights include an impressive collection of French 19th century painting which includes work by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne and Seurat. Also important holdings in 18th century painting and 17th century works from the Spanish, French, and Italian schools. American Arts Department includes paintings and sculpture from the 18th and 19th centuries, and decorative arts from the 17th century to the present.
Web Address: www.artic.edu
Brooklyn Museum of Art
New York – Second largest art museum in New York City. Permanent collection includes more than one and a half million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. Collection of painting and sculpture includes European and American works from the 14th century to the present day. The collection of American paintings is considered one of the finest in the US. Highlights of the European holdings are 58 works by Auguste Rodin. Other masterpieces in the collection include works by Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, and Henri Matisse.
Web Address: www.brooklynart.org
Cleveland Museum of Art
Collections of art include: Asian, Ancient & Islamic, art of the Americas, African, photography, medieval, painting, decorative arts, sculpture and contemporary art.
Web Address: www.clevelandart.org
The Frick Collection
New York – Collection housed in the mansion built by Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s most successful steel and railroad tycoons, comprising masterpieces of Western painting, sculpture, and decorative art. Of the 16 galleries, the Living Hall is filled with masterpieces by Holbein, Titian, El Greco, and Bellini and the long West Gallery is hung with canvases including landscapes by Constable, Ruisdael, and Corot and portraits by Rembrandt and Velázquez. There are 3 pieces by Vermeer, and the East Gallery is adorned with works by Degas, Goya, Turner, Van Dyck, Claude Lorrain, Whistler and others.
Web Address: www.frick.org
Guggenheim Museum
New York + Venice + Bilbao + Berlin – Established in New York 60 years ago as The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York developed alongside sister institution in Venice, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin both opened in 1997. The Guggenheim collection online encompasses both the classic and the new, from the Guggenheim’s earliest work, an 1867 landscape by Camille Pissarro, through more recent acquisitions. The site also includes additional resources, such as artist biographies, definitions of art-historical terms, concepts on art, and suggested readings on a searchable database.
Web Address: www.guggenheim.org
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York – Collection contains more than 2 million works of art from over the world from the ancient to the modern. Collection of Old Master and 19th century European paintings totals around 2,200 works, highlights of which are pieces from French, Italian, and Dutch schools. Among the many masterpieces are works by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo; the Impressionists (including 37 Monets and 21 paintings by Cézanne); 5 pieces by Vermeer. Entire department of European Paintings can be searched by artist, period, style, or keyword. Other collections include: American Decorative Arts, Paintings and Sculpture; Ancient Near Eastern Art; Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; Asian Art; Egyptian Art; Greek and Roman Art; Medieval Art; Modern Art; Photographs; Textiles.
Web Address: www.metmuseum.org
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston – Many of the Museum’s finest works of art, including furniture, silver and masterpieces by Copley, Stuart, and Sargent, were given by descendants of the sitters or original owners. A highlight of the collection is the William H. Lane Collection of American modernist painting. The museum’s collection of 350,000 objects encompasses some of the most rare and important artistic treasures in the world and includes American art, European art, ancient art, Asian, African and Oceanic art, contemporary art, prints, drawings, photographs, musical instruments, and textile and fashion arts.
Web Address: www.mfa.org
The Museum of Modern Art
New York – Permanent collection widely acknowledged as one of the greatest collections of modern art in the world. Since the Museum’s founding in 1929, the collection has grown to over 3,500 objects, highlights of which include Paul Cézanne’s The Bather, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Henri Matisse’s Dance, and Henri Rousseau’s The Dream.
Web Address: www.moma.org
National Gallery of Art
Washington D.C. – Houses one of the finest collections in the world illustrating major achievements in painting, sculpture, and graphic arts from the Middle Ages to the present. Website includes many art resources. American paintings collection includes works by Whistler, Sargent and Tanner. British collection includes pieces by Constable and Turner. The collection of Dutch and Flemish 16th-17th centuries painting includes works by Frans Hals, Rubens, van Dyck and Johannes Vermeer. French 19th century collection features artists such as Manet, Camille Pissarro, Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet and Degas. Italian 16th century collection includes works by Raphael and Titian. Spanish artists are represented by El Greco and de Goya. Highlights of the 20th century collection of paintings and sculpture includes work by Pollock and Rothko.
Web Address: www.nga.gov
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Among the great art institutions of the world, housing over 300,000 works of art. European collections include medieval sculpture, stained glass, a 13th-century French cloister; masterpieces of Renaissance painting; superb Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. American collections include the most important collection in the world of works by Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins. 20th century art includes work by Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Duchamp.
Web Address: www.philamuseum.org