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Old November 16th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #101
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Regarding the Asian Art collection, I am not so sure about the preeminence of the Metropolitan in that field. The Guimet museum in Paris is actually world-famous for hosting the best and most comprehensive collection of Asian art in the world. Sure it is particularly strong in art from the former Indochine (Cambodge, Vietnam, etc.), its collection of Chinese, Korean, Japonese, Afghan and Indian artifacts are really impressive as well. The Guimet museum doesn't have the best art collection for any of these countries, but it has the most complete and encyclopedic collection of Asian art overall.
In the UK, asian art is unfortunately divided between the British museum and the Victoria and Albert museum: if both asian art collections were put together, they could easily rival Guimet museum as well.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 07:49 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Good View Post
Regarding the Asian Art collection, I am not so sure about the preeminence of the Metropolitan in that field. The Guimet museum in Paris is actually world-famous for hosting the best and most comprehensive collection of Asian art in the world. Sure it is particularly strong in art from the former Indochine (Cambodge, Vietnam, etc.), its collection of Chinese, Korean, Japonese, Afghan and Indian artifacts are really impressive as well. The Guimet museum doesn't have the best art collection for any of these countries, but it has the most complete and encyclopedic collection of Asian art overall.
In the UK, asian art is unfortunately divided between the British museum and the Victoria and Albert museum: if both asian art collections were put together, they could easily rival Guimet museum as well.
I'm ashamed to say that I have never been to the Guimet. Although I wouldn't be entirely surprised to hear another museum in the west surpasses the Met in quality. Boston's Fine Art Museum is considered better as well. I'm unable to talk about Asian art as eloquently as I can speak about European or American art. My apologies.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #103
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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?
Its been ages since I was at London's Natural History Museum so I admit my choice is skewed. I hear Berlin has a wonderful Nat His museum as well, although I have never been. Perhaps i'll check it out once again when I am in London in January. Then again, perhaps not, I can't stand all the screaming children.

As for the Tate, yes I have been and it is a glorius place. A better space to look at art than the ultra-cramped MOMA. For that reason I'm not surprised the Tate has more visitors. But that doesn't change the fact that the MOMA's collection is much more iconic than any other. I am jealous that the Tate has my favorite Lichtenstein (Whaam!) although the Moma's Drowning Girl is probably his most famous.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #104
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Regarding asian art again, I think the San Francisco Asian Art Museum is supposed to be the best of its kind in North America, and probably one of the best in the world.
For modern art, it's true that the Tate Modern is extraordinarily successful in terms of number of visitors, but I wouldn't say its collections are second only to MoMA. Actually, modern art collections in Pompidou Center in Paris are far richer and more comprehensive than the Tate Modern's, a mere look at their respective website and data base is enough to realize the difference in quantity and quality. Unfortunately, Pompidou Center can display only 5% of its collection, and is currently refurbishing its exhibition space to extend it by 50%. It should reopen completely in january 2007.
In general terms, I agree with lbjeffries concerning the high quality of American museums too often overlooked by Europeans. For instance, in my opinion, Fine Arts Museum in Boston, Arts Institute in Chicago, National Gallery of Art in Washington, rival the best European art museums. They may lack of quantity, but they compensate with more comprehensive and encyclopedic collections, covering all European countries and techniques, which is rarely seen in Europe, where most collections are strong only for one or two countries. Typical examples: Italian museums, Dutch museums, to a lesser extent the Prado, by the way no offense, I love Italian, Dutch and Spanish paintings and the great museums displaying them of course. It's just that American museums are usually more generalist, like the Louvre or the National Gallery.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #105
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Regarding asian art again, I think the San Francisco Asian Art Museum is supposed to be the best of its kind in North America, and probably one of the best in the world.
For modern art, it's true that the Tate Modern is extraordinarily successful in terms of number of visitors, but I wouldn't say its collections are second only to MoMA. Actually, modern art collections in Pompidou Center in Paris are far richer and more comprehensive than the Tate Modern's, a mere look at their respective website and data base is enough to realize the difference in quantity and quality. Unfortunately, Pompidou Center can display only 5% of its collection, and is currently refurbishing its exhibition space to extend it by 50%. It should reopen completely in january 2007.
In general terms, I agree with lbjeffries concerning the high quality of American museums too often overlooked by Europeans. For instance, in my opinion, Fine Arts Museum in Boston, Arts Institute in Chicago, National Gallery of Art in Washington, rival the best European art museums. They may lack of quantity, but they compensate with more comprehensive and encyclopedic collections, covering all European countries and techniques, which is rarely seen in Europe, where most collections are strong only for one or two countries. Typical examples: Italian museums, Dutch museums, to a lesser extent the Prado, by the way no offense, I love Italian, Dutch and Spanish paintings and the great museums displaying them of course. It's just that American museums are usually more generalist, like the Louvre or the National Gallery.
A great post. This is the type of dialogue I was trying to promote with my first post, rather than just listing random museums.

Again Good, you have proven my ignorance in regards to Asian art. it doesn't surprise me that San Fransisco has a world class Asian art museum, considering the massive Chinese, Japenese, and Korean populations there. What did surprise me was how amazing Kansas City's Asian art was. It really does rival the Metropolitan's in terms of quality.

I loved the Pompidou on my one visit there but was a bit disappointed in the amount of work displayed. They were however working on the museum at the time. I here it looks better than ever. Its also great news they're trying to expand the space. I had no idea so much of their collection was in storage.

I think Nemo was partly right when he said it was better to be able to look at a genre of art in tremendous depth so one might understand how the art of a region evolves. That can be very fasinating and that is why I love the Rijksmuseum, the Vatican, and D'Orsay so much. But I also think encyclopedic museums are amazing and can provide just as wonderful an experience. You can go to the Louvre 500 times and something new will always catch your eye. It might be an Italian painting, Neoclassical, Dutch, Egyptian, etc. I think that is wonderful Same goes for the Met and the National Galleries of both London and Washington.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #106
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Good to see I am not the only one fond of museums (for the experience they actually provide, not just their reputation!).
Another interesting area to explore is the European sculpture: few museums can claim the the try to display an encyclopedic display of sculptures, I have in mind:
- The Bode Museum in Berlin, which has just reopened: it's supposed to be the best in its field, but the database on the website is very incomplete...
- The Louvre: very strong in French sculptures of course, good in Italian sculptures (with the only significant Michelangelo's sculptures outside Italy), and someway erratic for Northern and Spanish sculptures, with some masterpieces from Germany, Sweden and Danemark: overall a pretty ambitious showcase of European sculptures
- The V&A in London: I have never been, and there is no exploitable database , but it's supposed to be very complete as well
- in North America I dont know, as I usually focus on paintings when I visit American musems, but lbjeffries will know better than me.

Another similar category is design and decorative arts. As far as I know, there are only two big museums only dedicated to this field: the V&A in London, the best one, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (reopened a few weeks ago), as a follower.

And lbjeffries, I was surprised you didn't mention any German museums in your list, especially the ones in Berlin. For Egyptian and Greek artifacts, the Pergamon museum is top level for instance. The Ethnography Museum (again in Berlin) is, according to various sources, number one, followed by the Branly Museum in Paris (which has just opened). And if you want to get a sense of Old Masters in Germain painting, you have to go to Munich Pincotheque: it's the only place where you have a real vision of Germain painting history, since usually museums outside Germany struggle to display significant pieces in quantity and quality (it's a bit like Spanish painting that you can only appreciate in the Prado). The same goes for German Modern Art : you have to go the Modern Art Museum in Berlin.

All in all, Berlin is surely in the top four cities regarding variety and richness of museums, along with New York, Paris and London, that's why I was surprised to see no mention of it in your otherwise great list.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #107
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Good to see I am not the only one fond of museums (for the experience they actually provide, not just their reputation!).
Another interesting area to explore is the European sculpture: few museums can claim the the try to display an encyclopedic display of sculptures, I have in mind:
- The Bode Museum in Berlin, which has just reopened: it's supposed to be the best in its field, but the database on the website is very incomplete...
- The Louvre: very strong in French sculptures of course, good in Italian sculptures (with the only significant Michelangelo's sculptures outside Italy), and someway erratic for Northern and Spanish sculptures, with some masterpieces from Germany, Sweden and Danemark: overall a pretty ambitious showcase of European sculptures
- The V&A in London: I have never been, and there is no exploitable database , but it's supposed to be very complete as well
- in North America I dont know, as I usually focus on paintings when I visit American musems, but lbjeffries will know better than me.

Another similar category is design and decorative arts. As far as I know, there are only two big museums only dedicated to this field: the V&A in London, the best one, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (reopened a few weeks ago), as a follower.

And lbjeffries, I was surprised you didn't mention any German museums in your list, especially the ones in Berlin. For Egyptian and Greek artifacts, the Pergamon museum is top level for instance. The Ethnography Museum (again in Berlin) is, according to various sources, number one, followed by the Branly Museum in Paris (which has just opened). And if you want to get a sense of Old Masters in Germain painting, you have to go to Munich Pincotheque: it's the only place where you have a real vision of Germain painting history, since usually museums outside Germany struggle to display significant pieces in quantity and quality (it's a bit like Spanish painting that you can only appreciate in the Prado). The same goes for German Modern Art : you have to go the Modern Art Museum in Berlin.

All in all, Berlin is surely in the top four cities regarding variety and richness of museums, along with New York, Paris and London, that's why I was surprised to see no mention of it in your otherwise great list.
I have not mentioned Berlin because I have actually never been to Berlin. I am shamefully prejudiced against anything that isn't English, Dutch, Flemish, French, Spanish, Italian or American. Not only am I Eurocentric in my taste, but I am WESTERN Eurocentric. Of course I appreciate Durer, Brueghel and Grunwald; and the sublime Schiele and Klimt. But I have--as of yet--not developed a real taste for eastern European art. There is a wonderful new little museum in New York called the Neue Gallery that is devoted to Austrian art and design and that has sparked an interest. Also my wife and I are talking about a trip to Bavaria and Austria after planned trips to London and Amsterdam. So who knows, perhaps Berlin after that; and maybe I'll then be as passionate about German art as I am with art from other regions.

As for sculpture, there are some notable Renaissance and Baroque works in the US, but they are few and far between. Tulio Lombardo's Adam was probably the best original Renaissance work in the US but tragically it toppled over and shattered a couple years ago. It is currently be repaired but I suspect it will be far from perfect. Bernini's Faun Teased by Children is probably the greatest Bernini i have seen outside of Italy. These are both at the Met. The museum in Fort Worth purchased what might be a Donatello. The Met is also an amazing place to look at french sculpture. As for modern sculpture, forget about it. Moore, Rodin, Hepworth, Smith, Calder, Caro, Oldenberg, Hesse. We got it all.

As for your top four cities. I'll trust you on Berlin as long as you trust me on Washington DC to round out the top five.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 05:06 PM   #108
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Of course I appreciate Durer, Brueghel and Grunwald; and the sublime Schiele and Klimt. But I have--as of yet--not developed a real taste for eastern European art.
Brueghel is a Flemish painter. Sorry for correcting, but I think the Belgians would not like to see one of their greatest masters being called a German.

I have to bring a little nuance in my text, because if I read my post back, it looks like I di'dn't like the Metropolitan. Let me begin to say that its indeed the greatest museum in the world. Its has a great number of masterpieces and it gives an incredible overview including modern art.

Quote:
@NEMO; 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..

@LBJ 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?
You're quite right on this, but the same goes for the 'other warehouses' like the Louvre or Hermitage. I meant that I have the feeling that throughout Europe you have more museums dedicated to one painter, like the Munch, Van Gogh, the Dali, Matisse, Chagall, etc musea. And there are a lot of nice works of art scattered in numerous small musea, townhalls etc.
The Metropolitan off course is the rare kind of museum, great, palace-like, and because of its oversight and large number of masterpieces it can can trigger the interest of large numbers of people. And off course after a visit in the Metropolitan, they can visit a museum dedicated to their favorites. Some people in the Netherlands still can't understand why our King sold so many Rembrandt-paintings to the Americans and Russians, but great art is for everyone, not one nation. Also, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Steen, Mondriaan, VanGogh etc etc in the US are probably the best promotion for the country, at least far better tha marihuana and wooden shoes. (I still have to see the Frick-collection in NYC)

Sorry for being a bit touchy in my former posts; forgot the smilies. I hope you will have a good time in Amsterdam, alhough I have to warn you for some inconveniences. The Rijksmuseum only shows a fraction of its collection since the whole building and surrounding institutes are closed because of an large restoration/extension. Also, the Stedelijk museum of art is closed, also for a large restoration/extension. Furthermore, the whole city is a mess due to the construction of a new subway line.

If you need tips or a guide on architecture, Dutch art and history; you can always mail me and I would be obliged to act as you're guide.


The new Stedelijk museum of art.


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Old November 20th, 2006, 05:06 PM   #109
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Old November 21st, 2006, 04:15 AM   #110
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@LBJeff



Brueghel is a Flemish painter. Sorry for correcting, but I think the Belgians would not like to see one of their greatest masters being called a German.
You know, I actually realised he was Flemish after I posted that. I don't know why I assumed he was Austrian. My apologies to all of the fine people from Belgium. How an area so small could produce so many artistic geniuses is beyond comprehension. That goes for the Netherlands as well.

Quote:
I have to bring a little nuance in my text, because if I read my post back, it looks like I di'dn't like the Metropolitan. Let me begin to say that its indeed the greatest museum in the world. Its has a great number of masterpieces and it gives an incredible overview including modern art.
The only thing the Metropolitan is lacking is a truly iconic piece of art. There is no Night Watch, or Mona Lisa, or Las Meninas. If there is an icon, it would probably be Washington Crossing the Deleware, which isn't a fantastic piece of art. Certainly no Night Watch.


Quote:
I meant that I have the feeling that throughout Europe you have more museums dedicated to one painter, like the Munch, Van Gogh, the Dali, Matisse, Chagall, etc musea. And there are a lot of nice works of art scattered in numerous small musea, townhalls etc.
Perhaps you don't give American painters enough credit (few people do). But I am one of the few so I can go Whitney in New York and see a room full of Hopper and be ecstatic. Or Eakins at the Met. Or Thomas Hart Benton in Kansas City. Or O'Keefe in New Mexico (which I liken to Chagall's amazing museum in Nice). .



Quote:
The Metropolitan off course is the rare kind of museum, great, palace-like, and because of its oversight and large number of masterpieces it can can trigger the interest of large numbers of people. And off course after a visit in the Metropolitan, they can visit a museum dedicated to their favorites. Some people in the Netherlands still can't understand why our King sold so many Rembrandt-paintings to the Americans and Russians, but great art is for everyone, not one nation. Also, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Steen, Mondriaan, VanGogh etc etc in the US are probably the best promotion for the country, at least far better tha marihuana and wooden shoes. (I still have to see the Frick-collection in NYC)
The Frick is great. If you are more comfortable in a smaller museum that can be seen and processed in a couple hours, this is the museum for you. And it has several pieces by most of the Dutch masters of the baroque.

Quote:
Sorry for being a bit touchy in my former posts; forgot the smilies. I hope you will have a good time in Amsterdam, alhough I have to warn you for some inconveniences. The Rijksmuseum only shows a fraction of its collection since the whole building and surrounding institutes are closed because of an large restoration/extension. Also, the Stedelijk museum of art is closed, also for a large restoration/extension. Furthermore, the whole city is a mess due to the construction of a new subway line.
Hey, don't feel bad for being a bit touchy. I get touchy too when I feel like someone is disrespecting good old New Amsterdam. Also, I appreciate you telling me about the current state of Amsterdam right now. So how long would we have to wait to see the Rijksmuseum in all its glory.

Quote:
If you need tips or a guide on architecture, Dutch art and history; you can always mail me and I would be obliged to act as you're guide.
Thank you so much and I may very well take you up on your offer. We can't wait for our trip to Holland.

Last edited by lbjeffries; November 21st, 2006 at 07:46 AM.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:35 AM   #111
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Hope to see you in Amsterdam then.

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@WIKIPEDIA; One of The Met's latest purchases is Duccio's Madonna and Child, which cost the museum more than 45 million dollars, more than twice the amount it had paid for any previous painting. The painting itself is only slightly larger than 9 by 6 inches, but has been called "the Met's Mona Lisa".
I think its rather early to give Mona Lisa like imaginary powers to a painting so early. The Metroplitan indeed lacks a most popular piece like ML or the Nike in the Louvre, but on the other hand, it has so many masterpieces in its collection that can be 'hyped' if they want.

Soem of my favorites in the Metropolitan (off course a lot of Dutch paintings,. can't do anything about it, but I do not always like the mainly religious paintings of the renaissance.)





(Rubens,Brueghel,VanGogh,Caravaggio,Turner, Monet,Degas,Vermeer)



Rijksmuseum, The Masterpieces
In the period from December 2003 to 2009, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will undergo the most sweeping modernisation, alteration and restoration endeavour in its history. During these years, the museum will remain partially open, featuring a spectacular exposition of major works from the Golden Age, titled 'The Masterpieces'. Moreover, the Rijksmuseum wishes to continue presenting its permanent collection to as wide an audience as possible in the Netherlands and abroad. In this effort, the key words are visibility and accessibility.

On tour
Since february 2004 the Rijksmuseum displays portions of its collection in ten museums in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, with the title, Rijksmuseum at/in/on the. In most cases, the artworks will be on loan for the duration of the Rijksmuseum renovation activities.

Additionally, the Rijksmuseum organises exhibitions abroad (e.g. in the United States, Japan and Australia) and exhibitions on location, such as at Schiphol Airport and in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam (2006-2007).



http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/index.jsp?lang=en
Theres a link to the 'new' Rijksmuseum site.

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/meesterwerken?lang=en
Here you'll find 3D presentations of the temporary exhebition 'the masterpieces', displayed in the south-wing that is not really affected by the building project.




My favorite masterpiece in the Rijks.

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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #112
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VATICAN MUSEUMS - ROME

The Vatican Museums include:

VATICAN PICTURE GALLERY
The Vatican Picture Gallery was founded by Pope Pius VI (1775-99). Only in 1932 was a permanent site established in a building commissionated by Pius XI (1922-39) from a design by the architect Luca Beltrami.
The gallery includes works of Giotto, Gentile da Fabriano, Beato Angelico, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Leonardo, Tiziano, Guercino, van Dyck, Poussin, etc.

COLLECTION OF MODERN RELIGIOUS ART
The collection includes Hundreds of paintings, sculptures, engravings and designs donated to the Holy See by private individuals and, in some cases, by the artists themselves. Housed in 55 different rooms, the exposition was inaugurated by Pope Paul VI in 1973. The itinerary begins in the Borgia Apartment, named for Alexander VI, who had the room decorated with the now famous frescoes, most of which are the work of either Pinturicchio or his students.
The collection includes works of Ottone Rosai, Auguste Rodin, Carlo Carrà, Mario Sironi, Aligi Sassu, Renato Guttuso, Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin, Maurice Utrillo, Giorgio Morandi, Filippo de Pisis, Henry Moore, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Georges Braque, Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Giorgio De Chirico, Jacques Villon, Bernard Buffet, Oskar Kokoschka, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Diego Velasquez, etc.

RAPHAEL'S ROOMS AND LOGGIAS
The four rooms commonly known as the "Rooms of Raphael" were part of - togheter with the "Chiaroscuri" room, the Old Room of the Swiss, the cubicle with its adjoining heater, the Nicholine Chapel and the Loggia - the new residence chosen by Julius II on the third floor of the building.
The series of four communicating rooms was a reconstruction carried out by Nicholas V (1447-55) of the thirteenth century palace of Nicholas III (1277-80). Towards the end of the first decade of the sixteenth century Perugino, Sodoma, Baldassarre Peruzzi and Bramantino were all at work decorating them, but in 1509 Julius II dismissed them and commissioned Raphael to decorate the whole of this part of the Vatican. He worked there for about ten years, but only three of the rooms were completed before his death in 1520, and the direct intervention of the master is certain in only two of them.

SISTINE CHAPEL
Deservedly one of the most famous places in the world, the Sistine Chapel is the site where the conclave for the election of the popes and other solemn pontifical ceremonies are held. Built to the design of Baccio Pontelli by Giovannino de Dolci between 1475 and 1481, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who commissioned it. It is a large rectangle with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and it is divided into two unequal parts by a marble screen. The screen and the transenna were built by Mino da Fiesole and other artists.
The frescoes on the long walls illustrate parallel events in the Lives of Moses and Christ and constitute a complex of extraordinary interest executed between 1481 and 1483 by Perugino, Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio, with their respective groups of assistants, who included Pinturicchio, Piero di Cosimo and others; later Luca Signorelli also joined the group.
The barrel-vaulted ceiling is entirely covered by the famous frescoes which Michelangelo painted between 1508 and 1512 for Julius II. The original design was only to have represented the Apostles, but was modified at the artist's insistence to encompass an enormously complex iconographic theme which may be synthesized as the representation of mankind waiting for the coming of the Messiah. More than twenty years later, Michelangelo was summoned back by Paul III (1534-49) to paint the Last Judgement on the wall behind the altar. He worked on it from 1536 to 1541.

APOSTOLIC LIBRARY
The Vatican Library was founded by Nicholas V (1447-55). Sixtus V (1585-90) commissioned the present building from Domenico Fontana, who built the long gallery and the Salone.

EGYPTIAN MUSEUM
It consists of steleae and inscriptions from various ages, sarcophagi and mummies, Roman statuary (from the first and second century A.D.) designed to imitate or interpret the forms and aesthetics of Egyptian statuary, protohistoric and Roman ceramics, cuneiform tablets and mesopotamic seals, assirian bas-reliefs from the palaces of Sargon the IInd (722-705 B.C.) and Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) in Nineveth.

CHIARAMONTI MUSEUM
It was founded by Pope Pius VII (Chiaramonti) and includes: the Corridoio (Corridor), the Galleria Lapidaria and the Braccio Nuovo (New Side). In the Corridor, divide into 60 sections, is an interminable series of statues, busts, sarcofhagi, reliefs, etc: about 800 Greek-Roman works. In the Galleria Lapidaria there are over 5000 pagan and Christian inscriptions. In the Braccio Nuovo, the Statue of Augustus of Prima Porta, the Group of the Nile and the Doriforos, deserve particular attention.

MUSEUM OF POPES CLEMENT XIV AND PIUS VI
In the Palazzetto of Belvedere the visitor finds Greek and Roman sculptures like the Apollo Belvedere (a Roman copy from the original Greek sculpture, 130-140 A.D.), the famous group of Laocoön by Agesander, Polydorus and Athanodorus, the statue of Hermes (copied during Hadrian's reign from an original Greek bronze of 4th century B.C.), the colossal statue of Antinous (photo), and moreover the Canova's Cabinet, the Gallery of Statues, the Room of the Animals, etc.

GREGORIAN MUSEUM OF ETRUSCAN ART
FThe Etruscan Museum was founded by Gregory XIV in 1837 to house the works coming from the excavations carried out in southern Etruria. It was later enriched with further acquisitions and donations, and became one of the most important for Etruscan art.

ANTIQUARIUM ROMANUM
Divided into three small rooms, the Antiquarium houses mainly ancient Roman objects and works of the minor arts.

VASE COLLECTION
The collection consists of Greek and Etruscan black figure ceramics.

THE BIGA ROOM
This room, built during the pontificate of Pius VI (1775-99), is named after the Biga, the two-horse chariot located in the middle of the display area. The Roman Biga dates to the first century B.C.

GALLERY OF THE CANDELABRA
Once a loggia, the gallery was enclosed during the pontificate of Pius VI. Arches supported by columns and pillars were used to divide the space, which was then hung with candelabra, one for each arch: hence the name of the gallery.

GALLERY OF THE TAPESTRIES
Decorated during the pontificate of Pius VI, the gallery is named after the tapestries which were first exhibited there in 1814.

GALLERY OF THE MAPS
The Gallery is named after the maps painted on the walls in 40 different panels, each devoted to a region, island or particular territory of Italy.

APARTMENT OF ST.PIUS V
Gallery of St. Pius V: tapestries produced in Tournai in the middle of the sixteenth century and by Pieter van Aelst.
Chapel decorated with frescoes by Giorgio Vasari and Jacopo Zucchi.

SOBIESKI ROOM
Named for the painting which takes up the entire north wall with its depiction of the victory of John III Sobieski, King of Poland, over the Turks outside the walls of Vienna in 1683. The work was painted by Jan Matejko (1883).

ROOM OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Located in the Borgia Tower, this room is decorated with frescoes by Francesco Podesti depicting scenes based on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

GREGORIAN MUSEUM OF PROFANE ART
The special building constructed to house the museum (founded by Gregorius XVI in 1844) runs parallel to the Pinacoteca and was opened in 1970. The works are arranged according to didactic criteria, liberated as far as possible from arbitrary integration and excessive restorations. The four sections contain Roman copies and re-elaboration of Greek originals, Roman sculptures of repubblican and early imperial periods, sarcophagi, later Roman sculptures.

CHRISTIAN MUSEUM
Founded in 1854 by Pius IX in the Lateran Palace to house the Christian antiquities found during the excavations of the catacombs, the Museo Pio Cristiano was transferred to the Vatican in 1963.

MISSIONARY MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY
The material is vast and various and is presented according to didactic principles so as to document the religious cult of the various civilisation which have flourished in other continents over an enormous span of time, from centuries before the coming of Christ right up to our times.

CARRIAGE PAVILION
It was founded under the auspices of Paul VI and laid out in 1973 in a building constructed under the Square Garden.
The collection contains: the carriages of popes and cardinals, with various harnesses; graphic and photographic documentation of solemn processions containing berlins and carriages; black landaus for daily conveyance and the first automobiles used by the popes.











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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #113
IlEstAndré
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Albright Knox in Buffalo, NY
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Old December 26th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #114
BalWash
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The Smithsonian Institution is by far the largest museum complex on the planet. Just one of it's museums, the National Air and Space Museum, has more visitors per year than any museum on Earth (that's right, the Louvre is #2). When you count all the visitors to the other museums of the Smithsonian it's just mind boggling: National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery, National Zoological Park, National Building Museum, National Museum of African Art, National American Arts Museum, Hirshhorn Gallery, Freer Gallery, Renwick Gallery, Sackler Gallery, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Air and Space Museum. When you add in the National Gallery of Art, International Spy Museum and Newseum, I think it makes Washington the greatest museum city on Earth, but then again, I have a bit of a bias .

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Old February 20th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #115
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Le louvre is the largest, most visited, most richly endowed , most important and thus greatest museum on Earth.

The Hermitage, The Prado, The Uffizi and the British Museum make up the rest of the European elite. The truly important international collections. I know this may sound Eurocentric but the way history has evolved makes their collections the most historically important in the world.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:13 PM   #116
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Quote:
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Le louvre is the largest, most visited, most richly endowed , most important and thus greatest museum on Earth.
Why is it the most important? You don't think 19th , 20th or 21st century art is important? Many people might say modern and contemporary art is the most important art in the world; because it is actually relevent to the current human experience, regardless of whether one is from the west or the east. The Louvre has absolutely none of that, let alone Uffizi, the British or the Prado.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #117
BalWash
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Quote:
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Le louvre is the largest, most visited, most richly endowed , most important and thus greatest museum on Earth.
The Louvre is actually the second most visited museum on Earth. #1 is the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

I agree with lbjeffries concerning the merits of modern art and its severe lacking in Europe.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #118
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The Louvre is the most visited art and culture museum with 8.6 million visitors in 2006. The National Air and Space museum in Washington is indeed the most visited museum with 9 million visitors each year.

That said, I recognize the sheer scope of the Smithsonian Institute, and Washington is undoubtedly in the top 5 of the museum cities. But I would not to say it is number 1. Actually, I think that Paris, London, New York and Berlin are all superior to Washington in terms of richness and diversity of museums.

Just let me try to "rank" the most famous museums in the world according to the type of art and collection. Do not hesitate to correct me if you think I am wrong or if I forgot a significant institution (I did not visit all the museums on earth unfortunately ):
Antiquities: Pergamon Museum (Berlin), British Museum (London), Louvre (Paris), Met (NY)
XII-XVIII paintings: Louvre (Paris), National Gallery (London), Hermitage (Saint Petersburg), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Prado (Madrid), Uffizi (Florence). I ranked the Prado and the Uffizi quite low because of their strong bias towards their national paintings, even if they are amazing!
XII-XVIII sculptures: Bode Museum (Berlin), V&A (London), Louvre (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Met (NY)
XIX paintings and sculptures: Orsay (Paris), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Art Institute (Chicago), Hermitage (Saint Peterburg)
XX modern art: MoMA (NY), Pompidou Center (Paris), Tate Modern (London), Guggenheim (NY again!), Neue Galerie (Berlin)
Applied arts: V&A (London), Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington)
Asian art: Guimet (Paris), Met (NY), British museum (London)
African and Oceanian art: Völkerkunde museum (Berlin), Branly (Paris), British museum (London), Met (NY)

That's just for art, for science I am not an expert of museums, so feel free to complete this draft of ranking!
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Old February 28th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good View Post
The Louvre is the most visited art and culture museum with 8.6 million visitors in 2006. The National Air and Space museum in Washington is indeed the most visited museum with 9 million visitors each year.

That said, I recognize the sheer scope of the Smithsonian Institute, and Washington is undoubtedly in the top 5 of the museum cities. But I would not to say it is number 1. Actually, I think that Paris, London, New York and Berlin are all superior to Washington in terms of richness and diversity of museums.

Just let me try to "rank" the most famous museums in the world according to the type of art and collection. Do not hesitate to correct me if you think I am wrong or if I forgot a significant institution (I did not visit all the museums on earth unfortunately ):
Antiquities: Pergamon Museum (Berlin), British Museum (London), Louvre (Paris), Met (NY)
XII-XVIII paintings: Louvre (Paris), National Gallery (London), Hermitage (Saint Petersburg), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Prado (Madrid), Uffizi (Florence). I ranked the Prado and the Uffizi quite low because of their strong bias towards their national paintings, even if they are amazing!
XII-XVIII sculptures: Bode Museum (Berlin), V&A (London), Louvre (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Met (NY)
XIX paintings and sculptures: Orsay (Paris), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Art Institute (Chicago), Hermitage (Saint Peterburg)
XX modern art: MoMA (NY), Pompidou Center (Paris), Tate Modern (London), Guggenheim (NY again!), Neue Galerie (Berlin)
Applied arts: V&A (London), Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris), Met (NY), National Gallery of Art (Washington)
Asian art: Guimet (Paris), Met (NY), British museum (London)
African and Oceanian art: Völkerkunde museum (Berlin), Branly (Paris), British museum (London), Met (NY)

That's just for art, for science I am not an expert of museums, so feel free to complete this draft of ranking!
That's probably a pretty good assessment from an art perspective. In Washington, the Freer Gallery is great for Asian and Oceanian art and the Hirschhorn is great for modern art (although not to the extent of MoMa). I can't really assess how good they are from an international perspective.

From a scientific/history perspective, Washington has the National Air and Space Museum which is by far the greatest museum of its type in the world. The International Spy Museum and the Newseum are also the greatest museums of their type in the world. The National Holocaust Museum is probably the second greatest Holocaust Museum in the world after Yad Vashem in Israel. The National Museum of Natural History isn't quite as good the British Museum, but I'd say its the greatest Natural History Museum in the Western Hemisphere. The National Museum of American History (nicknamed the Nation's Attic) is probably the greatest museum of its kind in the world. The National Museum of the American Indian is the greatest museum of its kind in the world. IMO the National Building Museum is probably the greatest museum of urban design in the world. There are many other museums in Washington like the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

So yes, from an arts perspective, Washington is not the greatest museum city on the planet, but overall when all types of museum are considered, I think there's a good chance that it may be. Although, all of the cities in the top 5 are so close together in quality of museums. They really do form a club that no other cities can really approach.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #120
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@Good
You did not include the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum in you're list with the 17th century paintings.

I don't undestand you're explanation why you ranked the Prado lower, while it has a superior collection with only priceless masterpieces which show the develoment of some of the most admired artists.

Last edited by Nemo; March 8th, 2007 at 09:39 PM.
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