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The 5 Best Outdoor Museums
Artstyle 11 Apr 2022

The 5 Best Outdoor Museums

outdoor museum
The Couple, Louise Bourgeois, Ekebergparken, © Ivar Kvaal

As a remarkable appropriation of public spaces, the outdoor museum interweaves new points of view with daring approaches. Mixing nature with sculptures, streets with frescos, artists with citizens, these open-air museums widen the field of possibilities. Artpser proposes 5 not-to-be-missed places to discover, with styles and inspirations as incredible as they are diverse.

1. Ekebergparken, the most beautiful outdoor museum in Norway

outdoor museum
Traveler, Ekebergparken, © Tori Wrånes, Bono

Only a few minutes from Oslo, Ekebergparken is a small haven of peace in a magnificent open-air museum. We owe this gem to art collector Christian Ringnes, who opened it in 2013. Amidst the flourishing plants, 42 works offer us an artistic journey into nature. Salvador Dalí’s Venus de Milo stands alongside sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Auguste Rodin and Marina Abramovic. Also added to the works of contemporary artists are rock engravings, ruins and tombs thousand years old. Between traces of the past and representation of the present, national and international, nature and culture, the Ekebergparken is a must-see!

2. The sumptuous Giardino dei Tarocchi, in Garavicchio de Pescia Fiorentina (Tuscany)

outdoor museum
© Giardino dei Tarocchi, Niki de Saint Phalle

Composed of 22 monumental sculptures, the Giardino dei Tarocchi, or Garden of the Tarot, scatters the Tuscan hills with colorful and sparkling touches. This garden is the project of the incredible Niki de Saint Phalle, who was openly inspired by Antonio Gaudì. It was made possible by the sculptor and de Saint Phalle’s husband, Jean Tinguely, as well as the work of local workers. Between deities and monsters, the sculptures represent the Major Arcana of the Tarot and offer an atmosphere of psychedelic reverie. Thanks to the numerous mosaics made of glass, mirrors and ceramics, this garden shines with a thousand dreamlike shades. With its flamboyant colors, incredible proportions and intriguing shapes, walking through the huge tarot-inspired garden is an experience in itself.

3. Wynwood, the largest outdoor museum of street art

outdoor museum
© Wynwood museum, Mural by Shepard Fairey (Obey) in the background, Miami

An essential reference for street art, the Wynwood Walls are covered by internationally renowned artists, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey), Lady Pink, Miss Van, Edouardo Cobra, Os Gemeos and more. This outdoor museum is a dream for urban art fans! Located in the north of downtown Miami, it was initially intended to offer free art to a diverse audience. Today, the neighborhood has become a legendary one, with its five museums, seven art complexes and seventy galleries. Enough to spend days discovering these gems of contemporary art!

4. Parque De Las Esculturas, in Santiago, Chile

Parque De Las Esculturas
Parque De Las Esculturas, Santiago, © Tourism Media

Located in Santiago, this outdoor museum was created after the Mapocho River overflowed its banks. It is the result of a collaboration between local artists and citizens who wanted to invent a cultural space open to all. Constellated with more than thirty works by local and famous artists, the park was inaugurated by the sculptor Marta Colvin. It also hosts temporary exhibitions of young talent, as well as major festivals such as Providencia Jazz. More than a delightful place, Parque De Las Esculturas shows how wonderful citizen initiatives can be.

5. Parco dei Mostri, the oldest outdoor museum of sculpture

The Leaning house
The Leaning house, The Park of the Monsters, © lashojasdelbosque

Dating back to the 16th century, Parco dei Mostri, or the Park of the Monsters, is the oldest sculpture park. Located in Bomarzo, less than 100 kilometers from Rome, it was designed by the nonconformist Vicino Orsini. You can meet mermaids, dragons, giant turtles, sphinxes, ogres and nymphs. Through its surrealist decorations and its luxurious vegetation, the Park of the Monsters leads its visitors into a parallel world. As a bonus, the works are full of enigmas, inscriptions and obscure symbols to make the trip even more intriguing!

Art is all around us

With these open-air spaces now recognized as museums, our cities have become strewn with art. Between wild street art, local and national initiatives, art is everywhere and only beckons to embue our cities even more. And sometimes, you just have to look up to be amazed by the art around you.