New Museums to Open in 2017

January 5, 2017

The year 2017 has just started, but it will obviously be a bumper year for major art events. Besides the fact that Venice Biennale, Documenta and Sculpture Projects Munster will all take place this year, there will be a variety of new museums opening all around the world. It will make the year 2017 a very busy one in the international art calendar, resulting in much frantic scheduling by dedicated followers of visual culture.

Being home to the vast majority of the world’s most valuable paintings, sculptures, and artifacts, museums are a chest of knowledge, providing a unique chance to navigate through the history of creative expression throughout the ages. Attracting visitors from all over the world, a museum is a great kick-start to a city. This year, there is a variety of cities and countries getting their first major modern art museums or expanding old venues, everywhere from South Africa to Canada and Abu Dhabi. We have created a selection of new museums opening in 2017 that can serve as a great excuse to travel around the world.
Featured images: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, via; Tate St Ives, via; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, via; ICA Miami, via; ICA Los Angeles, via

Tate St Ives, Cornwall

Tate St Ives in Cornwall is expanding to accommodate a threefold increase in visitors since it first opened in 1993. The new museum will transform existing spaces and create new areas for displaying more artwork, allowing visitors to engage more deeply with art. The new gallery will be able to accommodate larger scale artworks and installations and give visitors a more relaxing and social visit. The museum will open in March with two exhibitions about the ceramics studio, the ocean and the landscape titled The Studio and The Sea.

Featured image: Tate St Ives, via

Museum Macan, Jakarta

Founded by businessman Haryanto Adikoesoemo and designed by MET Studio, Museum Macan in Jakarta will be Indonesia's first museum of modern and contemporary art. Spanning across 43,00sq ft, it will showcase the collection of art from Indonesia and across the world, dating from the 19th century to today. The glassy new structure sits atop a development in West Jakarta’s Kebon Jeruk and it will be opening in March.

Featured image: Museum Macan, via

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

One of the most long-established and highly acclaimed institutions in the world, Victoria and Albert Museum in London will extend with a new entrance, courtyard and subterranean gallery for temporary exhibitions. Designed by Amanda Levete Architects, the extension will transform the acclaimed museum and create a new relationship between the venue and Exhibition Road, radically changing the way the museum addresses the rest of Kensington.

Featured image: Exhibition Road at the V&A, London, UK, via

King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Opening in the second half of the year, King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture is rising up from Saudi’s eastern deserts in the shape of sand-smoothed pebbles. Snøhetta won a competition for the Center in the city of Dhahran in 2007, and began construction the following year. It will contain 100,000 square meters of cultural facilities – including an auditorium, cinema, library, exhibition hall, museum, and archive. Connecting the vibrant cultural life of the center to the past, the Centre will be a cultural landmark on a regional, national and global horizon.

Featured image: King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, via

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town

The landmark 1920s waterfront grain silo complex in Cape Town will be transformed into Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Created as a partnership between the businessman Jochen Zeitz and V&A Waterfront and designed by London’s Heatherwick Studio, the museum will be opening in September as a major new cultural institution that will focus on collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting cutting-edge contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. Jochen Zeitz will loan his renowned collection to the museum, which will be shown alongside the museum’s own permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions.

Featured image: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, via

National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece

Opening in autumn this year, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens is housed in the FIX building, a long concrete slab that once served as Greece’s best-known brewery. Founded in 2000, it was previously hosted in the new building of the Athens Concert Hall and in sections of the building of the Athens Conservatory. The new venue will dispose two and more of its floors, for the presentation of its permanent collection, while it will also have spaces for temporary shows, conferences, events, educational, a library, a project room, a media lounge etc.

Featured image: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, via

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Founded in 1984 as The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is one of a few kunsthalles in the United States. Designed by wHY under the direction of founder Kulapat Yantrasast, the Institute will open a new 12,700sq ft space in autumn in LA’s arts district. The painter Mark Bradford has designed the logo and visuals for the Institute. The new building will include an experimental kitchen café to fuse art and food.

Featured image: ICA Los Angeles, via

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

The Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami (ICA Miami) is dedicated to promoting the work of contemporary artists and to the exchange of art and ideas throughout the Miami region and internationally. Coinciding with Art Basel Miami 2017, ICA Miami will be opened in December in a swanky new building in Miami’s design district. The venue will include an extensive sculpture garden for new commissions.

Featured image: ICA Miami, via

Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto

The early-20th-century industrial structure in Toronto will be transformed into city’s first dedicated Museum of Contemporary Art through a massive adaptive architectural reuse project. The institution will be given its own building nearly 20 years after it was founded. Opening in late 2017, the historic Tower Automotive Building is being retained, with the first few floors given over to art, exhibitions, and event.

Featured image: Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, via

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island

Born of an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will display art, manuscripts, and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance. Spanning millennia, the items on display will originate from societies and cultures all over the world, with universal themes and common influences highlighted. Designed by the architect Jean Noubel, the museum is due to open this year. Yet, Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture Authority is not able to give an exact date.

Featured image: Louvre Abu Dhabi, e-via