When people think about museums most people would think “Oh that old looking building that has old things”. However, there are plenty of museums around the world that has modern and minimalist design and most of them hosts interesting contemporary & modern art.
These museums are great to experience, admire, and to take those artsy minimalist Instagram pics that you can show off to your friends and families.
So I went and did some research and compiled what I think is the 22 most beautiful minimalist museums in the world that I personally would enjoy visiting. So let’s get into it!
22 Most Beautiful Minimalist Museums You Must See
1. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Built to completion in 1959 in Manhattan New York, this museum hosts early modern and contemporary art among other collections. It was designed by architect Frank LLoyd Wright. Together with it’s sister museum the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, they received nearly 1.2 million visitors in 2013.
2. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
This museum has a large collection of archaeological and anthropological artifacts from the country’s pre-Columbian heritage. The museum is the largest and has the most visitors in the country. It was built in 1964 and was designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano, and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca.
3. Acropolis Museum, Athens
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum which exhibits the findings from the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. It was designed by Bernard Tschumi in 2003 and it was opened to the public in 2009. His design encompasses three concepts which are light, movement, and a tectonic and programmatic element.
Interestingly, the museum itself is built over the archaeological site. It is located very near to the Parthenon. The museum receives over 1.4 million visitors every year.
4. British Museum, London
Located in Bloomsbury area in London, this museum attracts more than 5 million visitors annually which is the most in the country. It is one of largest museums in the world and hosts more than 50,000 items.
Although the exterior of the building looks classical, the interior has a beautiful minimalist design in particular the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. It was modernized during the late 1990s by Foster and Partners. The stunning tessellated glass roof was designed by Buro Happold.
5. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum built in 1973 which focuses on the works of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries. Located in Amsterdam, the museum is the most popular in the country having more than 2 million visitors every year.
The museum has two buildings, the Rietveld which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and the Kurokawa wing which was designed by Kisho Kurokawa.
6. The Getty Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Famously referred to as the Getty, this art museum displays Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Located on top of a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, the museum was designed in 1997 by architect Richard Meier.
The museum uses beige-colored travertine stones as it’s main building material. 1.2 million square feet of it. The museum also incorporates natural light as one of it’s most important architectural elements. The Getty Center and the Getty Villa both attracted more than 2 million visitors yearly.
7. Inhotim Museum, Brazil
The Inhotim museum is a contemporary art museum as well as a botanical garden in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The museum hosts works by important Brazilian as well as international artists. Uniquely, the museum emphasize on the balance between art and nature. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy art while also enjoy the beautiful gardens.
It was designed by the late landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx, and was opened to the public in 2006. It’s good to take note that the museum has free admissions on Tuesdays.
8. National WWII Museum, Louisiana
The National WWII Museum is a military history museum which emphasizes on the contributions of the United States towards the Allied victory in World War II.
Designed by Voorsanger Architects PC, the museum has an amazing metal and glass combination. The National WWII Museum became one of the most visited sites in the city.
9. National Gallery of Art East Building, Washington D.C.
The East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. hosts a huge collection of modern and contemporary art. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the building reopened to the public in 2016 after a long renovation process.
The building was designed based on an early sketch of two triangles. The isosceles triangle has been adapted to become the major feature of the architecture of the building.
10. The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA)
Located in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, the museum was built in 2001. The MALBA receives more than a million annual visitors. The design of the museum was made through an open call contest which saw three young Argentinian architects: Gaston Atelman, Martin Fourcade and Alfredo Tapia coming on top. Interestingly, the building also houses a library and a film archive.
11. The Met Breuer, New York City
The Met Breuer is a modern and contemporary art museum. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Originally designed by Marcel Breuer, the building went for a big renovation lead by Beyer Bilder Belle. It is opened to the public in 2016. The design of the building is very minimal and modern. The main materials of the building include terrazzo, board-formed and bush-hammered concrete, bluestone floors, walnut parquet, and the gray granite of the façade which gives off a beautiful neutral look and feel.
12. Whitney Museum of American Art, Manhattan
The reopened Whitney Museum of American Art or popularly known as the “Whitney” was built in 2014. The new building was designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano. The museum gives much focus to the 20th- and 21st- century American Art.
13. London Design Museum
Located in Kensington, London, this museum focuses on industrial, product, graphic, fashion and architectural design. Designed by London-based designer John Pawson and the Dutch architecture firm OMA, the museum has a distinctive copper-covered, hyperbolic paraboloid roof.
Evenly remarkable is the interior which features a beautiful minimal oak- and marble-lined atrium. Everything fits together using minimal and modern aesthetics. Entrance to this museum is free.
14. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
This museum is located in the Plaça dels Àngels, in El Raval, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona. Opened to the public in 1995, this modern architectural building was designed by American Architect Richard Meier. The building feature a lot of natural light thanks to the large part of the building being glass. The building hosts contemporary art from many renowned artists.
15. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is located in Denmark in the city of Copenhagen. It is the most popular museum in the country. The building is noted for its beautiful combination of art, architecture and landscape. Designed by Danish architects Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo. Interestingly, it was featured in the book 1,000 Places to See before You Die by Patricia Schultz.
16. Shanghai Museum, Shanghai
Considered as one of China’s first world-class modern museums, it was designed by Chinese architect Xing Tonghe. The building was inspired by the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel called a ding. The current building was established in 1996 and has a big collection of ancient Chinese art.
17. Bildmuseet Museum, Umeå, Sweden
Located in Umeå, northern Sweden, this building is beautifully situated right next to the Ume River. This university museum was designed by Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with White. The exterior has windows which are randomly spaced and a larch facing that will fade to grey as time goes, while the interior is mostly white and the visitors can look out over the Ume riverside. Furthermore, this museum has been named one of the most beautiful university museums in the world.
18. Chichu Art Museum, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
Designed by architect Tadai Ando, this museum features a minimalist Japanese Brutalist architecture. Tadai Ando designed the building to fulfill a number of concerns which includes minimizing the environmental impact of the structure. Most of the museum is located underground which the name Chichu, literally meaning “in the ground” implies. The museum permanently exhibits works by Claude Monet, Walter de Maria and James Turrell among others.
19. Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow
This museum is located in Gorky Park, Moscow. It has permanent collections of modern and contemporary art. It was renovated in 2015 and was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and and the Dutch architectural firm OMA. The building also houses a creative center for children, shop, café, auditorium, offices and a roof terrace. The building is unique that it preserves some of the original Soviet-era elements and blends them with modern architectural elements.
20. The Broad, Los Angeles
Located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, The Broad was opened in 2015. It has growing collection of nearly 2,000 artworks. It was designed by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro and structural engineering firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates. The building has a stunning “honeycomblike” exterior. The museum which is a three-story building features 50,000 square feet of exhibition space on two floors.
21. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The SFMOMA is a modern art museum which is devoted solely on 20th-century art. It has a collection of more than 33,000 works of art. The museum is one of the largest in the country and one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the world.
The architect that was responsible for this amazing building is the Swiss architect Mario Botta. The museum has a central, sky-lighted atrium which has galleries rising around it. The building also has a beautiful rooftop garden which was designed by Jensen Architects in collaboration with Conger Moss Guillard Landscape Architecture.
22. Tate Modern, London
This modern art gallery is located in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark. It is one of the largest in the world for museums of modern and contemporary art. The modern building was designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron after winning an international competition of 148 entries. The museum was opened to the public in the year 2000.
Museums can be much more interesting to the modern crowd when the design and overall environment are being done in a creative way. I believe minimalism in architecture instead of limiting creativity, it actually creates more creative opportunities and I am looking forward to more beautiful modern minimalist museums in the next 20 years.