9 Brand-new Museums Opening Around the World in 2022

From underwater sculpture parks to the first NFT museum, get your art fix at these new museums.

Renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz once called museums "wormholes to other worlds." And if we stick with this description, then we can assure you that there will be plenty of new and fascinating worlds to discover in the new year.

And while the pandemic has been very challenging for cultural institutions — delaying new projects and affecting revenues — it has also shown us what an important role museums have in society, not just in educating the public but also in bringing people together.

So, to get you excited about travel in the new year, we rounded up the most noteworthy museum openings around the globe. And while topics span everything from medieval art to NFTs, the locations are also incredibly varied. From robot-built futuristic spheres to underwater sculpture gardens, the new museums opening in 2022 have something to offer every type of traveler.

National Museum, Norway

Slated to open on Jun. 11, Norway's new Nasjonalmuseet will span more than half a million square feet, making it the largest Nordic museum. The spectacular building, designed by German architects Kleihues Schuwerk, will house the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, and will offer gorgeous views of Oslo's city hall square and waterfront. More than 5,000 works spanning architecture, design, and art from Norwegian and international artists will be on display in the new building. Among the notable pieces is Norway's most important painting, Harald Sohlberg's "Winter Night in the Mountains," Edvard Munch's "The Scream," and a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh.

Grand Egyptian Museum, Egypt

Egypt is finally getting its Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), 20 years after the first stone was laid. The modern building, located in Giza, just outside Cairo, will be a short 1.2-mile drive from the pyramids — and will take the cultural place of Cairo's currently open Egyptian Museum. The design was conceived by Irish architectural firm Heneghan Peng and cost about $1 billion. The Grand Egyptian Museum will house about 100,000 ancient artifacts, including thousands of objects from the tomb of King Tutankhamun and a massive 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses II. At 5,381,955 square feet, or more than double the size of the MET museum in New York City, GEM is expected to welcome more than 15,000 visitors per day once it opens in Nov. 2022.

Espagne wisigothique VIIe siècle Paris, musée de Cluny - musée national du Moyen Âge
© RMN-Grand Palais / Gérard Blot

Musée de Cluny, France

It's been seven years since the extensive renovations of France's National Museum of the Middle Ages began. But soon, visitors will once again enter the historic halls of the 15th-century house of the abbots of Cluny and marvel at the 1,800 works on display that include objects from Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. The museum/archaeological site has added a brand-new reception building. Extensive renovations were also performed on the Gothic chapel and Gallo-Roman baths dating back to the late 1st century.

Image of the Sydney Modern Project as produced by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2021
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA © Art Gallery of New South Wales

Sydney Modern, Australia

While not technically a brand-new museum, the extension to the Art Gallery of New South Wales will certainly become a destination in itself, both thanks to its collection and sleek new building. Designed by Japanese Pritzker Prize-winning studio SANAA, Sydney Modern will comprise several interlocking rectangular pavilions overlooking Sydney Harbor. The new structure will add 172,223 square feet of exhibition space to host more than 2 million visitors per year. The new building will also feature a public art garden and expansive outdoor spaces.

ReefLine, Miami Beach

While not a museum in the classic sense of the word, Miami's new ReefLine is sure to attract art aficionados and diving enthusiasts alike. That's because it is actually a seven-mile-long underwater sculpture park built by renowned architecture studio OMA. It will comprise stacked concrete modules about 900 feet off the Miami Beach shoreline. The structure will double as an artificial reef where art installations will be displayed among coral and endangered marine life.

"This series of artist-designed and scientist-informed artificial reefs will demonstrate to the world how tourism, artistic expression, and the creation of critical habitat can be aligned," curator Ximena Caminos told Dezeen. The first phase of the underwater sculpture park is expected to open in the summer of 2022.

Museum of the Future, Dubai

Even by Dubai standards (and let's face it, they are pretty high), the new Museum of the Future is quite extraordinary. The torus-like building is full of symbolism: its circular shape represents humanity and knowledge, while the void symbolizes the unknown future. The building's façade, conceived by the local architecture studio Killa Design, is covered in poetry phrases written by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Inside, each floor will host interactive exhibitions on climate change, space travel, wellness, spirituality, and ecology.

Robot Science Museum, South Korea

Scheduled to open in late 2022, the construction of Seoul's newest museum dedicated to all things robotics will actually be its first exhibition. What do we mean by that? Well, the futuristic sphere-like structure, designed by Turkey-based Melike Altınışık Architects (MAA), is partially built by robots that, for the past two years, have been 3D-printing concrete as well as molding, welding, and assembling the metal plates that cover its façade. When the museum opens, visitors will experience the latest in artificial intelligence, hologram technology, virtual reality, and robotics.

Exterior building render of Museum of Broadway in New York City
Paul Bennett Architects, PC.

Museum of Broadway, New York City

Theater and musical fans, rejoice! This summer, the first museum entirely dedicated to Broadway will open its doors at the heart of New York City's Theater District at 145 West 45th Street. The museum will offer an "interactive experience that highlights groundbreaking moments in Broadway's history." Immersive video projections and installations designed by contemporary artists will tell the story of New York City's theater industry and highlight Broadway's game-changing musicals.

NFT Museum, Seattle, Washington

When in Mar. 2021, an NFT from digital artist Beeple fetched the eye-popping sum of $69 million, it put his name among the likes of Claude Monet and Mark Rothko in terms of his art's value.

That year, a total of $24.9 billion was spent on NFTs, or non-fungible tokens — a number that reflects the tremendous interest in digital and blockchain-verifiable art. So it is no surprise that the first NFT museum will open on Jan. 16, 2022 in one of the country's biggest tech hubs, Seattle — and yes, that would be an actual physical museum and not one based in the metaverse.

The 3,000-square-foot space will house about 30 displays, each between 43 to 85 inches, where visitors will see artwork by local and international artists. Highlights include pieces by the Los Angeles-based crypto artist Blake Kathryn, generative artist Tyler Hobbs, Larva Labs's hugely popular CryptoPunks avatars, and Seattle-based photographer Charles Peterson, who will display never-before-seen photos of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain as NFTs.

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