Where are the world’s best art museums?

Reuter’s just published a list of the world’s top art museums and for once I actually agree with a top ten list. Their top pick is the Louvre, on the banks of the Parisian Seine. One can get lost in that museum for hours (and stand in line to get in for more), and the wealth of art and artifacts on display is truly astounding. And while their classical antiquity collection is not as strong as the British Museum (not ranked) or the Getty (4), their painting and drawing collections are arguably the best in the world. Other contenders?

  1. Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
  2. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
  3. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
  4. J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
  5. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France
  6. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
  7. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  8. Tate Modern, London, England
  9. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
  10. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

I was pleased to learn that I’ve been to seven of their top ten choices, including all of the top four. I’ll have to make sure I visit the Musee d’Orsay next time I’m in Paris, which I hear is a less touristy, debaucherous Louvre.

One museum I’d like to have seen? The British Museum. Hundreds of years of imperialism and looting have resulted in an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world centered around a beautiful atrium. And it’s free.