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The World's Best New Museums Opening This Fall

From Scotland's first design museum to Helsinki's new subterranean art playground, add these new art and design openings to your must-see list.


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Fall brings with it a new crop of everything—fashion, TV shows... and museums. And this year the list of must-see new museums is bursting at the seams. From Scotland's first design museum, the Victoria & Albert, to Helsinki's Instagram perfect new landmark, Amos Rex. Embrace the indoors and stroll through the art-filled walls of these must-see new museum openings around the world.

Victoria & Albert Museum of Design, Dundee, Scotland

Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee, opens its doors this September—a $100 million project ten years in the making. The highly sculptural building (inspired by North Eastern Scotland’s rugged cliffs) will be the first Victoria & Albert museum outside of London, with a similar focus on fashion, architecture, design, and photography. First up is Ocean Liners: Speed and Style which will home in on the glamour of the great sea-going ships.

Amos Rex, Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki’s futuristic-looking new art darling is built above, and below, a listed modernist building that once hosted the 1940s Summer Olympics. It's now Instagram famous domed skylights pepper the plaza in the center of the Finnish capital’s buzzing museum district—and below ground, is a 23,358-square-foot subterranean exhibition hall playing host to a splashy new digital exhibit, Massless, from Tokyo-based art collective, teamLab. Amos Rex is one of a kind.

Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland

Set to open October 4, 15 miles from downtown Washington, D.C, the serene Glenstone Museum will unveil a lengthy expansion including an additional 130 acres of landscape and a brand new 204,000 square-foot museum known as the Pavillions. Wander through the now 230-acre outdoor space with sculptures from artists including Jeff Koons and through the Pavillions 11 rooms designated for artwork from post-war and contemporary artists including Jasper Johns and Kazuo Shiraga.

Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Canada

Three years after it shut shop (and was then known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art), and two opening date revisions later, MOCA is finally here. Triple the size it once was, the Toronto museum is set across five floors of a historic early 20th-century industrial tower in the city's west end. Its inaugural exhibition, BELIEVE features artists including Jeneen Frei Njootli, Barbara Kruger (who is creating a site-responsive, large-scale text installation), and Awol Erizku, the Ethiopian-American artist whose work takes an unflinching look at racism in the U.S. (He’s also the man behind Beyoncé’s viral pregnancy portrait, the most “liked” Instagram post of all time.)

National Museum of Qatar, Doha, United Arab Emirates

Expected to open in December 2018, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel's riveting National Museum of Qatar stands alongside the 19th-century Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani palace. The multilayered disc design inspired by Qatar's desert rose—not actually a flower but a strange, semiprecious stone, resulting from combining crystals clusters of gypsum or barite with sand grains. No word on special exhibitions just yet but the permanent collection will showcase the rich cultural history of the Qatari people.

Photography Centre at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walk through a spectacular installation of over 150 cameras into the V&A's new Photography Centre—dedicated to the history of photography from the 19th century to the present day through the theme of collectors and collecting. To mark the first phase of the center's opening the V&A has commissioned German photographer Thomas Ruff to create a new body of work, exploring Captain Linnaeus Tripe’s 1850s paper negatives of India and Burma, and will showcase newly-acquired images by Linda McCartney. Phase two (opening in 2022) will include a photographer's studio and darkroom as well as event spaces.

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Israel

Tel Aviv’s first museum dedicated to biodiversity opened its doors this summer. The elevated ark-shaped timber structure, completed by Kimmel Eshkolot Architects, spans 100,000 square-feet and presents Tel Aviv University’s collection of nature and scientific findings to the public for the first time—and that's no small feat, with over 5 million specimens on display.


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