Top new museums of 2017

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Guest Writer
Museum openings

For globetrotting museum goers, 2017 is a year for exploring a wealth of newly opened museums from around the world (For travel insurance rates around the world, visit our international

From art and design to history, there’s a host of exciting new exhibition spaces to visit, be it in Paris or London or further afield in Los Angeles, Cape Town or Jakarta let us point you in the direction of some the world’s most outstanding new museums of 2017:

Museum Barberini, Potsdam, Germany

The palace at Barberini is no stranger to entertainment. It was a venue for stage art and cultural events in the mid-nineteenth century but the original building was mostly destroyed during an air raid in 1945. Three years later the ruins were completely demolished and removed.  The site was eventually turned into a car park before being rejuvenated to its former glory.

Opened in late January as a museum within the magnificently reconstructed palace from which it takes its name, Museum Barberini is a huge new attraction in Potsdam city’s impressive historic centre. Art ranges from the old masters to contemporary pieces in three exhibitions which include loans from international museums and private collections. The opening exhibition showcased a fanfare of Impressionism: The Art of Landscape which included works by Renoir, Monet and Caillebotte. Check the website to find out what’s currently on show.

Open date: January 2017

Whilst you’re here, look into travel insurance for Europe.

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), Cape Town, South Africa

No mean feat, this is the biggest museum to open in Africa for over a century. Eighty galleries will house permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as spaces for art education, photography, moving images, costume and performing arts courses.

Zeitz MOCAA will be an influential place too: the $38m centre is to be packed full of art created since the year 2000 and houses an impressive collection by Jochen Zeitz (a German philanthropist and the former CEO of Puma), while continuing to acquire work of its own. The museum will be housed within the towering, 57-metre-high Grain Silo; a stark reminder of Cape Town’s industrial heritage and a soon-to-be symbol of its creative future.

Open date: 23 September 2017

Museum MACAN, Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia’s first modern and contemporary art museum, is being constructed in the Kebon Jeruk district of West Jakarta and is heralded as one of the most exciting new art openings on the planet. From its spacious interiors designed by London-based MET Studio Design, you will get the chance to view exhibits from Indonesia’s talented yet underrated contemporary artists, as well as put Jakarta on the cultural map. What’s more, the November opening will coincide with two of the biggest art events in Jakarta: the Jakarta Biennale and the Biannale Jogja so art lovers will be in their element.

Open date:  November 2017

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA

With a new logo designed by Mark Bradford, intended to evoke the urban pace of Los Angeles, the ICA LA is in essence a rebranding and rehousing of the existing Santa Monica Museum of Art. The Institute opens in the autumn at a new location in the Downtown LA arts district.

The new 12,700 square foot space aims to bring together “architecture, urban design, and sustainability to create cutting-edge environments for exhibitions, education, dialogue, and collaboration”.

Open date: Autumn 2017

The new Sackler Courtyard at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

A purpose-built subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions, the new exhibition space will showcase all its latest contemporary designs, while maintaining the beauty of the V&A’s existing building. You will find the first porcelain-tiled public courtyard in the UK, responding to the design of the original building, which includes numerous striking examples of 19th century decorative ceramics. This is the biggest architectural project the museum has undertaken in the last 100 years.

The courtyard will be a venue for exhibitions and events in addition to serving as a new public space for the museum.  Enter the Sackler Courtyard through the arches of the 19th-century screen designed by Sir Aston Webb. From here, you will be able to access the Sainsbury Gallery and rest of the Museum via Blavatnik Hall, as well as view the previously hidden facades of Aston Webb’s original buildings.

Open date: July 2017

Design Society, Shēnzhèn, China

The V&A will be expanding beyond London to the Chinese Shēnzhèn. Design Society, a cultural hub that will include a 330-seat theatre, shops and a roof garden, along with a V&A gallery focusing on 20th and 21stt century design. In addition, the Design Society will host two major touring exhibitions over the next two years.

Designed by Japanese architect, Fumihiko Maki, the Society is the first collaboration of its kind between a UK museum and a Chinese partner. Located in the Sea World Culture and Arts centre in Shenzhen’s Shekou district, Design Society is expected to link the art world of China with the rest of the world while focussing on the connections between design and society, everyday life and industry.

Open date: October 2017

Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia

With US politics as polarised as it currently is, there’s perhaps never been a better time to reflect on the history of the nation. The Museum of the American Revolution does just that while taking a non-partisan view of the revolutionary period through the medium of thousands of objects, manuscripts and artworks. Exhibitions take you back on a chronological journey from the roots of conflict in the 1760s to armed resistance, the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and through to the final years of the war.

Expect a gallery filled with a full-scale replica of Boston’s Liberty Tree; the recreation of an Oneida Indian Council House; a Battlefield Theatre; a model of Independence Hall; and a large model of an 18th-century privateer ship. The theatre houses one of the most iconic surviving artefacts of the Revolution: General Washington’s Headquarters Tent, which was both his office and sleeping quarters throughout most of the war.

Open date: 19 April 2017

Investigate travel insurance for the USA.

Musées Yves Saint Laurent, Paris and Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent is one of the world’s most influential fashion designers as well as the only designer of his generation who systematically archived his work since establishing his couture house in the 1960s.

This year, two museums will open in Paris and Marrakech to house the thousands of garments and accessories, sketches and photographs that represent his life’s work. The Parisian museum will be at 5 Avenue Marceau and the Marrakech museum will be built near the magnificent Jardin Majorelle, a garden long associated with the designer.

Marrakech is set for visitor numbers to soar in 2017 when the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle opens the Musee Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech.

Open date: Autumn 2017

Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE

With the opening date pushed back several times over the years, this epic international collaboration between France’s Louvre Museum and Abu Dhabi was originally due to be completed in 2012. 2017 will hopefully see this ambitious new museum open its doors to the public. Designed by award-winning architects, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the museum ‘city’ comprises a series of pristine white buildings inspired by the Arab medina.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed as a dome structure that seems to float, with its roof allowing the sun to filter through. The overall effect represents sunlight passing through date palm fronds in an oasis. A permanent collection will cover around 6,000 square metres with temporary exhibitions taking up a further 2,000 square metres.

Artwork from all over the world will be showcased at the museum in a bid to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern art. Due to be located on Saadiyat Island, as part of a US$27 billion tourist and cultural development plan, the complex will also comprise other museums including the Guggenheim Museum and the Zayed National Museum.

Open date: TBC