By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — The Art Institute Of Chicago: Best. Damn. Museum. Period.
That’s right, world: TripAdvisor has named Chicago’s cultural gem has the best museum on Earth.
Or, more precisely, the Art Institute is the winner of the travel site’s “Traveler’s Choice Award.”
“Founded in 1879, this spectacular Windy City attraction is home to more than 300,000 pieces of art including the famous “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood and “Stack of Wheat” by Claude Monet,” TripAdvisor said.
“In addition to its permanent displays, the museum hosts 30 rotating exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks and performances each year. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The building itself is architecturally significant and breathtaking. The collections are world-renowned.”
“Travelers’ Choice awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers,” according to a news release. “Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.”
TOP TEN IN WORLD
1. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (6,512 reviews)
2. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia), Mexico City, Mexico (3,906 reviews)
3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia (5,851 reviews)
4. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California (4,470 reviews)
5. Galleria dell’Accademia/Statue of David, Florence, Italy (10,024 reviews)
6. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France (20,408 reviews)
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York (14,999 reviews)
8. The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece (6,617 reviews)
9. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain (12,061 reviews)
10. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem, Israel (2,556 reviews)
TOP TEN IN US
1. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (6,512 reviews)
Founded in 1879, this spectacular Windy City attraction is home to more than 300,000 pieces of art including the famous “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood and “Stack of Wheat” by Claude Monet. In addition to its permanent displays, the museum hosts 30 rotating exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks and performances each year. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “The building itself is architecturally significant and breathtaking. The collections are world-renowned.”
2. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California (4,470 reviews)
Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Getty Center features impressive art such as the “Arii Matamoe” painting by Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh’s “Irises.” Beyond its impressive gallery, guests can enjoy views of the Los Angeles skyline from the museum’s lush gardens. “If you appreciate design, art, stunning gardens, and one of the best views of L.A., the Getty is a must-see,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York (14,999 reviews)
One of the world’s largest art museums, this Big Apple attraction includes more than two million magnificent pieces from around the world, including works by Gustave Courbet, Nicolas Poussin, and Caravaggio. On display, guests can view a variety of art work including paintings, drawings, musical instruments, and photographs. “Simply one of the best art museums in the world. It’s hard to overstate how fantastic it is – a must-see for art lovers,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
4. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana (5,723 reviews)
Dedicated to the “war that changed that world,” this Southern museum aims to educate its guests through several displays including the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, which features large artifacts and exhibits, and the 4-D Solomon Victory Theater. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “The museum is beautifully designed and maintained, and covers the whole story of the U.S. involvement in WW2.”
5. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (3,006 reviews)
Located on the National Mall, this renowned art gallery boasts a collection of paintings, drawings, and prints including work by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and houses the “Ginevra de’ Benci,” the only public Leonardo da Vinci painting in the U.S. “A visually stimulating treat! The collections are outstanding and the location was an easy walk from other museums,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
6. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. (5,661 reviews)
The largest of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, this popular aeronautical attraction has 21 exhibition galleries and is home to 60,000 artifacts ranging from Saturn V rockets to jetliners, gliders, and space helmets. “There is something for everyone here, from early flight through to the space age, and the exhibits are the real thing,” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
7. USS Midway Museum, San Diego, California (6,650 reviews)
Moored at Navy Pier in downtown San Diego, this floating maritime museum features 60 exhibits and also houses 29 restored aircrafts. Guests can explore the engine room, the ship’s jail, and more. “This ship is still grand and gives those of us who did not serve in the Navy an up close view of what life is like on a carrier,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
8. Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Washington (5,215 reviews)
Located at Seattle Center, this museum showcases the dazzling masterpieces by famed glass blower, Dale Chihuly. Travelers must visit the “Glasshouse” that features an expansive 100-foot-long glass sculpture made of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellow. “Chihuly’s work is spectacular and you quickly understand why this artist is famous throughout the world,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
9. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona (2,755 reviews)
This desert attraction includes a variety of unique displays including a botanical garden, art gallery, an extensive mineral collection and a natural history museum. “This is an excellent museum that focuses on the biology and flora of the Sonoran Desert. You will see plants and animals in their natural habitat, and the desert views are spectacular,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
10. Newseum, Washington, D.C. (3,616 reviews)
Conveniently located for travelers between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, this new attraction that opened in 2008 chronicles the role of media throughout history and offers seven levels of interactive exhibits, including the 9/11 Gallery, an interactive NBC Newsroom, and the Berlin Wall Gallery. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “I particularly enjoyed the beauty of the museum space, the interactive technology, and the informative, moving exhibits.”