Lonely Planet Writer

The 10 most anticipated museum and art centre openings of 2019

History, music, art and gastronomy will be celebrated in their many forms and disciplines in museums and art centres across the world from Dallas to Doha and New York to Nashville.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is set to open in late 2019. Image by Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

This year will mark the much-anticipated debut of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The six-floor cultural institution at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue is where the “past, present and future of cinema” will collide with galleries that spotlight the history of filmmaking, as well as its cultural and social impact. To celebrate the opening in late 2019, the museum will host a retrospective of Japanese animation director director Hayao Miyazaki.

The Shed in Manhattan, New York

Manhattan’s new state-of-the-art cultural centre for music, dance, theatre, and visual arts will open in spring 2019. The 120-foot-tall building beside the High Line, is committed to commissioning, developing, and presenting original works of art, across all disciplines. In addition to the Shed‘s two exhibition galleries, there is a 500-seat theatre and 17,000 square-foot flexible concert hall. The grand opening will kick off with “Soundtrack for America,” a concert series directed by Oscar-winning British film director Steve McQueen and legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Egypt

Statue of King Ramses II is seen during its transfer to the main entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. Image by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images

Work on the US$1 billion museum is now in its final phase. Set to become the largest archaeological museum in the world, the museum will feature a permanent display of the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The opening date has been delayed until 2020, but a partial opening of the building – including the lobby, where the 3200-year-old colossal statue of King Rameses II will be displayed – will take place in 2019.

National Museum of Qatar in Doha

The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) will showcase an impressive array of archaeological and heritage objects when it reopens on 28 March, 2019. It’s expected to be one of Doha’s standout attractions following a several-year renovation and a breathtaking desert-rose-inspired structure from renowned architect Jean Nouvel. The complex will house a 220-seat auditorium, retail outlets, restaurants and a cafe, plus a park filled with flora native to Qatar.

elBulli 1846 in Girona, Spain

Ferran Adria (pictured in 2007) is set to open a gastronomic museum on the site of El Bulli. Image by LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

World-famous chef Ferran Adrià is set to open a research lab and gastronomic exhibition space on the site of his legendary former restaurant El Bulli, which was once considered the best restaurant in the world before it closed in 2011.  The lab, a centre for new gastronomic inventions dubbed ‘elBulli 1846’, will open its doors between June and October 2019 and will also host cultural and artistic performances, masters programs, art exhibitions and more.

National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee

Set to open its doors in downtown Nashville in late 2019, the National Museum of African American Music is “dedicated to preserving the legacy and celebrating the accomplishments of the many music genres created, influenced or inspired by African Americans.” There will be interactive displays, programs, and exhibitions featuring artefacts that will allow visitors to explore the narrative of musical genres including gospel, blues, jazz and rap.

Statue of Liberty Museum in New York

The Statue of Liberty Museum will address three main components: Accessibility, Education, and Sustainability. Image by FX Collaborative

The original Statue of Liberty torch (which was replaced in 1984) is heading to a new museum that is due to open on Liberty Island this year. The new museum will have three gallery spaces that aim to inspire visitors, teach them the history of the statue, and tell them stories about the influence of liberty in the world. Visitors will be able to see Ellis Island and New York City from the top of the museum, and entrance will be free with the purchase of a ferry ticket to Liberty and Ellis Island.

M+ Museum in Hong Kong

The M+ Pavilion, which opened in September 2016, is the primary site for the new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. Set to become one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, the 60,000-square-metre building will be dedicated to 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and film.

UCCA Dune Art Museum in Qinqinhuangdao, China

From above the gallery looks almost otherworldy. Photo by UCCA

Built into the side of a sand dune on a quiet beach in the coastal resort of Qinqinhuangdao, the Dune Art Museum will be the first UCCA museum outside of Beijing. Designed by Chinese architecture firm OPEN, the museum is almost completely hidden from view and houses ten interconnected galleries that look like caves. The museum opened to the public in December but OPEN already has plans to build a second museum, Sea Art Museum, that will connect to the Dune Art museum by a pathway that’s accessible during low tide.

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in Dallas, Texas

With global politics as polarised as it is, there has perhaps never been a better time to reflect on the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and to examine how human rights can be expanded to combat prejudice and injustice. Located in Dallas’ West End district, the museum is set to open in September 2019 and will have an expanded examination of the Holocaust with video testimonies from Dallas area survivors, along with new, in-depth technology-enriched exhibits on genocide, human rights issues and American ideals.