TO THE DELIGHT OF art lovers around the country, this autumn promises to be much livelier than last, with scores more museums fully open and long-delayed exhibits finally unfurled. But as coronavirus cases tick back up and restrictions tighten in some cities, elbowing your way through a crowded gallery at one of the country’s major art institutions appeals far less than it used to. The solution? Seek out a less popular art venue with its own cachet. Better still, make it a pilgrimage and build a trip around the venture. After so many months deprived of both art and travel, what finer way to celebrate their return? For trip inspiration, we asked five art-world notables to share the collections and house-museums worth traveling for.
Fondation Claude Monet | Giverny, France
The house and gardens in the countryside of Normandy where the artist lived and painted for 43 years
“I spent a summer in Giverny and I actually really enjoyed the Monet house and gardens. It sounds like a small thing but the kitchen is intact and it’s blue. I love the farmers market [in Giverny] and the hills that you can hike up or you can ride a bike and go drink some cider. Giverny really sticks in my mind” —
president of the Judd Foundation
Judd Foundation | Marfa, Texas
The sites comprise 21 buildings including artist Donald Judd’s former home and studios at La Mansana de Chinati, also called the Block.
The Chinati Foundation | Marfa, Texas
A contemporary art museum, situated on 340 acres, founded by Mr. Judd at a former military base. He repurposed the buildings for the permanent installation of large-scale works by him as well as other artists.
“I learned so much more about Donald Judd’s work and his life—and what it’s done for that community. His work is often made like a status symbol when it’s shown. But when we saw it in Marfa, you understood what it was all about, that it was about space—and the fact that he was a hoarder as well. He had to be strict with himself so he didn’t end up with tons of junk. He had to create order in his life continuously and I am very similar.” —Tracey Emin, artist
Museo en los Cerros | Tilcara, Argentina
A photography museum built by Argentine photographer Lucio Boschi in 2012. Note: Argentina is expected to open to Americans as of Nov. 1
“It’s in the middle of these beautiful stark, pink mountains and it takes several hours to get there by bus from Salta. It’s really quite special.” —Karole P. B. Vail, director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection | Venice, Italy
An 18th-century palazzo, the former home of one of the 20th century’s most famous modern art patrons
“That place is magic and somewhere I will long to go back to again and again. It’s a domestic experience, like being a ghost traveling through that house, seeing the pet cemetery outside and photos of her living there and the work. You can feel her still there. When you can go on a day when there aren’t many people, you feel like you’ve broken into the house and you’re sneaking around while she’s gone shopping for more art. It’s a very unique way of experiencing a collector’s house.”—Russell Tovey, co-host of the ’Talk Art’ podcast
Clyfford Still Museum | Denver
Opened in 2011 to house more than 3,000 works by one of the pioneers of the Abstract Expressionist movement
“In Still’s will, he left a prize and Denver won a prize to build the museum. I love the idea that it’s in Denver and not one of the big cities.”—Robert Diament, gallerist, co-host of the podcast ‘Talk Art’
teamLab Borderless | Tokyo
A 107,000-square-foot digital art museum opened in 2018 by the art collective teamLab. Note: Currently, American tourists are still prohibited from visiting Japan due to Covid travel restrictions.
“It’s incredible….There’s like a hundred or something artists who go in there and they build rooms. Everyone is anonymous. They just love to do it because they love to participate in the art and the culture and the experience. That gives me a lot more like…the feels, you know? It makes me feel more connected to the pieces for some reason. Because it’s not about money. It’s about, how do we evoke feelings in people?” —Steve Aoki, DJ, record producer and art collector
Casa Luis Barragán | Mexico City
The former residence of the acclaimed architect, built in 1948 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004
“In Mexico City, besides the city itself, the various Luis Barragán projects, including his own house, are absolutely worth looking at and spending some time in. Everybody assumes they know how to live and what houses should look like and what chairs should look like and how their day should be organized. And it’s just really good to find alternatives to that and question whether you’re actually doing it in a way that is best for you.” —Flavin Judd, artistic director of the Judd Foundation
Corrections & Amplifications
The sites at the Judd Foundation comprise 21 buildings, including artist Donald Judd’s former home and studios at La Mansana de Chinati, which is also called the Block. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that the Judd Foundation as a whole is also referred to as La Mansana de Chinati or the Block. Separately, an earlier version of this article incorrectly used a photo of teamLab Planets instead of teamLab Borderless. (Corrected on Sept. 29)
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