When you consider what drives a traveler to check out a new city—or revisit an old favorite—a great museum is up there with exclusive culinary experiences and Gold List-worthy hotels. The museums we have bookmarked for the next year are no exception. The buildings themselves are often architectural marvels (to wit: the floating box design of the new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, Germany) and stuffed with rare and unusual objects (for example, the dagger from Ben Hur at the forthcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles). Here are seven major openings that already have us queuing.
Musée Mer Marine in Bordeaux, France
Built at the edge of the Garonne River, in what was once the busiest port in 19th-century Europe, the Musée Mer Marine pays tribute to France’s rich maritime history and uses sea-themed art and artifacts to broach important issues such as climate change and the refugee crisis. The museum will put the finishing touches on its three-story permanent collection by early September; a restaurant, hanging garden, and wet docks housing a fleet of restored boats will follow next summer. Permanent displays cover oceanic evolution, maps and navigational instruments, and naval battles that turned the tide of history. Once complete, the collection will house upward of 10,000 marine objects, including a scale replica of the RMS Titanic, a hand-carved Bangladeshi moon boat, and an 82-foot racing yacht, last sailed by Team China in 2007 but originally used by the French in several America’s Cup regattas.
Bauhaus Museum Dessau in Dessau, Germany
Pegged to the centenary of the Bauhaus founding, the $31.5-million-dollar Bauhaus Museum Dessau will showcase 49,000 artifacts from the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation—the second largest Bauhaus collection on earth. Addenda Architects, an upstart collective from Barcelona, is heading up the innovative building-within-a-building design. To the untrained eye, the museum looks like an enormous black box floating inside a transparent enclosure. The box in question gives curators nearly 23,000 square feet of exhibition space. The glassed-in ground floor, meanwhile, will be home to an “open stage” for interactive art installations, film screenings, dance and theater performances, and artist talks. The museum opens September 8.
Fotografiska New York in New York City
Nearly a decade into its existence, Stockholm’s most famous photography museum is launching a New York satellite. When Fotografiska New York opens this October, it will commandeer 45,000 square feet of exhibition space in a stunning 1890s building on Park Avenue South. Three of its six floors will be devoted to photography shows; the rollout also includes a Roman and Williams-designed dining room, bar, and café. One of five inaugural exhibitions, Devotion! 30 Years of Photographing Women, features German photographer Ellen von Unwerth’s iconic images of Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and other supermodels.
Ruby City in San Antonio, Texas
The wunderkind behind San Antonio’s $16-million-dollar, 14,000-square-foot Ruby City is British architect Sir David Adjaye, whose design credits include the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. Opening October 13, the contemporary art center will house 900 paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works, many of them culled from the collection of late arts patron Linda Pace. Its first exhibition, Waking Dream, includes landmark pieces by international artists Do Ho Suh, Wangechi Mutu, and Cornelia Parker, as well as works by SATX-based artists Ethel Shipton and Cruz Ortiz.
Sazerac House in New Orleans
Opening this fall at the corner of Canal and Magazine, a 12-minute walk from the French Quarter, the Sazerac House promises to be more than a museum. Rather, Sazerac Company is describing the 48,000-square-foot space as “one part microdistillery, two parts interactive cocktail experience.” When it’s ready to go, visitors will learn first-hand how Sazerac Rye Whiskey is distilled, how Peychaud’s Bitters are made, and how Louisianans got sauced back in the 1800s. Tours are self-guided and samples are free for those 21-and-up.
Snoopy Museum in Tokyo
The Peanuts gang is on the move. After shuttering its doors in Tokyo’s Roppongi district last September, the beloved Snoopy Museum is gearing up for a December 2019 reopening at Grandberry Park in Minami Machida, about an hour southwest of the original location. The new space, which is the official satellite of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, promises to be nearly twice the size (almost 28,000 square feet). The collection’s hundreds of original comic strips, sketches, and vintage goods will be a top draw for fans, along with a cutesy café and a museum store packed with Tokyo-exclusive merchandise.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles
The six-story, 300,000-square-foot Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will touch down on La La Land’s Miracle Mile in 2020. Its all-star cast includes Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which was charged with remaking the historic Saban Building at Wilshire and Fairfax, and Rick Carter, an Oscar-winning production designer (Jurassic Park, Avatar, Star Wars IX) driving the exhibition blueprints. The museum collection includes more than 12 million photographs, 80,000 screenplays, 61,000 movie posters, and some 2,500 collectible objects. Among them: the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (1939), David Bowie’s Jareth ensemble from Labyrinth (1986), and life masks of Grace Kelly and Clark Gable.