For many of us, one of the great joys of traveling is finding a museum and losing ourselves for a time. Be it art, science, or history, a museum is a wonderful way of spending a day.
The United States does not want for museums. Big city museums that host international exhibitions. Small town museums dedicated to local events that never made the national news. They’re all wonderful!
We’ve gathered some of the most exciting exhibitions taking place in four of the most exciting cities in the United States this fall, as well as some expert advice from various travel bloggers. As you’re planning your travel for the second half of 2022, remember these!
The Phillips Collection
Lou Stovall: The Museum Workshop; July 23 through October 9
Lou Stovall: The Museum Workshop reexamines the history and legacy of the Dupont Center, an artist’s museum founded in Washington, DC, in 1969. Under the visionary collaboration of curator Walter Hopps and artist Lou Stovall, the Dupont Center advanced a new, innovative model for the museum as a place for exhibition, art-making, and community-building.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World; May 13, 2022, through April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism — showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions of the histories and contributions of people of color, women, and other overlooked communities.
The National Portrait Gallery
I Dream of a World: Selections from Brian Lanke’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women; Part I, July 8, 2022, through January 29, 2023; Part II, February 10 through August 27, 2023
Taken from Brian Lanke’s book, I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America, this exhibition features portraits of women who indelibly changed their worlds, be it politics, literature, activism, athletics, and more. This is a two-part show.
Washington, D.C. travel suggestions provided by D.C.-based blogger, Katie Urban, of A Touch of Teal.
- Splurge Hotel: I love the Lyle Hotelin Dupont Circle; it’s centrally located in the heart of Dupont Circle and just a short walk from other points of interest across the city, including DC’s most famous museums, monuments, and, of course, the White House, plus all the fun in Georgetown… Check out their lobby bar and restaurant — it’s a super cozy spot with some of my favorite cocktails and bites in the city.
- Restaurants not to miss: Le Diplomate is a DC classic for good reasons… don’t skip the burger, the French onion soup, and the warm shrimp salad. Maydan is also a favorite… their take on North African and Middle Eastern cuisine is unparalleled. And don’t skip Filomena for classic Italian…
- Favorite shopping area(s): M Street in Georgetown is a classic shopping destination, with a great mix of chain retailers and local boutiques… My favorite store in the city, however, is Salt & Sundry, which has locations on 14th Street and Union Market. They’ve got a unique mix of home goods, gifts, stationery, and plants.
New York City
Whitney Museum of American Art
Quiet as It’s Kept: The Whitney Biennial; through September 5
The Whitney Biennial has surveyed the landscape of American art, reflecting and shaping the cultural conversation, since 1932. After being postponed for due to COVID-19, the2022 Biennial features an intergenerational and interdisciplinary group of sixty-three artists and collectives whose dynamic works reflect the challenges, complexities, and possibilities of the American experience today.
Museum of Arts and Design
Chris Schanck: Off-World; through January 8, 2023
Emerging as a leading figure in the design world, Chris Schanck fuses sculpture and furniture, repeatedly crossing the line between camp and refinement. The forms of his furniture suggest extraterrestrial world, ancient artifacts, and undersea deposits.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England; October 10, 2022 through January 8, 2023
Under the Tudor monarchs, England entered onto the world stage. Artists from all over Europe and the Near East flocked to the courts of Henry VII, Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I. This exhibition traces the transformation of the arts in Tudor England through iconic portraits, spectacular tapestries, manuscripts, sculpture, and armor from the Met collection and international lenders.
New York City travel suggestions provided by Natalie Bovre, a New York City nanny for 20 years.
- Restaurants not to miss: Tavern on the Green, Keenes, Joe’s Shanghai, The View in Times Square for drinks before Broadway shows
- Activities to not miss when traveling with your family: American Museum of Natural History; take a double decker bus tour or an architectural boat tour; the Ground Zero memorial; and of course, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The National Museum of Mexican Art
Frieda Kahlo, Her Photos; through August 7
This exhibition comes from the previously unknown archive of Kahlo’s personal photographs. Grouped thematically into six sections, this exhibition is not a chronological biography but is rather a revelation of Kahlo, of Mexico, and of her time.
Museum of Science + Industry
The Art of the Brick; through September 5
The world’s largest display of Lego® art, this exhibition features over 100 works and is the first major museum exhibition featuring art that uses Lego® bricks as the sole medium. The collection features original pieces by Nathan Sawaya, as well as re-imagined version of some of the world’s most iconic works of art.
The Field Museum
Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, opened May 20
Chicago’s renowned Field Museum has partnered with indigenous groups to debut a groundbreaking new renovation of the museum’s Native North America Hall. The co-curated exhibit will feature stories told in Native American people’s own voices, supported by contemporary art, poetry, photography, and historical objects.
Chicago travel suggestions are provided by Ashley Marshall Seward of Mommy Week, a Chicago lifestyle blog.
- Restaurants: Punch Bowl Social, JoJo’s Shake Bar, Lou Malnati’s for the iconic Chicago deep dish pizza
- Family Activities: Navy Pier, Chicago Architectural Boat Tour
- Shopping Area: Magnificent Mile
- Hotel: Swissotel Chicago
The Getty Center
Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop; July 19 through October 9
Working Together is the first major exhibition about the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers formed in New York in 1963. Members of the group produced powerful images of Black life in the mid-20th century. The exhibition explores Kamoinge’s photographic artistry in the 1960s and 1970s, celebrating the group’s collaborative ethos, commitment to community, and centering of Black experiences.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Lonesome Crowded West: Works from MOCA’s Collection; through February 19, 2023
Given the American West’s thorny legacy of rugged individualism and colonial exploitation, what should a picture of the West look like today? The artists in this exhibition respond to this question from multiple perspectives, speaking with a plurality of voices, asking not so much what the West means, but rather what it is, and what it can mean to be in.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse; through October 9
Conceptually challenging yet red carpet-approved, the late Alexander McQueen’s designs were technically exquisite. Here, LACMA looks to the myriad inspirations behind the dressmaking with a display of McQueen garments alongside inspirational artwork from the museum’s own collection.
Los Angeles travel suggestions provided by Audrey Kuester, Fort Worth ex-pat turned Californian, and Kara Harshbarger, LA local, entrepreneur, and inventor.
- Splurge Hotel: Audrey – Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. The hotel and the rooftop bar are amazing… BEST view and incredible cocktails.
- Dining: Kara – My all-time favorite is Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. Incredible food, small… and you will see Mark Walberg or Steven Spielberg (I’ve seen one or the other every time!). Others are Gjelina in Venice, Bacettiin Echo Park, and Cha Cha Cha (downtown LA) – 75% of the restaurant is on a rooftop with great views.
- Shopping: Audrey – The Golden Triangle (between Santa Monica Boulevard, Canon Drive and Wilshire Boulevard). Tip: Get there at 10 am. Have brunch and then stay and walk around. LA doesn’t wake up until 11 am and by noon it’s a zoo.
Kara – The Grove which is connected to the Farmer’s Market.
- Family Activities: Audrey – Don’t miss Manhattan Beach as a family. Hike the Hollywood Sign – IT IS AMAZING!
- Spa: Audrey – Tomoko Japanese Spa Beverly Hills.
Kara – The best spa/girls’ trip is Terrenea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.