How Much Do You Know About…The Lesser-Known Gems of the Art Museum World?

August 14, 2018


In anticipation of Barry Greenlaw’s upcoming class, “Beyond the Louvre: Art Museums for the Connoisseur,” we are offering a fun and informative quiz about lesser-known art museums and their holdings. See how much you know about the gems of the art museum world!


1. Which museum is home to the ONLY Michelangelo painting held in an American collection?

A. The Museum of Fine Arts, TX.
B. The Kimbell Museum, TX.
C. Crystal Bridges Museum, TN.

2. Who is planning to open the Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso in the south of France featuring Picasso’s paintings, sculptures and more?

A. Paloma Picasso.
B. Catherine Hutin-Blay.
C. Claude Picasso.

3. What is the best museum to view more than 100 Van Gogh paintings and features one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe?

A. Musee d’Orsay, France.
B. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
C. Kroller-Muller Museum, Netherlands.

4. Which smaller museum was endowed with a private art collection assembled over a 30-year period by an industrialist and contains European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years?

A. The Broad Museum, CA.
B. The Norton Simon Museum, CA.
C. The Frick Museum, NY.

5. Which small museum is located in a house designed by a famous 19th century architect that is crammed with marble sculptures and paintings, including those by Hogarth and Turner?

A. Sir John Soane Museum, UK.
B. Sir Charles Barry Museum, UK.
C. Frederick Law Olmstead Museum, USA.

6. Which museum has the design of a 15th century Venetian-style palace that contains a peaceful courtyard surrounded by three stories of galleries, that include art by Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Matisse, and more? Hint: It was also the location of the biggest art heist in history!

A. The National Art Museum, Norway.
B. The Whitworth Art Gallery, UK.
C. The Isabelle Gardner Museum, USA.

7. Which museum in Philadelphia has one of the best Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections in the world?

A. The Barnes Foundation.
B. Brandywine River Museum.
C. The Palmer Museum of Art.


1. B. The Kimbell Museum of Fort Worth, Texas contains a small copy of a painting that Michelangelo created when he was only 12 or 13. Although it is not representative of his later work, it does show his early talent. The permanent collection of the Kimbell  is home to works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Titian, and more. In comparison to other museums in Texas (and around the country), the smaller-sized Kimbell Museum has been regularly spotlighted for focusing on quality over quantity.

2. B. Picasso’s stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, is planning to open a museum dedicated to Picasso and his second (and final) wife, Jacqueline Roque. Aptly named Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso, the venue will hold over 1,000 paintings (in addition to drawings, sculptures, ceramics, painted plates, and photographs) that are dated between 1952 and 1973—the years the couple were together, until Picasso’s death in April 1973.

3. C. One of the most overlooked museums in Europe is the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands (about an hour outside of Amsterdam). This museum houses over 100 Van Gogh paintings  along with Seurats, Mondrians, and Picassos. In addition, it contains one of the largest sculpture gardens in Europe.

4. B. The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections.

5. A. The Sir John Soane Museum is a small, historic house which features a surprising art collection including paintings by Hogarth and Turner. The house was designed by Sir John Soane, one of England’s most famous and unique 19th century architects.

6. C.  The Isabelle Gardner Museum is located in Boston, and features a courtyard surrounded by three stories of galleries. This museum was also home to the biggest art heist in history; the thieves stole works by Degas, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Empty frames still mark the places where the paintings were stolen. However, this museum is still considered to have one of the best art collections in the world.

7. A. The Barnes Foundation was originally created to show paintings in the context of a home, rather than a museum, and its forced move into a more public structure in 2012 caused much controversy at the time. However, this museum  that includes works by Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh and others is considered to hold one of the best Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections in the world.