Our Favourite New Museums for 2018 and 2019

26 October 2018

This is an exciting era for museum-goers, with a growing array of new venues opening all around the globe to showcase world-class collections in ground-breaking buildings that are often tourist attractions in their own right. We’ve shared some of our favourite new openings for this year and next.

V&A, Dundee

Scotland’s international centre for design opened in September 2018 as the UK’s first design museum ever built outside London. Occupying a sculptural, hull-shaped building by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, it focuses on Scotland's design heritage as well as promoting contemporary talent and encouraging future innovations.

Medicine Galleries, Science Museum, London

Scheduled for completion in autumn 2019, this behemoth’s six new £24-million medicine galleries – designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects – will transform its entire first floor into one of the world’s most important collections on healthcare developments over the last 400 years and how they have transformed our lives.

Bauhaus Museum, Dessau

Between Berlin and Leipzig, this Saxony-Anhalt town will be home to the world’s second-largest Bauhaus collection from September 2019 with the opening of this museum marking the German art school’s centenary. As well as exhibitions, there’ll be installations, performances and talks. Dessau itself has several Bauhaus buildings to discover, while for the striking museum itself, up-and-coming Barcelona architect González Hinz Zabala took inspiration in the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza

Overdue at the time of writing and with no fixed opening date in sight, this vast new Egyptology museum – also known as the Giza Museum – promises to be worth the wait: it will display the full Tutankhamun collection, including many pieces never before exhibited. Designed by Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects, the venue will mount to an ancient plateau with far-reaching views of the Pyramids themselves.

“People always think the Pyramids are way out into the desert but in reality, they are situated on the edge of the city at Giza and in fact, you can catch a glimpse of them from most places in the city. The Pyramids and Sphinx were absolutely awesome and it was hard to take in that I was looking at an Ancient Wonder of the World. I actually touched the base stone of one of the Pyramids and felt very humble.”

Gill, Travel Counsellor

Statue of Liberty Museum, New York City

Slated for its grand unveiling in May 2019, this new venue by local architects FXFowle will add three major galleries to the existing display space, including an immersive cinema telling the story of the statue’s construction and a re-creation of the warehouse studio where Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi built it. You’ll also be able to get up-close with the original torch held by Lady Liberty for nearly 100 years while admiring the iconic structure itself through glass walls. 

The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils

Opening in June, the Smithsonian’s vast new fossil hall will have as its centrepiece the nation’s much-loved Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, surrounded by more than 700 other dinosaurs, plant, animal and insect specimens that together take visitors on a journey through more than 3.7 billion years of life on Earth.

New Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle

Replacing the Old Burke on the University of Washington site when it opens in autumn 2019, this venue by Olson Kundig architects increases the display space by two-thirds within a light and airy contemporary environment filled with around 16 million objects including a mastodon, a whale skeleton, a T. rex skull and a bronze statue paying tribute to Coast Salish weavers. The highlight will be a gallery from which to observe some of the Burke’s experts preserving specimens for future display.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

Opening in mid-2019, Hollywood’s long-awaited film museum promises to be educational, entertaining, immersive and experimental in its focus on both the art and science of movies. Partly occupying the landmark May Company building, the new venue has been designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano and will also include The Sphere with a 1,000-seater state-of-the-art cinema and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills including the Hollywood sign. 

Museum of Image & Sound, Rio de Janeiro

Also overdue at the time of writing but expected to open in 2019, the new version of the seaside city’s Museu da Imagem e do Som, designed by NYC’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro architects, takes Copacabana Beach as its inspiration. Celebrating the city’s cultural history, including samba, bossa nova and Carnival, the venue replicates the beach promenade in its ‘vertical boulevard’ taking you up through eight floors of galleries, theatres and eateries to a roof terrace and bar with prime views of the famous stretch of sand. 

Tank Shanghai

Utterly unique, this new art museum and leisure space opening in China’s biggest city in March 2019 occupies five decommissioned oil tanks linked beneath an undulating, turf-like ‘super surface’ by Beijing’s Open Architecture. One tank will be used as an art gallery, one for art installations, one for live entertainment and one for large-scale events such as outdoor music festivals, while the last will host a themed restaurant.

To book your cultural holiday, contact your Travel Counsellor.

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