The art museums across the United States are as varied and diverse as the people who live here. Notably, although some art museums have extensive histories, many have only existed for several decades or even years. Throughout the country, there are hundreds of lesser-known, yet widely respected, fine art museums that you should visit if you get the chance. Here's a look at some of the most underrated art museums in the United States that are worthy of your attention.
The Frick Collection
It is impossible to miss the amazing art and culture that New York City has to offer. However, due to the massive crowds of tourists and locals alike in the city who often produce crowded halls in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art and The Met, you may want to consider other respected institutions.
With that in mind, if you're looking for lesser-known, yet excellent art museums, you might want to consider visiting The Frick Collection instead. The museum is divided into 19 galleries, each of which features well-known paintings, sculptures, porcelain, and 18th-century French furniture. Interestingly, "pay-what-you-wish" admission to the Frick Collection is offered on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 6:00 pm, which is ideal for visitors with tight budgets.
The Wadsworth Museum, which opened in 1844, was the nation's first public art museum. To this day, the Hartford, Connecticut, museum remains on the cutting edge of art acquisition, yet it is not as widely known as it should be. Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro, and others are among the artists whose works are shown in the museum. Furthermore, Wadsworth displays over 50,000 pieces in a variety of galleries, so you can wander around and see whatever it is that you desire. A number of soaring spaces throughout the museum feature Sol LeWitt's murals.
Smart Museum of Art
It would be easy for the Smart Museum of Art to be overlooked in a city known for planetariums, museums, and aquariums. Among the relatively small, but carefully crafted collections of the Smart Museum of Art are works by Rothko, gouaches by Goya, and furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright. A visit to the museum is not only worthwhile due to its permanent collection, but also because it hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions. Andy Warhol's polaroids, diaspora posters, and Japanese woodblock prints have been featured in previous installations. During warmer months, the museum features an outdoor cafe with a sculpture garden.
The Museum of Russian Art
There are plenty of museums in the Twin Cities that can transport art lovers around the world with a single painting; however, Russian art tends to be overlooked in many galleries.
Visit exhibits on Russian artists and their achievements to learn about Russia's history and culture. You may even be able to catch a traditional performance if you time your visit correctly! The Museum of Russian Art's easy-to-navigate and excellent collection makes paying a visit worthwhile when compared to the mammoth and high-priced complex of galleries.
Clark Art Institute
This one is certainly worth your visit. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts exhibits a wide range of art from the Renaissance to the early 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and other unique works of art. In addition to seeing sculptures and drawings that demonstrate Auguste Rodin's importance to art history, you will certainly find a bit of classic nostalgia at the Clark Art Institute.