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Best Art Museum (2022)

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North America is home to some of the world’s most impressive art museums showcasing some of the most famous and comprehensive collections. Whether you’re interested in the classics or the best of contemporary art, you’ll find it at one of these museums from coast to coast. Which of these winners is your favorite art museum? 

  • Booth Western Art Museum

    Booth Western Art Museum
    Cartersville, Georgia

    The Booth Western Art Museum maintains the world’s largest permanent exhibition space for Western art – the building itself was designed to resemble a pueblo. The collection of paintings, sculpture, artifacts and photography focus on themes of the Civil War and American West, with works by American legends like Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Andy Warhol.
    Photo courtesy of Booth Western Art Museum

  • American Visionary Art Museum

    American Visionary Art Museum
    Baltimore, MD

    Located in downtown Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is America’s official national museum and education center for self-taught and intuitive artistry. Created with materials from roots to toothpicks, farmers, homemakers, the homeless, and others have donated their art to this museum, transforming dreams and loss into works of art. 10Best Contributor Jacky Runice remarks, “Ten years after visiting this museum that preserves, displays and studies the work of artists who aren’t influenced by the mainstream art world, I still think about the non-traditional folk art, outsider, and visionary art.”
    Photo courtesy of Catherine Smith

  • Kimbell Art Museum

    Kimbell Art Museum
    Fort Worth

    Housed in a 1972 masterpiece by famed architect Louis Kahn, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth showcases a small collection – fewer than 350 pieces – of exceptional quality representing the period from antiquity to the 20th century. Highlights include works by Michelangelo, El Greco, Cézanne and Matisse, and many consider the building itself to be a work of art.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Fort Worth

  • Heard Museum

    Heard Museum
    Phoenix

    The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art houses both artifacts and contemporary art of various Native American groups, in particular those with roots in the Southwest. A collection with tens of thousands of items as well as numerous events and festivals throughout the year keep visitors coming back for more.
    Photo courtesy of Heard Museum / Criag Smith

  • Detroit Institute of Arts

    Detroit Institute of Arts
    Detroit

    Housed within a Beaux-Arts building, the Detroit Institute of Arts maintains a collection of some 65,000 works – among the largest and most comprehensive in the United States. Visitors can explore human creativity from across the globe as they explore more than 100 galleries, including the Center for African American Art, one of the first collections devoted to African American art at a major museum.
    Photo courtesy of Eric Wheeler/Detroit Institute of Arts

  • IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

    IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Santa Fe’s IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts specializes in progressive works by contemporary Native artists with a collection of some 9,000 pieces created from 1962 to the present. The museum is housed within the restored 1922 Pueblo Revival-style former Federal Building.
    Photo courtesy of Photo by Robert Bruce

  • Cleveland Museum of Art

    Cleveland Museum of Art
    Cleveland, Ohio

    At the center of University Circle, the Cleveland Museum of Art encompasses some 70 galleries with art spanning from Mediterranean antiquity to the modern day. There's a little bit of everything here, including works by Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and Michelangelo. Even non-art lovers will have something to look at – Egyptian mummies, African masks and a collection of medieval weaponry.
    Photo courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art

  • George Eastman Museum

    George Eastman Museum
    Rochester, New York

    This museum in Rochester, New York occupies the former estate of George Eastman, a pioneer of the motion picture film. It ranks among the world’s oldest photography museums and maintains one of the oldest film archives. Facilities include the 500-seat Dryden Theatre which screens more than 300 films each year, as well as three temporary exhibitions on photography and cinema at any given time.
    Photo courtesy of George Eastman Museum

  • Museum of International Folk Art

    Museum of International Folk Art
    Santa Fe, NM

    Located in Santa Fe, this museum offers a home to “the art of the handmade,” as exemplified through the artistry and diversity of the world’s folk artists and traditions. The Museum of International Folk Art holds the world’s most extensive collection of its kind, with over 130,000 objects from over one hundred nations and six continents, including textiles, toys, ceramics, and carvings. Other diverse collections include artworks from Spanish colonial times, plus contemporary Hispanic and Latino offerings.
    Photo courtesy of dani3315 // Getty Images

  • Tides Institute & Museum

    Tides Institute & Museum
    Eastport, ME

    10Best Contributor Deborah Fallows recommends this family-developed and curated art museum of the Downeast Maine area. Located on the U.S./Canada border, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art offers collections that focus on the art of the northeast coast and include interests in architecture and history. During the pandemic crisis, the museum’s online program has continued to make cultural resources and links available, providing access to artifacts from their extensive collections.
    Photo courtesy of Alex Sholom // Getty Images

The top 10 winners in the category Best Art Museum are as follows:

  1. Booth Western Art Museum - Cartersville, GA
  2. American Visionary Art Museum - Baltimore, MD
  3. Kimbell Art Museum - Fort Worth, TX
  4. Heard Museum - Phoenix, AZ
  5. Detroit Institute of Arts - Detroit, MI
  6. IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts - Santa Fe, NM
  7. Cleveland Museum of Art - Cleveland, OH
  8. George Eastman Museum - Rochester, NY
  9. Museum of International Folk Art - Santa Fe, NM
  10. Tides Institute & Museum - Eastport, ME

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning art museums!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Chez Chesak

Chez Chesak

Chez Chesak

Deborah Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Deborah Fallows

Jacky Runice

Jacky Runice

Jacky Runice

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy
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