Museums provide a space where travelers can expand their minds and their vacations. Can’t get enough of these open spaces and halls lined with history, art, artifacts and other curiosities? Then you’re in luck! Several brand-new museum spaces are available, or soon to be available, for exploration, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Take a look at what’s opening and what’s recently opened to map out where you want to visit next.
On Sept. 24, the new National Museum of African American History and Culture — 13 years in the making — opens on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. President Obama will be personally cutting the ribbon at the opening, and the museum will celebrate with a three-day festival filled with films, dance and more.
The 400,000-square-foot museum includes not only exhibition space, but also an education center, a theater and cafe, and staff offices. The exhibition space will have 11 inaugural exhibits featuring 34,000 artifacts, including an airplane used by the Tuskegee Airmen and one of Harriet Tubman’s shawls.
Additionally, the museum’s structure offers metaphorical “lenses” from which visitors can view locations on the Mall, as well as a signature memorial area filled with water and light called the Contemplative Court, where visitors are invited to reflect on the stories told within the building.
Earlier this summer, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art opened its new 10-floor expansion designed by architecture firm Snøhetta. The space includes 45,000 square feet of “art-filled public spaces” for free. The expansion gives SFMOMA three times the gallery space it previously had. With 19 inaugural visits, nearly an entire floor of the new space is devoted to the Pritzker Center for Photography.
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated the opening of the Met Breuer, an expansion of the Met celebrating modern and contemporary art. With the launch, Leonard A. Lauder, chairman of the Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, said, “We are honoring the history of this beloved building and embracing its significance to the cultural landscape of our city as we infuse it with the Met’s curatorial spirit for the public to enjoy.” The Met Breuer program will also include photography and host monographic and thematic exhibitions, new commissions and performances.
*The photo appearing at the top of this article is of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Photo by Michael Barnes / Smithsonian Institution.
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