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Our Favorite Art Museums

You’ve packed your SWIMS Boston Duffel full of versatile, fashion-forward gear, and you’re heading to one of the world’s most culturally interesting cities for meetings. At the last minute, you find out you have a free afternoon. What do you do?

We love exploring new modern art museums. There’s always great special exhibits, amazing architecture, chic crowds, and wonderful cafes and wine bars.

From Venice to Munich, New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Brazil, or wherever your travels take you, there’s a world-class modern art museum to satisfy your creative spirit. Art can nourish your soul by providing a new perspective, starting a social dialogue, and restoring your sense of awe.

Here are eight of our favorites:

1. The Brandhorst Musem in Munich, Germany
This German museum opened in 2009, and no stop in Munich is complete without a trip to the Brandhosrt Museum, which houses an incredible collection of contemporary art by Udo and Annette Brandhorst. With more than 100 pieces by Andy Warhol, this museum’s pop-art collection is unrivaled anywhere else in Europe. Take in paintings, sculptures, photographs, multimedia works, and art installations by both classical and avant-garde artists.

2. The Guggenheim in Venice, NYC, Bilbao, and Abu Dhabi
The best thing about the Guggenheim is that you can visit four architecturally and culturally distinct museum locations around the globe. Committed to innovation, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation collects, preserves, and interprets modern and contemporary art, and display it in Spain, Italy, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. Each location offers a completely different artistic journey. See if you can check all four off your bucket list.

3. Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden
Located on the island of Skeppsholmen, Moderna Museet is home to one of the world’s finest collection of both Swedish and international modern and contemporary art from the early 20th century to today. Take in pieces by Dali, Picasso, Rauchenberg, Duchamp, Matisse, and more. Peruse more than 5,000 paintings, sculptures, installations, and more than 25,000 drawings, prints, watercolors, and more than 100,000 photographs.

4. Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Italy
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO) features a selection of some of the most significant artists of the Italian art scene since the 1960s, and also offers art from influential international artists. According to Widewalls, “With its cutting edge modern interior design and highly innovative approach to representation of contemporary artworks, MACRO is an extremely active museum of a rather daring kind, rarely seen anywhere else in the world.”

5. Museu Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brazil
This one makes the list because there is truly nothing else like it in the world. Located in Brumadinho in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, this museum is in the middle of the jungle, and combines art and nature for an immersive experience you’ll not soon forget. Museu Inhotim features work by both Brazilian artists like Cildo Meireles and Miguel Rio Branco, and international artists, including Chris Burden, Matthew Barney, Paul McCarthy, and Olafur Eliasson. In addition to the extensive contemporary art collection, the museum has a must-see botanical collection containing rare species from every continent.

6. Museum of Modern Art in New York City
One of the most famous modern art museums in the world, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City is a celebration of creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. MOMA features more than 150,000 pieces of thought-provoking modern and contemporary art, thousands of films, and millions of film stills.

The Broad in Los Angeles
While the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOMA) gets all the love in Los Angeles, the buzz about The Broad has been building since it opened in 2015. The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art in the world, and has launched an active program of rotating temporary exhibitions and innovative audience engagement. The first visiting exhibit, Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, has already sold out advance tickets, but you can still get a same-day ticket if you’re in the area.

8. Glyptoteket in Copenhagen
Tucked away in the heart of Copenhagen, the Glyptoteket’s modern art collection focuses on Danish and French paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The heart of the museum is the classic 1906 sub-tropical winter garden with tall palm trees, fountain and fish pool. The museum was founded by brewing magnate Carl Jacobsen, the creator of Carlsberg beer.  

If you want more, visit these other modern art gems

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