As the days grow shorter, colder and darker, our thoughts turn to city breaks and things to do indoors. Fend off boredom and SAD this winter at these exhibitions, galleries and museums, as recommended by Thelma & Louise Club’s culture-loving members.
Image by Gabriel Jorby on flickr
Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE
“I would love to visit the new Louvre Abu Dhabi, not least for the stunning architecture.” – Emma_Travel
“The most exciting cultural opening in 2017 is the much-talked about Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened its doors on 11 November.”
The largest art museum on the Arabian Peninsula, Louvre Abu Dhabi is the result of a pioneering cultural partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates that combines “the UAE’s bold vision of cultural progression and openness with France’s expertise in the world of art and museums.” The focus is on the shared ideas that unite humanity, bridging the gap between eastern and western art. That translates into permanent galleries with themes such as Civilisations and Empires, Universal Religions and Challenging Modernity, plus four temporary exhibitions each year, starting with From One Louvre to Another (from 21 December 2017).
“I'm desperate to check out the Whales exhibition at the Science Museum in London.” – Emma_Travel
“Whales is definitely on the future list too.” – Jerseygirl
Over the summer, the Natural History Museum switched the world-famous display in its Hintz Hall main entrance. Dippy the Diplodocus has gone (on tour around the UK
from 10 February 2018, in case you’re interested), replaced by an enormous blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. There’s a new exhibition to accompany the hall’s newest resident too. Whales: Beneath the surface
runs until 28 February 2018, with more than 100 specimens of whales, dolphins and porpoises on display. If you’re a fan of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet
and Blue Planet II
, this is unmissable.
Museum Island, Berlin
“I’m off to Berlin to visit the Pergamon & Neues museums. Both full of stunning art works.” – Jerseygirl
Berlin’s Museum Island is the place to go if you can’t get enough culture when you travel. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to five world-renowned museums: Pergamon Museum, Bode-Museum, Neues Museum, Old National Gallery and the Old Museum. Highlights include the Ishtar Gate (the eight gate to the inner city of Babylon) and the breathtaking Pergamon Altar (currently off limits until 2019, unfortunately, while the museum is renovated) in the Pergamon Museum
, and the bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum
. The Neues Museum was badly damaged during the war, but this damage hasn’t been patched over, rather built into the restoration of the building, meaning the museum structure itself tells as much of a story as its exhibits. See the China and Egypt Cradles of the World
exhibition before it closes on 3 December – it contains items from China that have never been displayed in Europe before.
“If you enjoy contemporary art then Vienna in Austria is great at any time of the year but if you enjoy snow and less crowds then this time of year is irresistible.”
There’s far more to Vienna than opera and extravagant Baroque architecture. As capricorn55 points out, “There are many fantastic galleries and museums, many within walking distance of each other and others that are a short metro ride. Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Andy Warhol are just some of the famous artists’ work you can see up close.” The striking Kunst Haus Wien is the obvious place to start (the Visions of Nature exhibition, which examines humankinds’ relationship with nature, runs until 18 February 2018) but it’s not just about the museums and galleries. The Supermarket of Art
(until 27 January 2018) has more than 6,000 original works by young and well-known artists for sale at very reasonable prices.
“I'm off to NYC at the end of November and I'm looking forward to seeing MoMA, the Met, The Guggenheim, the design museum and others. But what I'd really like to see, if I were on the other coast, is the Visions Art Museum
in California.” – Ana, community guide
Ana will be spoilt for choice when it comes to culture in New York City this November, and the Christmas lights will be just as good as any art installation. But her recommendation for the Visions Art Museum
is a little more unusual – and all the more interesting. The museum is running four exhibitions through winter (until 7 January 2018), each presenting aspects of the world through the quirky medium of quilts. And as Ana reports, “They say that 'Designed in California' is the new 'Made in Italy'” so keep your eyes peeled for great Christmas gifts while you’re in the area too.
Which museums, galleries and exhibitions would you travel across the world to see?