A museum is not just a building where some artefacts or cultural, educational or artistic masterpieces reside but where the soul and beauty of a country rests.
A person can easily understand the past of a country from its museums. The sole purpose of a museum is to showcase the cultural history of a country which includes its art forms, currencies that had been in use, statues of the famous personalities that lived there etc.
Nothing in a museum can go unnoticed as it will always have a story to tell, the story of the glorious past. Some museums are a feast for our eyes.
Here are the top 10 most famous museums around the world in 2017-2018
10. Musée d’ Orsay
Set on the left bank of the river Seine in Paris, Musée d’ Orsay, was established in 1986 and is ranked 10th globally. The museum houses rare French paintings, sculptures, and photographs that are from 1848 to 1914. In 2009, it is estimated that more than 3 million people from all around the world visited the museum to witness the magnificent architecture and rare artifacts housed in it. The museum has a vast painting collection from all around the world which include The Church at Auvers by Vincent Van Gogh, The Circus by Georges Seurat, The Self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and Whistler’s mother by James McNeill Whistler. The museum is now under the supervision of Serge Lemoline who is the present director.
9. The Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art)
Ranking 9th globally, The Musée National d’Art Moderne, receive more than 3.7 million visitors annually. It was established on 9th June 1947 and has an extensive collection of modern (art based on modern styles such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, and Expressionism etc.) and contemporary artefacts. The museum is under the control of Alfred Pacquement who is the present director.
8. The National Gallery of Art
Situated in Washington D.C., the United States, The National Gallery of Art, is ranked 8th globally and receives more than 4.2 million people annually. It was established in 1937 and has The Sculpture Garden attached to it. Andrew W. Mellon donated a significant amount of the objects in the National Gallery of Art. It contains paintings by famous painters such as Leonardo Da Vinci (Ginevra de’ Benci), Jacques-Louis David (Napoleon in His Study), Rogier Van der Weyden (portrait of a Lady) and Raphael (Cowper Madonna). The director of the museum is Earl A. Powell III.
7. The Vatican Museums
Believed to be established in 1506, The Vatican Museums are ranked 7th globally by the national geographic. The artefacts are mainly based on Christianity and art. The museums are being visited by more than 6 million people yearly. It houses various paintings like St. Jerome in the wilderness by Leonardo Da Vinci, Oddi Altarpiece by Raphael, Frari Madonna by Titian, and Entombment by Caravaggio. The museums employ around 640 people and have masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The director of the museum is Barbara Jatta.
6. Tate Modern
Established in 2000, The Tate Modern is a modern art gallery which is visited by more than 4.71 million people. It is located in London in the United Kingdom and is ranked 6th globally. It houses the British collections 1900 and also has many modern and contemporary artefacts making it one of the largest of its kind. The museum is divided into eight zones each having a particular theme on which the display objects in that section is based upon. The areas/sections are Start Display, Artist and Society, In the Studio, Materials and Objects, Media Networks, Between Objects and Architecture, Performer and Participant, & Living Cities. One can freely access the majority of the displayed artefacts but have to pay to explore through the major temporary exhibitions. The director of the museum is Frances Morris.
5. The Acropolis Museum
Established on 20 June 2009, The Acropolis museum is situated in Dionysiou Arepagitou Street in Athens, Greece and is visited by more than 1.5 million people. Globally ranked 5th by the National Geographic, The museum has around 14,000 objects on display and mainly consists of the archaeological remains found in the site of Acropolis in Athens. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism looks after this museum and is directed by Dimitrios Pandermalis.
4. The British Museum
Globally ranked 4th The British Museum (established in 1753) is situated on the Great Russell Street in London and houses approximately 8 million antiquities of which most were contributed by the scientist Sir Hans Sloane. Opened to the common people on 15th January 1759, this museum initially had a library attached to it but was removed in 1973 when the British library act was passed in 1752. It consists of the Departments from the Middle East, the Greece and Rome, Egypt and Cairo, Britain, Europe and prehistory, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, and the department of coins and medals. The museum is now under the care of the director Hartwig Fischer.
3. Smithsonian Institution
Globally ranked 3rd by The National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institution consists of 19 museums and galleries. It has more than 137 million objects displayed in it. This museum has a lot to tell about America’s culture and tradition. Its exhibition includes the dresses of America’s First Ladies, the Flyer of Wright brothers, Dorothy’s Red Ruby slippers and the Apollo 11 command module. It was established on 10th August 1846 and is under the Government of US. David J. Skorton directs the museum.
2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Built-in 1874 by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is ranked 2nd globally and is visited by more than 7 million people from all around the world. The museum consists of seventeen departments, and each department has its library. It has a huge collection of over 2 million artefacts. Its collection includes Bronze Chola statue of Nataraja, leaves from the blue Qur’an, the Alpan carpet, the tomb of Ermengol IX of Urgell, the crucified Christ and the grand piano of Sebastian Erard. The museum is under the supervision of Daniel Weiss who is the president of the museum.
1. The Louvre Museum
Being the world’s largest museum, The Louvre museum in Paris was the most visited art museum in the world in 2016 and is also ranked the top museum in the world. This museum houses the famous painting “Mona Lisa” drawn by the Italian painter Leonardo Da Vinci. With a collection of 537 paintings, this museum (which was originally built as a fortress under Philip II) was opened to the public on 10th August 1793. This museum is believed to have finished construction in the 12th century. It was during the period of French revolution that the decision was made to display the masterpieces of the nation in this museum. The Louvre houses more than 3, 80,000 objects and 35,000 artistic masterpieces which are divided into eight curatorial departments. The museum is now under the supervision of Jean-Luc Martinez who is the current director.
The artefacts and antiquities in a museum play a significant role in connecting the present with the history, i.e. they act as a clue/link what existed before. In fact, a country’s existence relies by how well these objects are treated. So every country takes utmost care to preserve/protect these things.