The Most Anticipated Art Museum Openings and Expansions of 2024

Established institutions are approaching a litany of challenges optimistically, creating pathways forward for museums yet to open.

A spookily lit industrial building on the waterfront
Nicolai Tangen’s Kunstsilo. Mestres Wåge/ BAX/ Mendoza Partida

Last year, Dan Hicks writing for The Architecture Review about his book The Brutish Museums: the Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution asked the question, ‘Are museums obsolete?‘ While his piece was mainly concerned with the complexity of repatriation, the query stands alone. Museums in recent years have had to reckon with audience contraction, financial woes and the need to prove their relevance in a world where every masterpiece has been digitized and people are increasingly using the appellation to refer to TikTokable experiences (see: The Museum of Ice Cream).

Museums are dealing with a litany of issues all at the same time,” Linda Harrison, director and chief executive officer at the Newark Museum of Art, told Observer in late 2023—a year marked by museum admissions hikes, layoffs and exhibition reductions. Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. Signs of recovery abound, with a third of institutions enjoying attendance figures close to pre-pandemic levels, according to the American Alliance of Museums, and still others reporting positive progress in that area. A third also increased staff in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels while about as many reported having the same staff size as in 2019.

SEE ALSO: Barbara Kruger Is Still Flipping the Bird

Museums around the world are approaching the challenges touched on above not only proactively but also optimistically, seeking new ways to increase revenues and attendance while lowering expenses. In the process, they’re creating pathways forward for institutions yet to open. There are several exciting art museums opening in 2024 along with much-awaited expansions that will wrap up in the coming months—here’s what you can look forward to.

Opening: Kunstsilo in Kristiansand, Norway

Norwegian hedge fund manager and art collector Nicolai Tangen has previously shown works from the Tangen Collection, the largest-ever collection of Nordic modernist artwork, at the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. In May, the 5,000 works by more than 300 artists will go on view once more with pieces from the Southern Norway Art Collection and the Christianssands Billedgalleri in the soon-to-open Kristiansand Kunstsilo. The three-story museum, housed in a converted grain silo, will host lectures, digital installations,concerts and workshops in addition to showing original works and, for reasons unclear, copies. “Is it less beautiful to look at? No, it’s not,” Tangen told the Guardian. “So it’s just about the mindset you have.”

Opening: The Museum Reinhard Ernst in Wiesbaden, Germany

German businessman Reinhard Ernst started collecting abstract art in the 1970s and as his collection grew to encompass nearly one thousand artworks, so did his desire to make his collection accessible to the public. Funded by the Reinhard & Sonja Ernst Foundation, the Museum Reinhard Ernst (designed by Fumihiko Maki) is the realization of that desire. It was initially scheduled to open in spring and then autumn of 2023, but the opening date was pushed to mid 2024. “In recent months, we have realized that the required perfection is compromised due to time constraints and a lack of specialized personnel,” Ernst said in an interview on the museum’s website. “We are by no means willing to compromise our quality standards because of self-imposed deadlines.” When it does open, works on view will include abstract German post-war art, abstract Japanese art (the Gutai group) and American abstract expressionism from Ernst’s collection and institutions around the world.

Opening: Femmes Artistes du Musée de Mougins in Southern France

Exterior shot of museum building with green shutters surrounded by trees and small brick fence
The MACM is nearly ready for its next evolution. Pmk58, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Former hedge fund manager Christian Levett’s Mougins Museum of Classical Art (MACM), which first opened in 2011 in Southern France, will officially become the Femmes Artistes du Musée de Mougins (FAMM) in June. The first museum in Europe dedicated to work by female artists, FAMM’s collection will show pieces by Tracey Emin, Carrie Mae Weems, Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning and Cecily Brown, among others. “Creating this museum and sharing it with the public has been an incredibly exciting experience for me as a collector,” said Levett in a statement, adding that “as my collecting and research interests matured over the years, I believe that it is now time for the museum to evolve as well.”

Opening: Mercer Labs Museum of Art and Technology in New York City

In about a month, artist Roy Nachum and real estate developer Michael Cayre’s museum of the future will open where Century 21 used to be. The three-level, 36,000-square-foot institution, which bills itself as the “first museum for New York where art and technology come together,” will shine a light on the city’s role in creative tech innovation with fifteen exhibition spaces that use state-of-the-art technology to “arouse and tease the senses.” While it’s unclear what Mercer Labs Museum of Art and Technology (MOAT) will have on view after the official opening, current offerings include immersive audio-visual experiences, reactive screen-based installations and robots that draw. For the curious and impatient, there are a limited number of preview tickets available.

Opening: Hampi Art Labs in Vijayanagar, India

Hampi Art Labs. Exterior shot of Hampi Art Labs, 2024

Not far from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi in southern India, the heirs of late billionaire O.P. Jindal have built a stunning contemporary art space on a sprawling eighteen acres of land. Hampi Art Labs, which is the project of businesswoman, philanthropist and collector Sangita Jindal and is set to open in February, will house exhibition spaces, artist studios and a brand new curatorial residency program. The inaugural show, “Right Foot First,” will feature works from the Jindal Collection by artists like Andy Warhol, Annie Morris, Ai Weiwei, Manish Nai, Atul Dodiya and Shilpa Gupta.

Re-opening: The Frick Collection in New York City

Digital drawing of large grey building with trees and people in front
A rendering of the Frick Collection from 70th Street. Courtesy of Selldorf Architects

In March, the Frick Collection will leave its temporary home in the Marcel Breuer-designed Modernist building at 945 Madison Avenue. Some months later, it will return to its historic home on Fifth Avenue, which will have been comprehensively upgraded by Selldorf Architects with new gallery, education and conservation spaces, as well as increased accessibility and new public amenities. In addition to public-facing improvements, $35 million in donations for the project were earmarked to upgrade the infrastructure, energy efficiency and long-term sustainability of the Gilded Age structure.

Expanding: Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand in São Paulo, Brazil

Expanding: Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand in São Paulo, Brazil
Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand. Naldo Arruda

The iconic São Paulo institution, originally founded in 1947 by business mogul and patron of the arts Assis Chateaubriand, was reimagined in 1968 by Italian-Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi so that the thousands of works in the institution’s collection would have a worthy home. The striking legged structure has since become a landmark of 20th-century architecture but as the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis’ permanent collection grew, officials saw the need for more space. The expansion encompasses an entirely new fourteen-story structure housing new gallery and multipurpose spaces, classrooms and a restoration lab—all linked to Bo Bardi’s original building via underground tunnel.

Expanding: The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York City

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s much anticipated and somewhat delayed post-expansion reopening of an  82,000-square-foot physical space comes with a total rebrand. As the institution’s new purpose-built, six-story building designed by David Adjaye in the cultural beat of 125th Street took shape, director and chief curator Thelma Golden was hard at work overseeing the development of a new identity inspired and influenced by Black culture—the unveiling of which was celebrated with a brand launch party at the Renaissance New York in Harlem. The design of the institution’s permanent home, which will have double the exhibition and residency space, is a nod to the heritage brownstones of Harlem.

Expanding: Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY

Mark di Suvero at Storm King (Courtesy: Storm King)
A Mark di Suvero sculpture at Storm King. Storm King Art Center

Verdant outdoor sculpture park Storm King Art Center has been one of the country’s most iconic open-air art spaces since its founding in 1960 by H. Peter Stern and Ralph E. Ogden. Since then, the Hudson Valley museum set on 500 acres has hosted works by sculpture greats like Isamu Noguchi, Di Suvero and Claes Oldenberg. This fall, Storm King (which is just an hour’s drive from Manhattan) will unveil landscaping by Reed Hilderbrand, new accessibility features and a reimagined outdoor welcome area along with a new fabrication workshop, studio and conservation building by Heneghan Peng. What won’t change is Storm King’s commitment to presenting large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions in the region’s sweeping vistas and rolling hills.

Expanding: The Palmer Museum of Art in University Park, PA

University museums tend to offer a more intimate art appreciation experience but don’t assume they’re small. Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art will debut a new 73,000-square-foot building designed by Allied Works and landscape architect Reed Hilderbrand this June, when twenty galleries, education and event spaces, a museum store and cafe and outdoor art spaces open to the public. The opening of the newly revamped institution will also mark the unveiling of Dale Chihuly’s site-specific installation, Lupine Blue Persian Wall, and new acquisitions by artists including Fernando “Coco” Bedoya, Joseph Delaney, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rodrigo Lara, David MacDonald, Toshiko Takaezu, Akio Takamori, Kukuli Velarde, Patti Warashina, Malcah Zeldis and Arnold Zimmerman.

The Most Anticipated Art Museum Openings and Expansions of 2024