Good Life

Arts & Antiques: Museums add color, history to any vacation

Ringling Museum of Art & Sculpture Garden, Sarasota, Fla., features a collection of fine art and circus-themed artifacts.
Ringling Museum of Art & Sculpture Garden, Sarasota, Fla., features a collection of fine art and circus-themed artifacts. Photo provided

If you are planning a trip, consider spending some of your well-deserved break time at one of the world’s most interesting museums and special exhibitions.

St. Petersburg, Russia: The new Faberge Museum features a 1,500-piece collection of the famous ornamental eggs. Originally presented by the czars as Easter gifts to loved ones, the Faberge Museum reunites these ultra-special art objects with the Imperial city. Dating from 1885 to 1917, many of these works of art were recently returned to St. Petersburg for the first time since the Russian Revolution. Approximately 200 of the famous Faberge eggs were acquired by Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg from the estate of Malcolm Forbes for $100 million and brought back to Russia for this specialty museum in the Shuvalov Palace. This is a private museum and admission is by appointment.

Washington, D.C.: The National Gallery of Art is hosting a large exhibition dedicated to the great masters and their interest in drawing and printmaking. This show, dedicated to the history of metalpoint — the art of drawing with a metal stylus — features almost 100 original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rogier van der Weyden, Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt van Rijn, among others. If you miss this show in Washington, you can visit these fine works of art when it travels to The British Museum in London in September.

New York: The new Whitney Museum of American Art will open in May in the trendy and accessible meatpacking district at Washington and Gansevoort streets. The 200,000-square-foot building was designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano and will provide the institution with greater exhibition and event space. The new building will take advantage of its close proximity to the High Line, a new outdoor park space in the area.

Other interesting museums that are slated to debut in the second half of 2015 include:

• Kunsthaus Dahlem in Berlin, dedicated to postwar European art and culture (


• the long-awaited National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (


• the Ikea museum at the site of its first retail store in Almhult, Sweden (

); and

• the Ringling Museum, which features multiple displays on the vast estate in Sarasota, Fla. It unites fine art and circus history in one of the finest museums in America.

And, if you are going to a hotel or resort, you will find fine art in the lobby, rooms and conference areas. If you set sail , you may be surprised to learn that a number of cruise ships also feature art onboard — ranging from antique to contemporary — including Celebrity, Regent, Oceania and Holland America.