Top 10 Most Visited Modern & Contemporary Galleries in the World

13 Feb 2022 | 0 Comments

All over the world, modern and contemporary art galleries are opening their doors to the public again, so we thought it’d be a good time to check out the most visited spots and see what they have to offer!


From South Korea to Eastern Denmark – you might be surprised to see some of the galleries that made it into the top 10...



Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane


Description: The Gallery of Modern Art (or GOMA as it is known... get ready for lots of ‘OMAs) is one of Australia’s most visited tourist attractions. It opened its doors in 2006 and is now the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the country.


Visitor Numbers: In 2020 more than 300,000 people visited the gallery.


Notable Artworks: The Cubic Structural Evolution Project, 2004, by Olafur Eliasson




Saatchi Gallery, London


Description: One of our favourites here in the UK (though not to be confused with the online retailer who we’re less keen on...) and a favourite of thousands of other visitors each year! Controversial from its inception – it’s now a real powerhouse of modern and contemporary art, attracting visitors from all over the globe.


Visitor Numbers: 350,000 in 2020 – though in 2016 more than a million people visited the gallery!


Notable Artworks: 20:50, Richard Wilson, 1987



Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney


Description: Found in Sydney’s ‘The Rocks’ historic and cultural quarter – the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is home to more than 4,000 artworks by Australian artists. The museum was officially founded in 1991 and has had several impressive extensions and redevelopments over the years.


Visitor Numbers: 330,000 (2020)


Notable Artworks: Split Fountain, Hany Armaniou, 2009



Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk


Description: Despite the name, you won’t find this gallery in the southern United States, but rather right up in the Northeast of Denmark. The museum itself is worth visiting simply for its architectural renown. It houses a sculpture garden and concert house, alongside the various exhibition spaces where it shows off its collection.


Visitor Numbers: 403,000 (2020)


Notable Artworks: Henry Moore, Two Piece Reclining Figure No.5, 1964




National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon


Description: Spread over four sites, across South Korea, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is a treasure trove for lovers of Modern Art from both the East and the West. Inside the gallery you’ll find the usual suspects (Dalí, Jasper Johns, Gaugin, and Miró) but also, for any non-Korean visitors, you’ll be introduced to the rich history of Korean art – with artworks by artists such as Go Hui-dong and Kim Whan-ki.



Visitor Numbers: Pre-pandemic the museum regularly drew in crowds of more than a million people a year.


Notable Artworks: Self Portrait, Go Hui-dong, 1915




Museum of Modern Art, New York


Description: MOMA. The name itself is an iconic part of the art world lexicon; and to some degree it’s a surprise that it isn’t higher up the list! It’s not only home to an eye watering permanent collection of artworks from around the world, but it also stages some of the world’s most significant temporary shows as well.


Visitor Numbers: 700,000


Notable Artworks: Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907



21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Description: This museum is the embodiment of many Japanese cultural histories, which make it an incredible place to visit. Within the large circular construction, which measures more than 100 metres across, you can find a library, a lecture theatre, a children’s area, and a plethora of exhibition spaces – each with different characteristics. Some are exposed to bright sunlight through large windows, while others are completely shut off – creating an incredible range of different experiences and opportunities for display.


Visitor Numbers: 1 million (2020)


Notable Artworks: Leandro Erlich, "The Swimming Pool",


Tate Modern, London


Description: Everybody’s favourite... Who doesn’t love a trip to the Tate Modern when making a visit to London’s South Bank? The turbine hall is one of the great exhibition spaces in the history of art, and the permanent collection is filled with old favourites and new discoveries every time you make the trip. Well, the numbers suggest we aren’t alone in thinking this, as the Tate has the highest footfall of any modern and contemporary gallery in the country and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the capital city.


Visitor Numbers: 1.5 million a year


Notable Artworks: No Woman No Cry, Chris Ofili, 1998



Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro


Description: Another gallery split over several sites, the CCBB is a powerhouse of South American art and culture. The sites don’t only contain impressive art galleries, but theatres and cinemas as well.


Visitor Numbers: 4 million (2016)


Notable Artworks: Ivan Serpa, Sem Título, 1954



Centre Pompidou, Paris


Description: Ever since the 1800s Paris really has been the home of contemporary and modern art. Not only does the Pompidou house an incredible collection of artworks to demonstrate this, but it’s also the home of two significant national libraries, and ICRAM – a research centre for music and acoustic science.  


Visitor Numbers: Since 1977 it has averaged more than 4 million visitors a year.


Notable Artworks: Otto Dix, Portrait of Sylvia von Harden, 1926.





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