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The summer months, with the sweltering heat, make us all want to escape from our daily lives and visit exotic, far-away lands. For the art lovers out there, why not add a hint of art to your vacation, along with the food, sightseeing, adventure, and relaxation? While Italy and France might be the usual choices for anyone inclined towards an artistic holiday, here’s Artisera’s pick of 10 less predictable destinations around the world, for getting your fill of incredible art while you vacation.
1. New York, USA
The art scene in the Big Apple echoes the diversity of the city, with a beautiful mix representing indigenous, new age and legendary artists. The shining star is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, renowned globally for its extensive collection of ancient to 20th century works, featuring European veterans (such as Botticelli and Rembrandt), Egyptian treasures and American works, amongst others. Also worth visiting are the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, showcasing creations of Picasso, Kandinsky and French Impressionists, Ramiken Crucible, known to push the boundaries of art galleries within the contemporary art scene, the Joshua Liner Gallery and Brooklyn Museum.
(The Met, New York)
2. Oslo, Norway
An undiscovered gem, the nature-rich city of Olso also has a lot to offer when it comes to art. A shining example is the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, that houses nearly 30 inspiring modern and contemporary sculptural pieces among its charming green and woody setting. Some of the pieces include Louise Bourgeouis’ The Couple, and Salvador Dali’s Venus de Milo aux tiroirs. Another place worth visiting is Standard Gallery, that focuses on the local as well as international art scene.
(The Ekebergparken Sculpture Park)
A magical land brimming with untouched nature, wildlife and captivating cultures, Tanzania is also the place to discover ancient and indigenous art forms as well as to buy affordable art. Here, you will find some of the most arresting rock paintings hidden in steep rocky slopes. The Kondoa Rock-Art Sites are famous with works dating back to around two millennia, representing cultures of hunter-gatherer and pastoralist communities. Tanzania is also the birthplace of the distinct Tinga-Tinga painting, and the famous Makonde Sculptures, an ancient tradition that portrayed families and demons in wood.
(Makonde Sculpture from Tanzania)
4. London, United Kingdom
When it comes to art, London provides an exciting blend of the modern and traditional, much like the city itself. It is easy to lose yourself to the bustling art scene with over 1,500 galleries catering to various tastes and interests. The city is also a canvas for Banksy, everyone's favourite street artist! Must visits are The British Museum, that takes you back in time with its sprawling antiquity-filled halls, the National Gallery, featuring works by luminaries such as Da Vinci and Van Gogh, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, with more than 2.3 million objects on display! Also worth visiting are Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
(The British Museum)
5. Hampi, India
Referred to as the ‘city carved in stone’, Hampi whisks you away to an ancient and glorious time with its staggering architecture and stone sculptures. The UNESCO World Heritage Site houses several marvels within it that exhibit the grandeur and complexity of the craftsmanship of its era. Noted here are The Stone Chariot (said to be the most gripping sculptural accomplishment of the Vijayanagara era), the meticulously crafted pillars representing various episodes of the Ramayana and Hindu gods, the Nandi bull statue, the Ganesha statue and Ugra Narasimha statue.
6. Berlin, Germany
Richly encapsulating the past, present and future of art, Berlin lures with long-standing establishments showcasing masterpieces, as well as revolutionary galleries that challenge convention. Spare time for the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), home to the Alte Nationalgalerie that displays German and French Impressionist paintings. Also in here is The Altes Museum, showcasing antiquities from Rome and Greece. If that does not satiate your artistic thirst, make your way to Dahlem Museum for exotic art and artefacts from India, Asia, Africa, Native American and Early European cultures. For art that is thought-provoking, explore Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, where contemporary and mixed-media artists take on complicated issues of art and society.
(Ishtar Gate, Pergamon Museum at Museum Island, Berlin)
7. Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA
Amidst the city’s natural beauty and rich culture, visitors can go gallery hopping in the historic Railyard District representing new-age as well as blue-chip artists, or at Canyon Road, an art destination replete with around 100 galleries and art studios that showcase contemporary Latino art, Native American art, antiquities and a lot more. Places not to be missed in Santa Fe include the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, dedicated to the American artist, and the Museum of International Folk Art that houses 130,000 objects, among the finest in art and kitsch across the globe. Evoke Contemporary represents the city’s rich heritage and showcases artworks of internationally acclaimed artists from New Mexico and abroad.
(Art Display on Canyon Road, Santa Fe)
8. Valparaíso, Chile
Considered as the cultural and graffiti capital of Chile, the bohemian city of Valparaíso exudes an infectious artistic vibe. It especially lures travellers with its open-air artworks and vibrant explosions of street art that are ubiquitous. Among the best places to explore street art are Carcel, Miraflores, Alegre, Pateon and Templeman Street on Cerro Alegre. The open-air museum in Bellavista is another treat for art lovers, filled with graffiti, paintings, murals and mosaics.
(Street Graffiti in Valaparaiso)
9. Vienna, Austria
An art aficionado's treasure trove, Vienna boasts of a rich artistic and cultural legacy. Baroque streetscapes and majestic structures make a perfect setting for the country’s artistic and musical masterpieces. For a taste of royalty, head to the Kunsthistorisches Museum that displays an imperial art collection, ancient Greek and Egyptian art, and works of legendary artists such as Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Velásquez, Raphael, and Titian. Also explore the MuseumsQuartier, that has within it the 20th Century MUMOK museum, the Leopold Museum featuring Austrian art, and Kunsthalle Wien, exhibiting modern and contemporary art including works of Klee, Kandinsky and Picasso.
(Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)
10. Santorini, Greece
The breathtaking sun-kissed land of Santorini is an artistic delight as well! The Santozeum features the ‘Wall Paintings of Thera’ exhibition, an assortment of life-size reproductions of the best Akrotiri wall paintings, whereas the inviting Mati Art Gallery displays works of internationally acclaimed artist Yorgos Kypris. For an unforgettable experience, make way to Art Space that lies within rock-carved chambers of an old winery. Here, old wine caverns are adorned with stellar artworks and corners are enhanced with sculptures. On display are Greece’s finest modern artists.
(The Akrotiri frescoes)
With so much art to explore all across the world, there’s no dearth of travel destinations for those looking for a truly different and artistic holiday!
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