Dive into the art world at these powerful yet distinct museums generally located somewhere off the beaten path
Museums and art galleries always fascinate their visitors with the pieces they showcase, offering a collection of memories that last a lifetime.
However, the 10 most interesting and extraordinary art temples in the world, chosen by CNN Style, will leave jaws dropped.
Hauser & Wirth – Menorca
Located on Isla del Rey (Island of the Kings) in Menorca, Spain, the Swiss mega gallery leased a part of the island, making it a truly exceptional art center.
The property also includes the archeological remains of a sixth-century basilica and a historical naval hospital built in the 18th century. Visitors are required to take a 15-minute boat ride to reach this exciting art destination and on their arrival, Frank West’s pink ellipsoid sculpture “Autostat” welcomes them on the main deck.
Messner Mountain Museum
The Messner Mountain Museum is located in Italy and was created by Italian mountaineer and climber Reinhold Messner in 2006.
The project’s design deals with the theme of a “man’s encounter with mountains” amid the high mythical peaks. The museum is spread across six different locations, each carrying a symbolic meaning in an attempt to establish the bond between man and mountain. Firmian is the centerpiece of the museum and focuses on man’s relationship with the mountains revealing the geology of mountains and what they stood for in religion.
Juval, the second base of the museum, concentrates on the “magic of the mountains,” drawing attention to their mystic and religious significance. The third base, Dolomites, unveils how the rocks are formed in the Dolomites. At the same time, this section contains a 360-degree panorama view of a high summit. The Ortles section of the museum is specifically dedicated to the history of mountaineering and the glaciers around the world. In the fifth section, Ripa focuses on the lives of mountain people from Asia, South America and Europe. The last and sixth section, Corones, includes information on traditional mountaineering.
Founded by American minimalist artist Donald Judd, the contemporary art museum stretches approximately 340 acres (138 hectares) on the former military base Fort Russell in the U.S. state of Texas.
The museum was opened in 1986 to exhibit the large-scale permanent works of artists such as John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. Accordingly, the sections are arranged specifically for different artists in separate buildings consisting of barracks, hangars or artillery sheds. The museum also contains other contemporary artists’ works.
Some concrete and aluminum works by Judd are displayed outdoors as the pieces have been designed to be in line with their surroundings and encourage interaction.
The memorial built in memory of those who were persecuted in the 17th-century witch trials in Finnmark, Norway rests along the spectacular coast of Vardo. It was designed by the French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois, widely reputed for her large spider installations, and Pritzker awarded Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
South Georgia Museum
A historical whaling station on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, the South Georgia Museum was transformed into a whaling museum in 1992. Visitors can access the island only by sea.
As a popular touristic spot on the island, the museum teaches visitors about the discovery of the island as well as sealing, whaling, maritime history and the 1982 Falklands war.
Before it was transformed into a museum, the site was deteriorating due to severe weather and damage caused by vandals. Arctic scientist David Wynn-Williams then proposed the building become a museum. Thanks to the funding support from the South Georgia government, a team of specialists worked to restore “the Villa,” which served as a residence for the manager of the whaling station until 1964.
The museum exhibits sculptor Jon Edgar’s bronze bust of Duncan Carse, who was an influential figure in the mapping of South Georgia.
Popularly known as the “art island of Japan,” Naoshima is located in the Seto Inland Sea among 3,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited.
The site includes contemporary art museums, sculptures, installations and works of architecture. For those who want to enjoy art and escape the hustle and bustle of Japan’s city life, it is a relaxing venue with its sandy beaches and sunny weather.
The island also serves as the main site of the famous Setouchi Triennale art festival.
Eromanga Natural History Museum
Located in the Outback in Eromanga – Australia’s farthest town from the ocean – the museum houses the fossil of Australia’s largest dinosaur, called “Cooper,” a 95-98 million-year-old titanosaur.
Apart from the fossil, it is home to the world’s largest mega fauna, micro fauna and plants. These are thought to be 50,000 to 100,000 years old. There is a lot to see and learn especially about prehistoric times. The visitors can enjoy a range of tours and even have the opportunity to join fossil digs.
Spanning more than 8,000 square feet and up to 26 feet deep, the park is home to 75 art pieces, which are only accessible by glass-bottom boats or scuba diving or snorkeling.
The underwater garden is also listed as one of National Geographic’s 25 wonders of the world.
After suffering from Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Molienere Bay’s restoration with the placement of sculptures provided a new source of proliferation. Thanks to the pH-neutral cement in the installations, coral polyps can attach to the texture of sculptures. One of the famous pieces in the underwater park is “Viccisitudes,” a ring of children holding hands facing out into the oceanic currents. With the selection of different children from different backgrounds, they stand as a symbol of unity. Some people prefer to read it as a critique of slavery as the installation is near the Atlantic Ocean and the Middle Passage.
Also, the park features “The Lost Correspondent” which portrays a man sitting at a desk with his typewriter and symbolic newspapers that reflect the history of Grenada.
James Turrell Museum
Dedicated to the magnificent light installations by American artist James Turrell, this museum is located in the remote Salta region of Argentina. Enviably surrounded by the family bond of Swiss magnate and art collector Donald Hess, the site contains nine installations spread over 5,500 feet.
Among their installations of Turrell, “Unseen Blue (2002), the largest of his Skyspaces that consists of a chamber with a space open to the sky. The visitors get the chance to enjoy 55 minutes of sunset through the installation as stunning lights appear.
The nonprofit institute hosts nearly 700 works by more than 60 artists from nearly 40 different countries, including Helio Oiticica, Yayoi Kusama, Anish Kapoor and Steve McQueen, which are displayed both outdoors and in multiple galleries.
There is also a botanical garden with thousands of rare botanical species from every continent. Corresponding to the botanical species, art pieces are installed to achieve harmony. The place was conceived by local entrepreneur Bernardo Paz and opened to the public in 2006. The institute also plays an active role in the policy-making processes of the region to support the quality of life in collaboration with the private sector and sometimes acting independently.
The site remains a touristic and cultural attraction for Brazil’s Minas Gerais, receiving over 2 million people visitors.
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