The Metropolitan Museum of art in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Louvre- Paris, France
If you thought we'd kick off a guide to the best art museums across the world without highlighting the majestic Louvre, you're wrong! Reigning as one of France's most architecturally exquisite creations since the 12th century, the Louvre offers its patrons and extensive collection of works to "ooh" and "ahh" over for hours on end. The Louvre offers traditional guided tours through its corridors, audio tours and unique visitor trails; three distance experiences to suit each travelers tastes and artistic preference. This summer's most popular exhibitions include contemporary art by Jean-Phillippe Toussaint and an exclusive showing of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art- New York, New York
A cornerstone of American art and history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met for those in with the lingo is undoubtedly one of the richest amalgams of artworks, culture and social commentary, easily ranking as one of the best art museums in the world. The beautiful stone edifice resides on New York's legendary 5th Avenue and spans a whopping 43 acres. Its permanent collection houses more than two million works, with visiting exhibitions regularly changing throughout the year. This summer, be sure to check out Tomás Saraceno's Cloud City, a geometric and structurally-complex work which resides on the roof of the museum.
The Prado Museum- Madrid, Spain
Spain's designated museum of art, otherwise known as the "Prado," is home to a variety of priceless artworks in the heart of Madrid. Its permanent collections include portraits, paintings, sketches, detailed statues and more, with most works originating in South or Central America. Two special exhibitions to check out this summer include Portraits for the Royal Public Library, an exhibit consisting of iconic 16th century works, and Sacred Stories, which hosts artworks depicting stories from religious texts throughout the ages. With its extensive selection of artwork and rich cultural influence, it's no wonder that the Prado Museum is one of the best art museums in the world.
The National Gallery- London, England
In the midst of Big Ben and Trafalgar Square sits London's own National Gallery, a beautiful exhibition hall full of Western European paintings spanning from 1250 to 1900 -- truly weighs in as one of the best art museums around. Consisting entirely of paintings, the museum is home to many of the masters like Van Gogh and da Vinci. Open daily, the National Gallery opens its doors to art-admiring each and every day. The painting of the month? Canaletto's Venice:The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day.
Uffizi Gallery- Florence, Italy
Last, but certainly not least, is the Uffizi Gallery located in the flourishing Florence, Italy. Built in 1581, the gallery consists of two floors and 45 rooms full of iconic and distinctive works. Something unique about Uffizi? The gallery sports its own self-titled app, available in the iTunes store for art aficionados near, far and technically-savvy alike.
by Lindsay Shoemake, Contributing Author