Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Introducing the America’s Favorite Art Museum Tourney!

Pin It

UPDATE: Voting has begun! Click here to go to the ‘top’ of MAN and scroll through to vote!

Have you ever sat around the house on a Tuesday night thinking, “America is a land of many wonderful art museums. I wonder which one of them her smartest, most handsome residents like best?” Well, if so, then we have the event for you!

Introducing the latest MAN summer spectacular, a tournament so big, so sea-to-shining-sea-to-oil-drenched-Gulf, so shining-amber-waves-of-Agnes-Denes’-grain that only you, our loyal readers, can determine its outcome: That’s right, it’s MAN’s America’s Favorite Art Museum tournament.

Here’s how it will work: Last week we convened the tournament seeding committee: former Newsweek art critic and “Sunshine Muse” author Peter Plagens, vice president of editorial (here) at Louise Blouin Media Benjamin Genocchio and me. We each ranked our favorite art museums from 1 to 64. I turned our combined rankings into the seedings.

What criteria did we use to make our picks? We picked favorites. (Remember: We’re not asking you to vote to pick America’s best museum, just the one you enjoy most, the one in which you’d most want to spend a happy Thursday.) For me, I weighted the experience of being in the museum, in its galleries, most heavily. I also considered big-picture things that go into individual visits: its collection (or in the case of a kunsthalle its programming record) and how active an acquirer of art it is. You may choose to consider its website, the quality of its scholarship, its ethical comportment, its Twitter feed, or its bathrooms. Pick favorites.

The seedings are below. We’ll start voting on Wednesday. When we get into the second rounds and beyond, MAN will feature some special tidbits about each museum.

1.    Metropolitan
2.    Philadelphia
3.    National Gallery
4.    Frick
5.    Cleveland
6.    Art Institute of Chicago
7.    MoMA
8.    Barnes Foundation
9.    MFA Boston
10.    LACMA
11.    Wadsworth Atheneum
12.    Walker
13.    Whitney
14.    Menil
15.    St. Louis
16.    MOCA
17.    Albright-Knox
18.    SFMOMA
19.    Getty
20.    Hirshhorn
21.    Baltimore
22.    Clark Art Institute
23.    Carnegie
24.    Sackler/Freer
25.    Phillips Collection
26.    Detroit
27.    Nelson-Atkins
28.    MASS MoCA
29.    MCASD
30.    Guggenheim
31.    Indianapolis
32.    Toledo
33.    VMFA
34.    Dallas
35.    MAMFW
36.    Dia Beacon
37.    Kimbell
38.    Minneapolis
39.    Seattle
40.    Gardner
41.    Asia Society
42.    Norton Simon
43.    Harvard
44.    Peabody Essex
45.    Chinati Foundation
46.    Olana
47.    Hammer
48.    Neue Galerie
49.    Morgan Library
50.    ICA Boston
51.    Yale Univ. Art Gallery
52.    Worcester
53.    MCA Chicago
54.    Denver
55.    Columbus
56.    ICA Philadelphia
57.    San Diego
58.    Aldrich
59.    Amon Carter
60.    Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
61.    CAM Houston
62.    List Center
63.    New Museum
64.    Princeton

Pin It


  1. Meg says:

    Reading these comments, I just keep saying to myself: “Ohhh, yeah! That place! Oh man, but what about that place? And this place? And,that other place? I love that place!”

    Awesome, Tyler Green, your contest is remindng me of all the different ways I love museums! Will there be a “Which Art Museum in America has Made the Most People Angry?” contest? I think a lot listed here could make it, but even when they make us mad, we still love them…right? I noticed the New Museum made the list, although very close to the bottom.

  2. robert says:

    The Toledo Museum of Art collection and campus are one of the great and unexpected jewels of USA. Quite astounding collection in main museum bldg., the stunning architecture of the Glass Pavilion holding the art glass collection plus working studios on view of modern glass artists, the outdoor sculpture gardens, plus Frank Gehry’s first bldg. in America on that same campus.

  3. anthony pinto says:

    Where is the Walters Art Museum – excellent collection, well displayed and masterfully run??????????????

  4. Jay P. says:

    Lots of great institutions here, but given your mention of the oil-drenched gulf – not to mention your own involvement with the “Super Bowl Wager” art trade earlier this year – it’s curious that the New Orleans Museum of Art isn’t on this list. A shame, because it’s a pretty great place.

  5. Angie says:

    We Toledoens appreciate our museum. It has a lot of history and continues to keep up to give people what they want now

  6. […] bracket tournament to determine who the greatest living abstract painting. This summer, Green has set up a similar tournament to rank America’s “favorite” (note: not best) art museums. Here’s how our local museum were ranked in the 64 seed pool: DMA (34), Fort Worth Modern (35), […]

  7. H M White says:

    I understand the criteria you used to judge. That’s fine. I suppose how many people visit and how many amenities a museum provides is part of the show and, truth to tell, judging based on quality of collection may be too subjective. However, I really would like to see a list based on just that – quality of the collection and, perhaps, quality of its presentation. I just read reviews of one particular museum. The main thing stressed by reviewers was that it is free and that the view outside is overwhelmingly gorgeous. Did they visit and study the art collection itself? Do you know? Is there a list based on quality of the collection?

Add a Comment