Museum Trivia

Museum Trivia

Jul 07

Museums house our history and our art treasures. However, each of these special structures also has its own unique history that reflects its core mission. Built with special care, they draw visitors from all over the globe and are just as famous as the treasures that they hold.

Museum Trivia Question 1: Which museum has the highest number of annual visitors?

Answer: The Louvre

Seen as a symbol of oppression during the French Revolution, The Louvre first opened its doors to the public as a museum in 1793. Originally built during the medieval period by the first King of France, it started life as a fortress. With more than 8 million visitors each year, The Louvre provides employment to more than 2,000 who take care of its 70,000 works of art and 650,000 square feet of gallery.

Its most famous painting, The Mona Lisa, hasn’t left The Louvre for more than 50 years. Her last trip across national boundaries occurred in the 1960s when French authorities allowed the painting to travel to the US for exhibitions in New York and Washington, DC.

Museum Trivia Question 2: Which art museum was built by an oil magnate in western Los Angeles for the astronomical cost of $1.3 billion?

Answer: The Getty Center, founded by J. Paul Getty

America’s first billionaire, Jean Paul Getty, was an art lover. He built The Getty Villa, modeled on the excavated ruins of Roman villas, as both his home in Malibu and a place to display his growing collection. Realizing that he needed more space, he made plans for The Getty Museum which was opened to the public in 1997.

Situated high in the hills, visitors to the The Getty Museum get a bird’s eye view of Los Angeles. The five pavilions were designed to fit in with the surrounding terrain and a monorail moves visitors from the parking lots to the museum itself.

Museum Trivia Question 3: What museum in Bilbao, Spain has been called one of the most intriguing structures in the world?

Answer: The Guggenheim Museum

The futuristic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao was designed by Frank Gehry and opened to visitors in 1997. Constructed of limestone, glass, and titanium, the building itself has challenged the way we think about museums and museum programs.

With complex curves that combine to create mathematical volumes, Architect Frank Gehry soared past the rules of building to deliver a stunningly modern building within this traditional Basque city. Visitors are attracted to The Guggenheim to view both the sculptural building as well as the magnificent art collection that it houses.

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