Summer is a time for travel. Families across the world are packing their bags and hitting the road to visit national landmarks or renowned theme parks to make their summer memories. But everyone acting as a tourist leads to overpopulated, and sometimes sold out, venues. Instead, consider visiting some place less known, but equally awe inspiring. Here are five great museums in the United States that are absolutely underrated, and need to be celebrated more.
The Barnes Foundation, based in Philadelphia, is a museum few know of, but all should visit. The museum is home to paintings by a number of world-renowned artists– such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The museum rotates focus to certain artists or styles throughout the year, and this summer, the exhibit of choice is Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema. The exhibition explores impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s influence on his filmmaker son’s work, Jean Renoir, and vice versa. The exhibition only lasts until September 3, so experience it before it’s too late.
The Frick Collection
New York City is filled to the brim with art and culture. Places like the Modern Museum of Art and the Lincoln Center will be packed with people hoping to fuel their artistic bug, but the influx of tourists in the city leads to crowded halls and being pushed up against walls.
Consider instead visiting The Frick Collection. There are 19 galleries for visitors to wander through, each of which contain collections featuring well-known paintings, sculptures, porcelain, and even 18th-century French furniture. On Wednesdays, the the Frick Collection hosts a “pay-what-you-wish” admission from two to six in the afternoon, which is good for any traveler’s purse-strings.
For those traveling along the west coast, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a must-stop. After the crash of the economy in West Germany back in the 80’s, the Getty acquired 144 medieval illuminated manuscripts. These rich texts are lined with precious materials such as gold and gems. Looking at these texts is akin to looking at a precious painting.
The museum boasts two locations—The Getty Center in Brentwood, which features Western art from the Middle Ages to modern day, and the Getty Villa in Malibu, which displays art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The two museums ensure that there is something everyone will enjoy.
John Ringling, the circus legend, opened the Ringling in Sarasota, Florida to memorialize his wife and himself. The museum itself is a piece of art– designed as a pink, Renaissance palace home to 21 galleries. There are a number of unique exhibits for visitors to explore, such as the Dwarf Garden, which showcases statues the Ringlings brought back from their travels in Europe, and a center for Asian Art, which even hosts a lecture hall.
The Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg was erected in honor of the late, revolutionary modern artist, Andy Warhol. The museum is home to more art pieces by Andy Warhol than any other establishment in the world. The interactive exhibits are fun and refreshing to children and adults alike, and the Sound Series allows people to experience new waves of music.
While the museum serves as an archive for his work and his visions, it also doubles as a commemorative museum. The museum hosts some of Warhol’s sources of inspiration, allowing visitors to explore the mind of the unique and off-beat artist a little more deeply.
There is still a good chunk of the summer to explore new places. For artists in search of a new muse, or just someone looking to appreciate culture through the year, these overlooked museums should be on that list.