America's Ten Best Art Museums

Top 10 Places in the Country to See Art

As this week celebrates America's 238th year of Independence, we at the blog squad thought that we would take some time out to celebrate all that is red, white and blue. So today, to kick things off, we at The Splatter from Jerry's Artarama voted on our favorite travel destinations and are excited to list out the premier places to see America's finest art collections and assorted pieces from across the country.


10. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California is home to many famous modern and contemporary pieces and collections. It is well known as the first museum on the west coast exclusively devoted to art completed in the 20th Century.

Highlights: Rothko No 14, several Andy Warhol pieces, Femme au Chapeau by Henri Matisse, Frieda and Diego Rivera by Frida Kahlo


9. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts located in Boston, Massachusetts is known for being one of the largest collections of art in the U.S. It contains over 450k pieces of art and has more than one million visitors every year.

Highlights: The Fog and Warning by Winslow Homer, Pieces by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh


8. The J.Paul Getty Museum


This museum located in Los Angeles, California features two separate locations including the Getty Center(Brentwood) which houses a collection of famous and notable pre-20th Century European Paintings, sculpture and 19th and 20th century photographs from America and Europe. The Getty Villa(Pacific Palisades) displays a collection of antiquities.

Highlights: Irises by Vincent Van Gogh, The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio and collections by Rembrandt, Poussin, Manet, Monet and Renoir



7. Art Institute of Chicago

Features a large collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art, located in Grant Park, Chicago Illinois. Also contains one of America's largest collections of African-American Art.

Highlights: The iconic American Gothic by Grant Wood as well as a large collection of paintings from Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cassatt and Cezanne.


6. de Young Museum


This museum of fine arts located in San Francisco, California. It contains a large collection of American Art from the 17th-21st Centuries, specializing in Californian art.

Highlights: Three Machines by Wayne Thiebaud, California Spring by Albert Bierstadt and a giant collection of international textiles and costumes


5. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Located in New York City, this museum was designed by Frank Loyd Wright and is known for a packed yearly schedule of fantastic temporary exhibits and a "pay what you wish" admission fee

Highlights: Paris Through the Window by Marc Chagall, Robert Mapplethorpe's photography collection,  and a collection of works by Vasily Kandinsky


4. The Museum of Modern Art


Another New York City museum located in Midtown Manhattan. Often called the MoMA, this museum has a vast collection of modernist art and an outdoor sculpture garden with works from Picasso and has lectures, film screenings and classes open to the public. 

Highlights: Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, Number 31 by Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol's Campbells Soup Cans


3.The National Gallery of Art


Housed in the National Mall in Washington, DC, this museum is havled into two buildings with the West Building containing a large collection of American and European Art while the East  Building's collection includes a more modern art as well as special exhibition spaces. It is the only place in America to see an original Leonardo da Vinci. 

Highlights: Portrait of Ginerva de' Benci by Leonardo da Vinci, self-portraits by Rembrandt and Van Gogh as well as pieces from Titian, Vermeer, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso


2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art


This Museum is the largest in the United States. Right on the edge of Central Park in New York City, this museum features a permanent collection of over two million pieces of art. Get ready to spend the whole day seeing giant collections of art from Europe, the middle east, Asia and Africa as well as the Costume Institute full of fashions from around the world through the centuries.

Highlights: The Great Wave of Kanagawa, an original Egyptian temple preserved from 15BC and works by Vermmer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet


1. The Smithsonian American Art Museum


You shouldn't be surprised that the largest collection of American Art is located in Washington, DC and features art from the Colonial era to contemporary times. It has a large collection of contemporary crafts and the largest collection of Folk Art and New Deal and American Impressionist paintings.

Highlights: Among the Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, Manhattan by Georgia O'Keefe and Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper


Did we miss any museums you love? Let us know which museums are your favorite as we continue a week celebrating America!


25 Perfect Reasons Why Being an Artist is the Best

 Why its more than good for your soul



Scientists recently found out that your brain might be wired to enjoy art. However, we already on the inside of the artist community know that there are so many more rewards to enjoy art and being an artist. We know the true values and benefits of creating something we love and being able to express ourselves. Here are 25 perfect reasons why being an artist is the best:


25. You're always able to express your creativity

24. Doing work that you actually believe in

23. Being your own boss and not have to answer to anyone else in what you create

22. Being able to put pencil or brush on paper anytime you want

21. Feeding your creativity

20. Seeing that what you've done has made someone happy

19. Giving other people a new perspective

18. Living the life that you want to live

17. Creating art for yourself and no one else

16. Deciding that it is time for something beautiful and surprising is about to come to life

15. You get to see how you progress as an artist

14. Living in a world where everything is an idea or possibility for new art

13. Endlessly being able to learn and grow

12. You have the potential to be famous for something you make

11. Getting to play around all day in your studio

10. Having people tell you how much they like your work

9. Experiencing the flow of creativity

8. The chance to expand your imagination

7. Being able to move people intellectually or emotionally through something you've made

6. Making money from something you've made

5. The pride and sense of accomplishment after you've finished a great painting, sketch, sculpture or installation 

4. You get to share your art with the world

3. Working with beauty anytime you want

2. Seeing your art touch someone's soul

1. Being surrounded by a community of other artists who get to share in the experience of all the great things listed above

What is your favorite reason for being an artist? Let us know in the comments below!


Understanding Acrylic Mediums

How These Extras Can Improve Your Painting!

"When I was but young painter, I started with my paints, my cup of water, and my brush and I was ready to take on the world. How dumb I was"- Rob of Jerry's Blog Squad

It's possible that when we decide to start painting, we all think a bit like our buddy Rob that all we will need to paint is just the paint, a brush and a canvas and our paintings will turn out like masterpieces. To be honest, that really is all you need. But why put a limit on what we can paint by sticking with just the bare minimum? With various mediums, you can completely transform your paints to have different textures and thicknesses and even create new effects with them. Although many new painters will not be familiar with mediums, an introduction to them can vastly change the way you paint.

 First of all, there are many types of mediums to use with acrylic paints. There are glosses, thickeners, modeling pastes and gels, varnishes, gessos and more. Here's a simple guide to some of our favorite  LUKAS Acrylic Mediums that we find are useful for improving and spicing up any acrylic painting. 

  • LUKAS CRYL Varnish- a quick drying, synthetic solvent that is transparent and can add to your painting an overall sheen. When painted over a dry painting, it can bring out the colors of your paints and protect it from acids, dust and decay. 
  • LUKAS Structure Gels- These gels can create an irridescent luster or glossy sheen when applied alone to your painting or mixed in with your acrylics on your palette. They retain your colors and can add an impasto quality to your painting. LUKAS has styles of structure gel like mother of pearl structure gel and glass beads structure gel for color mixing and can create neat effects.
  • LUKAS Structure Pastes- These can add some incredibly interesting textures to your paintings for realistic effects and impasto techniques. LUKAS offers a variety of styles of structure paste that can be perfect for what you like to paint. For example: Like to paint pictures of metal objects? The golden, silver, copper or bronze can offer a real metallic feel to these. These will dry to a hard, flexible surface that give your painting a largely exaggerated texture.
  • LUKAS Gel Retarder- This additive can increase the drying time for acrylic paints, its extremely useful for painting "wet on wet". Wet on wet or alla prima as it is sometimes called, is just painting wet paint on top of wet paint. This allows you to paint much faster and not wait for the paints to completely dry before you can paint again on top of it. Bob Ross was a big fan of wet on wet.
  • LUKAS White Gesso- Gesso is a white paint mixture made of a binder and pigment that can ensure flexibility and in your paint and increase archival life. You can use it to prime your canvas to make the canvas less absorbent, but give it better adhesion to make your paints go exactly where you want them to.


From left to Right:LUKAS Course Sand Modeling Paste, Pumice Structure Paste, Golden Modeling Paste and Mother of Pearl Structure Gel


"I use mediums in my acrylic painting a lot, and these mediums are wonderful! Acrylic paint needs to be worked quickly, as it dries quickly, but the LUKAS mediums keep the paint wet and fresh on the palette as well as on the paper or canvas, allowing better blending and workability. I highly recommend these mediums, which, by the way, work beautifully with other brands of acrylic paint!"- Sam Y.

"The structure gels really add some flavor and texture to my work. Its so much fun working with impasto and these gels let me get a 3D effect in my painting plus all the textures available give me so many options to work with, its great!"- MB

"Varnish is key in my acrylic painting, I use it because it lets my paint dry quickly. Im very, very happy with this product. I have to work quickly, but I have finished paintings faster than if I used something different. My paintings dry with a perfect glossy finish too, not too matte!"- T&A

With these kinds of mediums added to your paint or paintings, you remove the limits of what you think you can do with your paints as well as preserve your paintings very practically. So try them out and experiment and see how mediums can improve your artwork!

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