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11/16/2005

Best U.S. art cities

Tyler Green gives his top ten:
1. New York City. Duh.

2. Los Angeles. Great mix of artists, galleries, and museums (...)

3. San Francisco Bay Area. Ess Eff has about a dozen perky galleries, a dozen top-line galleries, three fantastic museums (FAMSF, the Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA), a couple next-tier museums (Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum of Art), and some university spaces (Stanford, BAM, Mills College). And I grew up there, so phbbbbt.

4. Houston. The MFAH is inconsistent and often laughable. The Menil properties are divine, so too James Turrell's Quaker meeting house. The Blaffer and the CAMH cover the contemporary side. Alt-spaces like Lawndale are a start.

5. Dallas-Fort Worth. MAMFW is probably my favorite place in America to see art. The Nasher Sculpture Center is smartly conceived and flawlessly executed. The Dallas Museum of Art and a small gallery scene round out the city (...)

6. Philadelphia. The Barnes, the Philly Museum and the ICA are the headliners, but upstarts like the Fabric Museum and the Moore College put on interesting shows.

7. Washington, DC. Strong museum scene, small gallery scene. Hampered by some awful-for-art buildings like Bunshaft's bunker and IM Pei's cavernous NGA East Building. The Corcoran is in seemingly perpetual regression. (Banjos. Seriously: banjos.) Static.

8. Chicago. The Art Institute, MCA, and galleries...

9. St. Louis. Would make my list just for the magnificent Matisse Bathers at the St. Louis Art Museum. But SLAM has an under-acknowledged collection, and the Pulitzer is one of the most special art experiences anywhere. The Contemporary St. Louis has been programmed smartly too ...

10. Marfa. The mixture of art, land, sky, elements. One of my favorite places in America.
Marfa is a weird little town in Texas.

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