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- 1+ 247- 46New York, NY - The Met is the largest art museum in the United States with over two million items in its collection. Famous for its Egyptian holdings and antiquities from other cultures, as well as complete ancient interiors built as permanent installations.
Possesses some of the most famous works by Vermeer, Velasquez, Jacques Louis David, Rembrandt, and many others. Also an important collection of Renaissance art, Asian art and porcelains, and a world-renowned collection of musical instruments, costumes and couture from designers such as Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga.
- 2+ 164- 41A comprehensive museum holding more than 450,000 works of art. Famous for impressionist, post-impressionist art and Ancient Egyptian artifacts. Also famous for one of the largest collections of Japanese art and pottery in the world.
- 3+ 161- 52A comprehensive museum with over 227,000 pieces. Includes famous collections of Flemish and Italian Renaissance art, Chinese porcelains, Persian and Turkish rugs, and one of the world's best exhibits of sculptures by Rodin. Also has important impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern art and a very large comprehensive collection of American art.
- 4+ 227- 90This is the second largest art museum in the U.S. (in square footage) after the Metropolitan in New York and has over 300,000 pieces (but also see the entry for the Brooklyn Museum). A comprehensive museum best known for impressionist, post-impressionist and American art. Also has a renowned collection of miniatures and one of the largest collections of Claude Monet paintings. Also well-known for installations of African-American art, antique Asian art, and 20th Century furniture.
- 5+ 155- 53Washington, DC - one of the largest art museums in the U.S. Possesses a major collection of renaissance art, including the only da Vinci piece in the Americas, Spanish art, Dutch masters, impressionists and in the East Wing, vast holdings in modern art. The museum's collection consists of more than 115,000 prints, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and decorative objects.
The National Gallery was the largest recipient of European Masters work from the Kress Collection.
- 6+ 172- 72A comprehensive museum containing about 45,000 works of art. Its collection is internationally known for Asian and Egyptian Art. Holdings include pieces by Botticelli, Caravaggio, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Dalí, Matisse, Renoir, Gauguin, Corot, Eakins, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, and many others. Actively acquiring later 20th-century art, such as important works by Warhol, Pollock, and Christo.
- 7+ 104- 35New York, NY - Considered one of the greatest collections of art from the Impressionist period forward including some of the most famous works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Henri Rousseau, and Andrew Wyeth. Holdings include about 150,000 works plus "22,000 films and 4 million film stills."
- 8+ 209- 96Contains over 65,000 pieces. A comprehensive museum with important collections of Early European paintings old masters, armor, art of ancient cultures, and American art. Highlights include murals painted especially for the museum by Diego Rivera, the Wedding Dance by Peter Bruegel the Elder, and Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. Frequently considered among the top five art museums in the nation.
- 9+ 103- 35The "eighth largest encyclopedic museum" in the U.S. with over 54,000 works. Important collections in Japanese art, Chinese porcelain, American, and neo-impressionist art. Considered one of the leading museums in the development of the arts and art education for future generations.
- 10+ 99- 33A comprehensive art institute with a famous collection of Egyptian art, Pacific Islander art, and one of the most important collections of American art (especially 19th Century). Known also for its new collection of 20th Century Feminist art.
According to Wikipedia, the Brooklyn Museum holds 1.5 million works of art.
- 11+ 99- 34A comprehensive museum holding about 80,000 works that span 5,000 years though only has the display space for about 5% of its collection. Particularly known for Asian art, also has impressive collections of 17th Century Dutch Masters, Fauvist, Cubist, and Expressionist art.
- 12+ 88- 29The largest art museum in the Western U.S., holding a comprehensive collection of over 100,000 works including pieces by Titian, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Gauguin, and Renoir. Highly regarded for its modern and contemporary galleries.
- 13+ 71- 21San Francisco, CA - Part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The museum contains over 124,000 works. Recognized for its European decorative arts, sculptures and paintings, ancient art from throughout the Mediterranean and the Near East, and one of the largest collections of works on paper in the country. Possesses important works by El Greco, Tiepolo, Monet, and bronze casts by Rodin.
The Legion of Honor received a significant number of European Masters' works from the Kress Foundation.
- 14+ 68- 25Holds about 90,000 works. Famous for the Cone Collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces, including the largest collection of Matisse. Also known for an impressive collection of African art, 20th and 21st Century Contemporary Art, and the ancient Antioch Mosaics from Antakya, Turkey.
- 15+ 65- 24Kansas City, Missouri - A general art museum holding over 33,000 works. Especially known for its collection of Asian art; old master works such as paintings by Caravaggio, Titian, Bronzino, and Rembrandt, American art, and photography, including the entire Hallmark Photographic Collection.
The Nelson-Atkins was one of fifteen regional museums to be gifted European Masters work from the Kress Foundation.
- 16+ 82- 36Possesses a collection of over 65,000 works, including European masters such as Botticelli, Murillo, Rubens, and Franz Hals. Also holds Impressionist and Modern works including Corot, Renoir, Pisarro, Monet, and Picasso.
- 17+ 54- 19Hartford, Connecticut - This is the oldest public art museum in the U.S. Its holdings of about 50,000 pieces are comprehensive from antique Roman, Greek, and Egyptian bronzes to European art and porcelains and American impressionists to an important collection of Hudson River School works and American clothing.
- 18+ 84- 44A comprehensive museum containing over 30,000 works of art. Known for impressive impressionist, Barbizon/plein-air, and post-impressionist art, antique Japanese and Korean decorative arts, and especially for its collection of 20th Century Expressionist, Max Beckmann. The museum's contemporary galleries include important pieces from Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, and Robert Motherwell.
- 19+ 76- 39Cambridge, Massachusetts - Collectively hold 250,000 objects distributed among three museums and four research centers.
The Fogg Museum: Possesses over 4,000 works from the Middle Ages to the present. Especially noted for Italian Renaissance, British Pre-Raphaelite, and French art of the 19th century, as well as 19th and 20th century American paintings and drawings. Possesses important works by Canaletto, Degas, Gauguin, and Thomas Singleton Copley.
Busch-Reisinger Museum: The only museum in North America dedicated to the study of art of German-speaking countries of North and Central Europe. Holds about 40,000 works.
Arthur M. Sackler Museum: Contains Asian art, notably Chinese jades as well as ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine art.
- 20+ 51- 22Los Angeles, California - Two locations: the J. Paul Getty Museum of Art (holds European and American from the Middle Ages to present) and the Getty Villa (Ancient Arts of Greece and Rome). Getting a fixed size of the Getty's collection is difficult, but it can be estimated. According to the website, the Getty Museum holds about 440 paintings, over 900 drawings, about 2100 sculptures and decorative objects, and almost 7,000 illuminated manuscripts. (The Getty is one of the most important institutions for manuscript art.) The museum also possesses about 70,000 photographic images.
Meanwhile, the Getty Villa holds about 44,000 pieces, but in recent years has had to return numerous works to Greece and Italy that were not acquired properly.
In 1990, the Getty acquired Van Gogh's Irises, which at one point was the most expensive painting in the world, selling in 1987 for 53.9 million dollars.
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