10 New Museums You Have to Visit in 2018

The Louvre Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in Africa and the Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo are among the most newsworthy openings.

Photo By: © Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography: Mohamed Somji

Photo By: Iwan Baan

Photo By: The Asahi Shimbun

Photo By: Luc Castel

Photo By: Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

Photo By: V&A Museum of Design Dundee

Photo By: Museum of the American Revolution

Photo By: Matt Ramage Studio D

Photo By: Ra-Haus

Photo By: Museum MACAN

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Louvre Abu Dhabi — a partnership with the Louvre in Paris — has been hotly anticipated since 2007. It finally opened on Saadiyat Island in November 2017 to a sold-out crowd, revealing 23 galleries with more than 300 pieces on loan from the Louvre and other French museums. But the Louvre Abu Dhabi holds its own, with more than 600 works in its own eclectic collection. Between the two, highlights span from antiquities (a 10th-century Egyptian sarcophagus) to contemporary (Ai Weiwei’s "Fountain of Light" structure). The museum's first exhibition, opening Dec. 21, 2017, will examine the Louvre’s early history and includes works by Monet, Matisse and da Vinci.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, South Africa

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAA) in Cape Town is another buzzed-about museum in the art world and beyond, since it’s the largest museum opening in Africa in more than 100 years. It also became the world’s largest museum for contemporary African art (factoring in the African diaspora) when it opened in September 2017. Another differentiator is that it’s located in a former grain silo, which itself lends a dramatic design element. (The atrium's elongated holes are actually super-sized grains.) Budget time to visit more than 100 galleries on nine floors, where many of the 21st-century works stem from the private collection of German businessman Jochen Zeitz, whom the museum is named after.

Yayoi Kusama Museum, Japan

Yayoi Kusama is a legendary avant-garde artist best known for her signature polka dots, pumpkin sculptures and dizzying mirror installations. In fact, her latest touring exhibition, "Infinity Mirrors," is arguably the most in-demand exhibition ticket around. It’s currently in Los Angeles through January 2018, then moving on to Toronto and Cleveland in 2018. But the ultimate for Kusama’s fans is the newly opened Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo. (In fact, its existence was kept a secret until this past April.) Like her exhibits, scoring tickets might prove challenging, but the reward will be five floors of her vibrant repetitive paintings, immersive experiences, a reading room and gift shop. Her latest work, a gold and pink polka-dotted pumpkin sculpture, holds court on the rooftop. And yes, there’s an infinity room, filled with — you guessed it — pumpkins.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, France

Dedicated to the late, great French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, located in the former YSL headquarters, is one of two YSL museums that opened this past October. (The other is in Marrakech.) The Paris location displays his extensive haute couture collection and sketches, while also sharing background information about his personal and professional lives. All told, more than 5,000 pieces of clothing and 1,500 accessories are split between the two museums. Those wishing to visit his atelier need to book ahead, as this one-hour visit, which provides a glimpse at specially-preserved pieces, occurs just once a month. Oh, and it's only conducted in French.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech, Morocco

Yves Saint Laurent enjoyed a long love affair with Marrakech and owned a home there for decades. It’s only fitting that the brand-new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech now exists near his former home, adjacent to the magical Majorelle Garden, which Saint Laurent bought and restored in the '80s. (The renovated oasis of blue and green feels like you’re in a painting and is a mandatory stop as well.) The museum houses many of his Moroccan-inspired pieces, along with thousands of his drawings and photos. Unlike its Parisian counterpart, there is also a research library stocked with more than 6,000 books, a cafe, auditorium and gift shop.

V&A Museum of Design Dundee, Scotland

V&A Museum of Design Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, will be opening in 2018, making it the first Victoria and Albert museum beyond London. Its collection, on loan from the V&A in London and other Scottish museums, will encompass about 300 pieces, ranging from the 15th century to today. The collection will also vary widely, from catwalk fashion incorporating Harris Tweed, to Carron Iron metalwork from the 18th century. (To avoid confusion, the galleries will be arranged by theme.) But one of the most noteworthy design aspects is that acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma is behind the new museum. He’s also designing the upcoming 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia

The new Museum of the American Revolution seems long overdue in a city rich with history and museums. Conveniently located in the historic Old City section, it contains thousands of items from the Revolutionary War era, from artwork to manuscripts. Among its highlights are a Revolutionary War cannon, the first newspaper announcement of the Declaration of Independence and a soldier’s wooden canteen. But the undeniable standout is George Washington’s headquarters tent, where he logged countless hours working and sleeping. There are also interactive and immersive exhibits that prove history doesn’t have to be boring.

Remai Modern, Canada

Saskatoon, Canada, a small city in the center of the country that often gets overlooked by tourists, now boasts an additional reason to visit: a brand-new, world-class modern and contemporary art museum. Spanning 130,000 square feet on four floors, the Remai Modern collection encompasses about 8,000 pieces and major names like Robert Rauschenberg. It also contains an extensive number of Pablo Picasso’s linocuts (linoleum carvings), which are part of a current exhibition. Remai Modern is also an excellent place to view work from prominent Saskatchewan and indigenous artists. A sleek restaurant, 150-seat theater and gift shop round out the offerings.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami

Families should take note of this new addition to the downtown Miami scene, as the 250,000-square-foot Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum contains a cutting-edge planetarium, three-level aquarium with a 500,000 gallon Gulf Stream section and plenty of interactive science exhibits. Examples of the latter involve a STEM section, where children (and adults) can learn about science, technology, engineering, math and Feathers to the Stars, an exploration of flight that features a feathered dinosaur, fighter jet and more. There are also monthly laser light shows in the planetarium.

Museum MACAN, Indonesia

The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, better known as Museum MACAN, is generating attention as Indonesia’s first modern and contemporary art museum. Located in Jakarta, the private collection is courtesy of the museum's founder and property developer Haryanto Adikoesoemo. In addition to displaying heavyweights such as Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Ai Weiwei, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons, visitors will also be able to view the work of prominent Indonesian artists like Raden Salèh Sarief Bustaman, whose known for pioneering modernism in the region, but isn’t well known outside of Indonesia. The museum commissioned Japanese artist Yukinori Yanagi for the opening.

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