Five Essential Exhibits Worth Traveling for This Summer and Beyond

Build an entire itinerary around these groundbreaking exhibits and anticipated museum openings.

The Academy Museum in Los Angeles

The Academy Museum in Los Angeles will debut an exhibit that explores both the triumphs and challenges of Black American filmmakers.

Photo by Elliott Cowand Jr/Shutterstock

You don’t have to be a lifelong patron of the arts to plan a trip around a museum visit. History buffs, fashion aficionados, architecture enthusiasts—just about anyone who’s culturally curious—will all find treasure among a collection of new world-class museum facilities and groundbreaking, identity-driven exhibits across media. Read on for five new exhibits and museums that are worth building a trip around.

Barbara O. Jones and Bernie Casey in a scene from "Black Chariot"

Barbara O. Jones and Bernie Casey in a scene from “Black Chariot,” one of many exhibits on display at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles.

Courtesy of Academy Museum

1. Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971

Los Angeles, California

Tickets: $25 for adults, free for children and members. Advance reservations are required.

The first exhibition of its kind, this historical exploration of the history of Black cinema debuts on August 21 at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles. The ultra-buzzy new museum is a worthy destination in itself, an architectural knockout with a spherical, spaceship-looking theater and rooftop deck venue offering sweeping city views.

The second major exhibition since the museum’s 2021 opening, Regeneration will explore both the triumphs and also the challenges of Black American filmmakers from the medium’s earliest days through the civil rights movement. Expect rare and restored archival films, newsreels and home movies, photos, scripts, costumes, posters, and other impeccably curated relics. The exhibit will remain on view in the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery through April 9, 2023.

2. Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse

Los Angeles, California

Tickets: $25 for adults (from outside of L.A. County), free for children and members. Advance reservations are required.

Since you’re already there, walk a few steps from the Academy Museum to the neighboring Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the Alexander McQueen exhibit. It’s the first McQueen exhibition on the West Coast, and it explores his process, innovations in both fashion and art, and also the interdisciplinary instincts that marked his career. Look for wardrobe from the collection of Regina J. Drucker as well as artworks from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit kicked off on April 24 and runs through October 9 at the Resnick Pavilion.

Paul Cezanne's artwork

Over 100 of Paul Cezanne’s works will be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo Courtesy of Courtauld Gallery/Bridgeman Images

3. Cezanne

Chicago, Illinois

Tickets: $25 for adults (from outside of Chicago), free for children and members. Advance ticket purchase is required for nonmembers.

The Art Institute of Chicago is hosting the country’s first major Cezanne retrospective in 25 years. (It’s also the first organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in more than 70 years.) The expansive exhibit explores the artist’s work across multiple media and genres. In all, there are 80 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings, and two complete sketchbooks. Expect well-known works (Madame Cezanne in a Yellow Chair, Still Life with Apples) as well as rarely seen works from public and private collections across four continents. The exhibit includes allegorical paintings, impressionist landscapes, paintings of Montagne Sainte Victoire, portraits, and bather scenes. The exhibit opened on May 15 and runs through September 5.

4. Queer

Melbourne, Australia

Tickets: Free entry

This exhibition from Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) collection spans hundreds of years of history and a wide range of media—about 400 works in all, including painting, drawing, photography, decorative arts, fashion, video, sculpture, and design. It’s the most historically broad exhibit of its kind by an Australian art institution.

Instead of trying to assemble a definitive history of queer arts, the exhibit looks to the NGV’s own collection through the lenses of queerness in sexuality, gender, politics, and attitude. Not all works are by artists who identify as queer: Some lived in eras when doing so wasn’t even possible, and some are from artists with another connection to queerness. The idea is to underscore the intersectionality of queerness and that LGBTQ+ rights are inextricably connected with other equality movements. The exhibit opened on March 10 and runs through August 22.

5. Grand Egyptian Museum

Giza, Egypt

More than two decades ago, the Egyptian government announced a global competition to design a museum that would house the country’s most significant antiquities on a site just two kilometers from the Pyramids of Giza. The Irish firm Heneghan Peng Architects won that contest and got to work on designing an ultra-modern building. Construction began in 2005, but world events and other challenges delayed its completion over and over again. At long last, it’s set to open in 2022—with a target opening date of November.

When it does, it will be the world’s biggest archaeological museum complex, with more than 100,000 artifacts and the complete collection of King Tut’s treasures on view for the first time. (And yes, the actual Pyramids are right outside—so you’ll want to catch those during your visit, too.)

Alesandra is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focusing on travel, lifestyle, entertainment, health, events.
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