Over centuries, the world has seen different forms, varieties and movements of art. Many movements started in Europe and inspired other progress in the United States. But you don’t have to travel to Europe to see the works of Leonardo de Vinci. What’s better than being able to see all sorts of art in one country? As installment pieces, we’ll take a look at these art museums located in the good ole U.S. of A. where you’ll be able to view artistic masterpieces from around the world.

National Gallery of Art — Washington, D.C.

While the Smithsonian should be on everyone’s list when visiting D.C., the National Gallery of Art should be a top priority on that list as well. This museum was established in 1937 as a gift to the people of the U.S. from Congress. It officially opened to the public in 1941. The collection of artwork, which includes paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings, follows the growth of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present. Plus, this is the only place in the Americas to see a Leonardo da Vinci painting. To top it all off, admission is free!

When you go, know that the exhibits are separated into two different buildings: the west building houses artwork from America and Europe and the east building holds the modern art along with special visiting exhibits. The must-sees when visiting the National Gallery of Art are many, but these are the top few: “Ginevra de’ Benci” by da Vinci; the Sculpture Garden, which has many contemporary sculptures; and El Greco: A 400th Anniversary Collection, from November 2014-February 2015, the National Gallery of Art will have an exhibition containing many pieces of art from the artist.

Museum of Modern Art — New York City

This well known museum is located in Midtown Manhattan and houses many pieces of modernist art (in case its name didn’t tip you off). There are more than 70,000 artists who have work on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which include film, electronic media, architecture, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and, of course, paintings. The museum initially began being developed in 1929 by Abby Rockefeller and her friends, Lille P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. Over the decades, MoMA has seen many expansions and renovations. You do have to pay to visit MoMA, however, Friday evenings from 4-8 p.m. is free admission. Plus, admission pricing includes special exhibits, audio programs, films and gallery talks.

Many artists you may have learned about in school have pieces at MoMA: Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse are names of just a few artists. MoMA is home to van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” so we recommend seeing that during your visit. Works we recommend you see when you go are the van Gogh collection, Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Claude Monet’s expansive “Reflections of Cloud on the Water-Lilly Pond.” All are remarkable pieces of artwork, which are better viewed in person. But don’t just limit your visit to paintings; remember, with over 70,000 artists and various mediums, there is plenty to see and explore at MoMA.

What defines a masterpiece is in the eyes of the beholder. With so many works of art in countless museums in the U.S., you’ll seeing many masterpieces. In the next piece about U.S. art museums, museums in the Midwest will be the highlight. Because, with 50 states and numerous cities, there are so many assortments of art to see across this country.

Have you visited the National Gallery of Art or MoMA? Think another museum should be included in our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Author: lansend