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Old July 14th, 2006, 05:52 AM   #81
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1) Louvre
2) Guggenheim (NY)
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Old July 16th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #82
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1- Le Louvre
2- Smithsonian museums in Washington DC
3- Vatican museums
4- Palace Museum in Beijing
5- British Museum & Tokyo National Museum

Other contenders: NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hermitage in Saint-Petersbourg, Cairo Museum

When the Palace Museums of Beijing and Taipei are reunited, the combined museum will easily rank number one on par with Le Louvre.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #83
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Unfortunately, the largest and most extraordinary museum of all times, the Imperial Gardens of Beijing, also known as the Old Summer Palace, was burnt to the ground by British and French expeditionary troops in 1860. Totally shameful!
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Old July 16th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #84
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I don't think the Summer Palace was a museum though. I doubt it was open to the public at all.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 07:34 PM   #85
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It wasn't, but it was nonetheless the largest state art collection in the world. Museums in Europe were not opened to the public either until very late in history. The first public museum, Le Louvre, was opened to the public in 1793, during the French Revolution. Before that, the French royal collections were for the only pleasure of the king and a few scholars and artists admitted by the king to admire and study the masterpieces.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #86
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@macon4ever

Well let's start with answering your question that indeed cyrillic is the alphabet used in Bulgaria, but if you ever visit Bulgaria I doubt the language will be of any trouble since in Sofia, the capital and in any other big touristi site, there are alot of signs in English.

If you ever decide to visit Bulgaria you should go to the Black Sea at the beautiful resorts of either Sunny Beach, Albena or Golden Sands. Cheap quality hotels, good transport, excellent food, full of historical sites, GREAT night life, beautiful beaches & broads and of course great weather.

On the other hand if you decide to visit Bulgaria during the winter, you will be able to discover the beautiful scenery of Bulgaria's mountains
Bansko, Borovetz & Pamporovo are Bulgaria's top 3 ski resorts, in recent years millions of dollars have been invested in those resorts, and in 3-4 years they should become some of Europe's most beautiful and quality ski resorts.
Same thing goes for ski resorts, cheap, great ambience, beautiful nature, historical background.

ALthough historical tourism hasn't been developped as much as summer and winter toursim, Bulgaria is full of historical sites that will amaze you greatly. Bulgaria does not have palaces and cathedrals like in Western Europe, but on the other hand has many Antique & Medieval towns well preserved, ancient tombs, ancient sanctuaries, monasteries, some of the oldest churches in Europe....

As for the museums I showed you, they are really worth visiting although as I said they are not comparable to such great museums as Louvre, Hermitage or others but they hold interesting artifacts. If you ever go to Varna, you should visit the Archeological Museum that holds the oldest golden tresure of the world.

The only sad thing in Bulgarian Archeology is that many artifacts are smuggled abroad to be sold to some rich collectioneurs. Although in recent years many Thracian tombs were discovered and many treasures too, many others are destroyed and stolen by treasure hunters.Unfortunately although Bulgaria has an immense potential in archeology, the government does not fund the archeologists much, and at the end looters have more money to smuggle artifacts than archeologists to save them.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #87
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The Louvre in Paris is undoubtedly the most popular of all Museums imaginable, and it has GREAT pieces!
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Old July 29th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #88
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for me it's the "Deutsches Museum" in Muinch
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Old July 30th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #89
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Diamantmuseum in Antwerp
And most people nominate the Louvre because it's the most popular museum I guess, but how many people did really visited all the best museums in the world? And nobody, except for 2 or 3 Dutch people is nominating the Rijksmuseum. I'm sure that's also one of the best museums in the whole world.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #90
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Oh and I like that museum in Bilbao too, but I've never been there
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #91
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I am truly disappointed in how little everyone here seems to know about our planet's museums. I must admit I expected more form the participating Europeans, especially considering the joy they receive in gloating about their superior appreciation of all things beautiful (or at least America's lack thereof).

Heres a list by someone who has been to at least 30 of the world's greatest art museums. And here's a crazy thought, actual explanations for each of my choices.

1) Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City) -

This was a tough choice because in terms of European paintings up to the mid-ninteenth century, both the Lourve and the National Gallery in London outdo this museum easily. But the Met is an encyclopedic collection of the entire history of art unlike the Louvre and NGL, and because it does everything so well; the Met is number 1 by default.

Admittedly the Italian Renaissance art is not great here. Its very good but not great. Probably the second best collection outside of Europe (behind the National Gallery in DC). The Asian art is also very respectable for being outside of east Asia, but Boston and Kansas City are both better. Otherwise there are no "weaknesses". The museum is top 3 in the world in nearly every other department. Ancient (maybe the second best collection--after British-- after the looting of the Bagdahd museum), classical (a slight notch below British and Louvre...a larger notch below Rome and Athens), Egyptian (Cairo is one, British is two, Met is right behind), Native American (overall number one even though regional museums--i.e. Vancouver/Mexico City--have more impressive local collections), African (number two behind British), medieval (best outside of Europe), Northern Renaissance (Nat Gallery in London is one, Prado two, Met is tied with the Louvre at three), Baroque (easily number one outside of Europe), Spanish (There is the Prado, then everyone else...Met is at the top of everyone else), Dutch (number two behind Riiksmuseum), Romantic (two behind Louvre), neoclassical (two behind Louvre), impressionism (two behind d'Orsay) and modern (top five after Moma, Tate, Pomp, and maybe Walker).

2) Le Louvre (Paris) -

A very very close number two. If you are looking for instantly recognizable icons of the art world, there are three stops, Florence, Rome, and most important, Paris. If I had rated the museums based on fame of individual pieces rather than simply quality of departments, the Louvre would have been the runaway choice as one. Also, if you took the best paintings from dOrsay and Pompidou and transplanted them to a couple of medium sized rooms at the palace, it would be the best museum ever and no other institution would come close. Unfortunately, impressionism, modern, and post-modern art is just too importmant and so it must be penalized for this gaping hole in it's collection.

3) British Museum (London)-

Elgin marbles, Rosetta, and on and on and on... I personally would rather spend the day at the National Gallery because I prefer looking at paintings, but you just can't deny how monumental this collection is.

4) Naional Gallery (London)-

The most underated art museum in the world (as evidenced by it not garnering a single vote by any of you fools before me). From the renaissance to impressionism, it just has masterpiece after masterpiece by every (and I mean every) major artist throughout the annals of art history. The pieces just aren't as famous as they are in the Louvre, which is a shame because they deserve to be. For example, I think the "Virgin of the Rocks" is the best Leonardo painting extant in the world; better than the more famous "Madonna of the Rocks". Again, penalized for not being at all encyclopedic, this musum would easily rank number one if combined with The British.

5) Vatican Museums (Rome) -

Michelangelo and Caravaggio alone would put this museum in the top ten. If you love the Italian Renaissance, far and away, more than any other genre; this is your number one.

6) Smithsonian/National Gallery (Washington DC) -

A fantastic collection of museums that explore the history of mankind. I include the National Gallery--even though it is technically not the same institution--because they share the same grounds at the mall, although I did penalize it for doing so. Without a penalty, Smithsonian/NGA would easily be in the top three and might even be number one. The National Gallery has an vast collection of european art. And seriously, where else can you look at a fantastic Leonardo da Vinci or Giorgione, then head down to the next bulding to look at the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon, or the first plane to cross the Atlantic? It gives me chills just thinking about it.

7) Prado (Madrid) -

Pound for pound (or kilo for kilo), the best museum in the world. Not huge like some of the other fortresses on this list, it makes up for a lack of quantity by displaying the best of the best. Velazquez may be my favorite artist and most of his masterpieces are here. Also Bosch, Weyden, Rapheal...this museum is such a jewel it makes my heart ache.

8) Hermitage (St. Petersburg) -

The Russians went out of their way to collect art as part of their effort to "westernize" their culture, and damn did they have good taste. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for Americans) they sold some their most valuable treasures in the early 20th century in order to raise money. If they hadn't done that this museum would be sick. Still one of the great encyclopedic museums in the world.


9) Museum of Modern Art (New York) -

If we are going to reward the Vatican for being end-all-be-all of Italian Renaissance art, then we have to reward the MOMA for being the greatest modern art museum in the universe. This is paradise for lovers of modern art.

9) Ufizzi (Florence) -

Fantastic art absolutely litters all of Florence. And this place in particular. Kudos for having my favorite Caravaggio.

10) American Museum of Natural History (New York) -

I'm not much for looking at dead animals and dinosaur bones, but this barely beats out the comparable museums I have visited in Chicago and London.

11) Musee d'Orsay (Paris) -

What the Vatican is to Italian art, and the MOMA is modern art: this place is to impressionism. Add on top of that the fact that it is the second best place in the world to look at art (behind Guggenheim NYC and ahead of Guggenheim Bilbao); and you have the eleventh best museum in the world.

12) Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna) -

Just a fantastic museum! The wonderful Bruegels and maybe the best Vermeer in existence.

13) Chicago art Institute -

The collection is a bit shallow, but here you can find four of the 10 most famous paintings in America: Wood's American Gothic, Hopper's Nighthawks, Seurat's Sunday Afternoon, and Caillebotte's Paris Street. Add a great collection of Picasso and O'keefe, and you have a top thirteen museum.

14) Guggenheim (New York)-

This place makes it for it's unparalelled commitment to contemporary art and for being the best place to look at art in the world. A masterpiece of design by Frank Loyd Wright.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:32 PM   #92
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The Louvre and the British Museum are governmental. The Met is private, not governmental or civic. The Met has the greatest number and the widest collection of art objects in spite of a private museum.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:50 PM   #93
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Louvre, Paris and Hermitage, St. Petersburg
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Old September 27th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #94
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of the one's i've been to (tried to make it balanced bwtween old masters and contemporary)
favourite art museums:

1. Hermitage in my hometown (duh! some bias there)
2. the MET in NYC
3. picasso museum in berlin (the one near charlottenburg)
4. the old masters museum near potzdamer platz in berlin (name?)
5. prado in spain
6. london's tate gallery
7. san fran's MOMA
8. albright knox in buffalo
9. pergamonmuseum in berlin
10. helsinki's MOMA
11. Getty's palace in LA (more for the coolness of it rather than the pieces of art. the whole complex is a work of art)
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Old September 27th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #95
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The Guggenhein museum in Guadalajara looks nice. Once it's built, I'll put it in there
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Old September 27th, 2006, 06:32 AM   #96
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The Hermitage is surely a masterpiece. I've seen a few documentaries about it and it's quite amazing. The Metropolitan Musuem of Art is also very good. I was there twice in the past month. They also have a branch in the Cloisters which resembles a medieval castle.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #97
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Nice breakdown lbjeffries - it's good to have a qualified response rather than just a list. I must say I prefer London's Natural History Museum to New York's and I suppose it would be unfair to lump London's Kensington "big three" - The Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Science Museums which are all across the road from each other literally. Whilst its layout is very unique and has led to some criticism from those in the art world - London's Tate Modern is the world's most visited modern art gallery and is certainly one of my favourite galleries. Have you visited it?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 08:30 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenL View Post
Nice breakdown lbjeffries - it's good to have a qualified response rather than just a list. I must say I prefer London's Natural History Museum to New York's and I suppose it would be unfair to lump London's Kensington "big three" - The Victoria and Albert, Natural History and Science Museums which are all across the road from each other literally. Whilst its layout is very unique and has led to some criticism from those in the art world - London's Tate Modern is the world's most visited modern art gallery and is certainly one of my favourite galleries. Have you visited it?
That cluster reminds me of the museum district in Washington DC.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #99
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@LBJEFFRIES
Quote:
I am truly disappointed in how little everyone here seems to know about our planet's museums. I must admit I expected more form the participating Europeans, especially considering the joy they receive in gloating about their superior appreciation of all things beautiful
Not for being a Dutchman myself, but the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is not on you're list of greatest musea in the world, while it should be there according to the worlds best art-critics and others who work in this area and the numerous book written on the worlds higly qualified art-museums.

America has only a few musea per inhabitant in comparison with Europe. Those few are very large. In Europe, most musea show only one style or one painter. The Metropolitan has a lot of everything. With only 2200 paintings of old European Masters for example, it can only show highlights, while the Louvre, Prado, Hermitage and Rijksmueum (with 5500 Dutch masters) can really show developments of artists which is far more interesting. When I visited the Metropolitan, I got the impression of a large art-warehouse. For Americans it must be great, but for the average European artlover its a bit of everything.
BTW; The Asian art collections in the Metropolitan are not comparable with those of the collections in the large musea of the former colonisators as France(Indochina), England(BritishIndia,Malaysia) and theNetherlands(India/Indonesia/Japan)

Quote:
maybe the best Vermeer in existence
certainly, one who states that maybe the best Vermeer in the world is in Vienna, show little knowledge in that field, since even the simplest soul knows that 'Girl with pearl earring' in the Mauritshuis in The Hague together with 'the Milkmaid' in Amsterdam shows the best work of Johannes Vermeer.

Last edited by Nemo; November 15th, 2006 at 04:35 PM.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
@LBJEFFRIES

Not for being a Dutchman myself, but the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is not on you're list of greatest musea in the world, while it should be there according to the worlds best art-critics and others who work in this area and the numerous book written on the worlds higly qualified art-museums.
You are absolutley right. It does deserve to be on my list. I'm moving the Kunst Museum of Viena past D'Orsay and the Rijksmuseum right behind that. D'Orsy goes back to 13. I enjoy Dutch art much more than I enjoy Impressionism.

Quote:
America has only a few musea per inhabitant in comparison with Europe. Those few are very large..
I'm sorry but you are incorrect. There are more high-quality art museums in the United States than in any other country. Have you been to the museums in Boston, Washington, Philly, LA, Kansas City, Cleveland or Detroit? All of these cities have fantastic museums.

Quote:
In Europe, most musea show only one style or one painter. The Metropolitan has a lot of everything. With only 2200 paintings of old European Masters for example, it can only show highlights, while the Louvre, Prado, Hermitage and Rijksmueum (with 5500 Dutch masters) can really show developments of artists which is far more interesting
I disagree. The Louvre , Prado, and Hermitage all show multiple styles, just like the Met and none them can touch the Metropolitan's collection of Dutch art. And the Met in turn, cannot touch he Rijksmuseum in terms of Dutch art. And no other museum can touch the Met in terms of American art.

But it all depends on the artist really. If I wanted to chart the development of Rembrandt I would obviously travel to Amsterdam (which I plan to do once again in the upcoming year ). But if I want to see the development of Vermeer I would stay in New York where there are 8 (out of a total of 35!) wonderful examples. If I want to see Velazquez then the Prado is obviously the best place to go. But the Nat Gal in London has the breathtaking Rokeby Venus, Rome's Gallery Doria has the incredible Pope Innocent, and the Met has the small unassuming Juan de Pareja; which just might be the most brilliant of them all. You see? A lot of museums, even in Europe, have only highlights of different artists. And whats wrong with that? I contend that it can be a more valuable experience seeing different artist's work juxtaposed in direct relation to one another, rather than seeing room after room of the same artist.


Quote:
When I visited the Metropolitan, I got the impression of a large art-warehouse. For Americans it must be great, but for the average European artlover its a bit of everything..
Have you ever been to the Louvre? Or the Hermitage? Or London's National Gallery? Did you get the same impression at these places or are they just better because they are in Europe?


Quote:
BTW; The Asian art collections in the Metropolitan are not comparable with those of the collections in the large musea of the former colonisators as France(Indochina), England(BritishIndia,Malaysia) and theNetherlands(India/Indonesia/Japan)
The great thing about the Asian Art department at the Met is that they have wonderful examples of art from every dynasty of every region rather just than a bunch of stuff from a single colonized area. Still the Met holds some of the greatest examples of art from many different regions. For example, the best version of what might be the most famous piece of Japanese art ever calls the Metropolitan Museum home. Hokusai's beautiful wave:





Quote:
certainly, one who states that maybe the best Vermeer in the world is in Vienna, show little knowledge in that field, since even the simplest soul knows that 'Girl with pearl earring' in the Mauritshuis in The Hague together with 'the Milkmaid' in Amsterdam shows the best work of Johannes Vermeer
Relax. Its an opinion. An opion shared by many others. You might be surprised to find out that many art historians consider The Art of Painting in Vienna his greatest work. Are they all simple souls like me? Only if they live in America I suspect.

The Milkmaid is brilliant but I think The Girl with a Pearl Earring is a bit overated. Woman Reading a Letter in Amsterdam is also amazing.
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