To celebrate the re-opening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, we sought out some of the most note-worthy museum openings and new sites this year.
1. San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, San Francisco, United States
No list about the most hyped museums of 2016 would be complete without mentioning the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts. The Snøhetta-built museum is designed to engage in the landscape and activate space of San Francisco, its mirrored rippled surface capturing the dance of the sun. Currently the largest gallery devoted to the contemporary arts, the expanded museum is home to more than 33,000 pieces of architecture, media, painting, and photography, exhibiting works from modern art genius such as Willem de Kooning, Sol LeWitt and Andy Warhol. www.sfmoma.org
2. Pompeii, Naples, Italy
The renowned World Heritage Site has recently finished restoring six more houses as part of the ongoing Great Pompeii Project. Once perfectly preserved in a thick layer of volcanic ash, the sites faced rapid deterioration when it came into contact with moisture and oxygen after excavation, with instances of collapsing buildings quickly gained attention of UNESCO officials and the media. An extensive maintenance at €160 million has been carried out over the years, securing and restoring many of the beautifully decorated buildings in collaboration between the world’s top archaeological firms.
3. Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The 2016 Summer Olympics isn’t the only thing among the city’s buzz this year. Santiago Calatrava’s highly anticipated Museu do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) first opened at the end of last year as part of the renovation of the city’s port zone. Taking advantage of natural sunlight and equipped with sustainable air conditioning systems, the jaw-dropping, white spine-clad museum explores the possibilities of construction of the future. Two exhibitions are currently ongoing at the museum, including the Capte-me exhibition (until July 20) and an exhibition on Santos Dumont (until October).
4. National Gallery Singapore, Singapore
The new National Gallery Singapore has finally been unveiled after a decade-long restoration of what used to be the city’s Supreme Court and City Hall. Both of the buildings are preserved, while maintaining a balance between heritage and the contemporary. The museum showcases pieces that are integral to Singapore’s art history, and boasts the largest collection of modern art in Southeast Asia, generously donated by DBS Singapore and many other private collectors. Appealing to a wider range of audiences, the gallery also introduces six new restaurants onto its grounds, each featuring concepts that are unique and original. www.nationalgallery.sg
5. The Tate Modern, London
The latest geometric addition to the Tate Modern increases the museum’s display space by over 60 per cent as a response to the larger works being displayed in recent years. The new building stands at 99 metres, providing a panoramic view of London’s skyline, curating artworks from masters such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian. Tate also hopes the the extension will provide more space for performance and installation art, as well as a relaxing social space in the heart of London. tate.org.uk
6. Louvre, Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the brainchild of the celebrated architect Jean Nouvel. Situated on the Saadiyat Island, the dome-shaped structure plays a part as one of the five leading hubs for the promotion of cultural diversity and the arts. The patterned dome ceiling of the museum is designed to allow the sun to pass through, mimicking the light when passing through the canopy of trees in an oasis. A staggering amount of US$525 million has already been paid for the permission to use the Louvre’s name, and a sum of US$747 million is expected in the acquisition of a comprehensive art collection. As the unveiling of the museum has been pushed back multiple times, general speculation has identified the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi as late 2016. louvre.fr/en
7. Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Canada
Celebrating St. Jean Baptiste Day, the new pavilion of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Québec will open its doors to the public on June 24. A spaced devoted to Canada’s finest artist and their works, Pierre Lassonde’s private collection showcases some of the greatest works by Helen McNicoll and Jean-Paul Riopelle. The museum also dedicates exhibition space to its unique Inuit art collection. The new building is sure to gain much attention in the already culturally dynamic environment.
8. National Museum of African America History and Culture, Washington D.C, United States
It is a big step in the recognition of the history of African Americans, as the National Museum of African America History and Culture is set to open in September 2016. The first of its kind will allow the world to learn about the African American culture, illustrating the major periods in their history. The museum aims to collaborate with other museums and institutions to spread the history of African Americans, and to promote the understanding of the African American’s influence upon the modern day American culture. nmaahc.si.edu
9. La Cité Du Vin, Bordeaux, France
La Cité Du Vin is undeniably a bold and striking piece of architecture itself. The reflective and fluidity of the exterior provides the perfect setting in which we can immerse in the culture of wine in uninterrupted flow. The museum provides a self-guided tour along with exhibitions and workshops, exploring the world’s diverse wine regions and history, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that is surely going to linger on your palette. laciteduvin.com/en
10. Chaplin’s World: The Modern Times Museum, Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland
There are no words needed to be said about the Hollywood legend that is Charlie Chaplin. Dedicated to the famous actor, this museum houses a collection of Chaplin’s belongings and films, along with the much anticipated pair of wings he created for his daughter for the unfinished film, The Freak. Wax figures of Chaplin and 30 others would also be on display as a retrospect to his spectacular career. chaplinsworld.com