Top 10 Most Visited Galleries and Museums in the World

1 2

6. National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C., USA)

National Gallery of Art Washington D.C.

Total Attendance: 4,392,252 (2011)

The National Gallery of Art was created in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution passed by Congress to accept the gift of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon. During the 1920s, Mr. Mellon started collecting with the intention of forming a gallery of art for the nation in the nation’s capital. n 1937, the year he died, he promised to give his collection to the United States. Funds for the construction of the West Building were provided by The A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust. On March 17, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the completion of the National Gallery of Art and the collections on behalf of the people of the United States of America.

The paintings and works of art donated by Mr Mellon have formed the nucleus of high quality around which the collections have grown. Mr. Mellon’s hope that the newly created National Gallery would attract gifts from other collectors was soon realized in the form of major donations of art from Samuel H. Kress, Rush H. Kress, Joseph Widener, Chester Dale, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald to name a few.


7. National Palace Museum (Taipei, China)

National Palace Museum

Total Attendance: 3,849,577 (2011)

The Taipei National Palace Museum and the famous Forbidden City in Beijing originate from the same institution, which was split into two as a result of the Chinese Civil War. Covering a total area of 1200 mu (about 198 acres), it is located on the outskirts of Taipei City, Taiwan. Construction began in 1962 and it was inaugurated on November 12, 1965, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the great Chinese revolutionary and also the founder of the Republic of China. That is why it is also named as Yat-sen Museum. The splendid architecture of the structure is modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and incorporates elements of traditional Chinese royal design from the feudal era.

The museum today houses the largest collection of priceless Chinese artifacts and artwork in the world, including ancient bronze castings, calligraphy, scroll paintings, porcelain, jade, and rare books, many of which were formerly possessed by of the imperial family. The full collection, which consists of some 650,000 pieces, spans multiple centuries and a myriad of dynasties. Each exhibit, however, puts on display only about 1,700 pieces at a  given time.


8. Centre Pompidou (Paris, France)

Centre Pompidou

Total Attendance: 3,613,076 (2011)

Since opening in 1969, it’s clear that the Centre Pompidou has succeeded in its aim to become both art gallery and cultural hub. Its modern and contemporary art collection, with over 50,000 works and multiple temporary exhibitions, is one of Europe’s best colllection, and its public library and performance spaces throng with life. The landmark building, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, wears its skeleton on the outside, with tubes and structures color-coded to denote their function. It is one of three museums and galleries in France that you must see.


9. National Museum of Korea (Seoul, Korea)

National Museum of Korea

Total Attendance: 3,239,549 (2011)

The National Museum of Korea is a museum dedicated to Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization that represents Korea. Since its inception in 1945, the museum has been committed to various studies and research activities in the fields of archaeology, history, and art, continuously developing a variety of exhibitions and education programs for tourists to visit.

In 2012, it was reported that since its relocation to Yongsan District in 2005, the Museum has attracted an attendance of 20 million visitors. A poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that visiting the Museum is one of the most favored activities in Seoul.


10. Musée d’Orsay (Paris, France)

Musée d'Orsay

Total Attendance: 3,150,000 (2011)

The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, located on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It is most well-known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces (the largest in the world) by such painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley to name a few. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986.



Time Magazine

1 2

About The Author