The world’s top galleries and museums are constantly reinventing themselves as gateways to art, as evidenced by new buildings like The Met Breuer in New York and the Long Museum in Shanghai, and by fresh extensions to established institutions such as Tate Modern and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Below, 6 museums that redefine the way people enjoy art.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
It’s impossible to miss a white, crinkly building when visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). This new expansion, whose facade is inspired by the water and mists of San Francisco Bay, reimagines SFMOMA as a new art experience and gateway into the city. Purpose-built to showcase the museum’s celebrated collections, the new addition was designed by the architectural firm of Snohetta. It seamlessly integrates a 10-storey expansion with the original Mario Bonetta-designed building.
With nearly three times more gallery space than before, the museum now houses 19 special exhibitions, including a curated selection of 260 postwar and contemporary works from the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection. The expansion provides ample space for SFMOMA’s more than 33,000 works of architecture and design, media art, painting, photography and sculpture.
151 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94103 | +1 415 357 4000 | sfmoma.org
Kunstmusem Basel’s lineage extends back to 1661, when the city first acquired the Amerbach Cabinet, a collection of drawings and paintings by Hans Holbein. This purchase made Basel the first municipality in the world to have an art collection that was open to the public. Last year, the museum added its third venue across the street from the main building.
Designed by local architects Christ & Gantenbein, the new building’s striking features include the monumental marble staircase and the subtle colours of its brick facade. With the new building, the museum has expanded its exhibition space by nearly 30 percent. The first floor is dedicated to old masters up to the 19th century, whereas the second floor houses the European modern art, housing works by the likes of Picasso, Richter and Giacometti.
St. Alban-Graben 16, 4051 Basel, Switzerland | +41 61 206 62 62 | kunstmuseumbasel.ch
Liege Fine Arts Museum
The museum reopened last year in collaboration with the Louvre and Centre Pompidou: the Musee d’art modern et d’art contemporain (MAMAC). It was renovated by the architect Rudy Ricciotti, winner of the Grand Prix National de l’Architecture, and received a new wing occupying an additional 4,000 square metres.
The new one-storey building houses works by artists from the Renaissance to Picasso. The new gallery also boast collections of the “Beaux-Arts de Liege”, full history of the works that have been acquired by the City of Liege from the pre-war period through to present day. Works such as the selling of “degenerate art” from Lucerne, the Paris Purchases and original works by artists from the golden age of Belgian comics.
Parc de la Boverie 3, 4020 Liège, Belgium | +32 4 238 55 01 | laboverie.com
Founded by Chinese art collectors Liu Yiqian and his wife Wang Wei, Long Museum’s collection boasts the richest collection nationwide which includes traditional along with modern and contemporary Chinese art, “red classics” as well as contemporary art of Asia and Europe.
Long Museum constitute a unique ecosystem of art in Shanghai: “One City, Two Museums”, with the first building in Pudong New District, followed by the one in West Bund built in 2014. Designed by Atelier Deshaus, the West Bund property covers an area of 33,000 sq m. The main part of the building stands out for its unique umbrella-vaulted
structure. The first and second floors are devoted to contemporary art including paintings, sculptures, installations and new media. The first basement is a permanent exhibition area for precious artifacts.
3398 Longteng Ave, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200032 | 8621-64227636 | thelongmuseum.org
The Met Breuer
Last year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art launched its inaugural season at The Met Breuer, its new space dedicated to modern and contemporary art. It is housed in the landmark building designed by the renowned Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. “The reopening of Marcel Breuer’s iconic building on Madison Avenue represents an important chapter in the cultural life of New York City,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met.
The Met Breuer’s programme spotlights modern and contemporary art in dialogue with historic works that encompass the full range of The Met’s vast collection. The new space is now home to monographic and thematic exhibitions, as well as new commissions and performances, including the “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” collection that features unfinished works from the Renaissance to the present day.
945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021 | +1 212 731 1675 | metmuseum.org
A landmark lining the River Thames and dominating the skyline opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, what was once the Bankside Power Station has become the much-loved – and often controversial – Tate Modern, Britain’s quirky, iconoclastic national gallery of international modern art.
Last year, the gallery unveiled its latest extension, the Blavatnik Building, named in honour of the art lover and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the extension has increased the size of Tate Modern by 60 percent. It displays some 800 works by more than 300 artists from over 50 countries, from Chile to India, Russia and Sudan to Thailand. Half of the solo displays are dedicated to women artists. As a result of the extension, Tate Modern has new spaces for performance art, film and installations.
Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK | +44 20 7887 8888 | tate.org.uk
Aga Khan Museum
This museum offers a window into the artistic, intellectual and scientific heritage of Muslim communities. Opened in 2014 by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Toronto-based museum is home to over 1,000 masterpieces showcasing the art from the Iberian Peninsula to China. These include one of the earliest surviving copies of Avicenna’s The Canon of Medicine Volume 5, an encyclopedia of medicine dating back to 1052.
“The collection highlights objects drawn from every region and every period, and created from every kind of material in the Muslim world,” said the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. In a letter to the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the Aga Khan asked for the museum to be designed around the concept of light.
77 Wynford Dr., North York, ON M3C 1K1, Canada | +416 646 4677 | agakhanmuseum.org