museumWhat makes a good web site for an art museum? Having looked through quite a few recently, my answer is a site that grabs a visitor’s attention, encourages them to look around as if they were in the physical museum, inspires learning and makes you want to come back for more.

There are literally thousands of Art Museum web sites to look at, so why did I choose the following ten? As a designer, I have to admit that how the site looked was a major consideration. Some sites just grab you with their choice of artwork and color schemes. Their presentations of current exhibitions that make you want to go and visit and, of course, the usability of the site were important factors. Each of these web sites was easy to use, and easy to find information on.

Many of the sites listed below also had great online learning sections, where you can find out about pieces in their collection and learn more about current exhibitions. Some are certainly embracing new media and offer podcasts and widgets to download. Several of the web sites had museum guides that you can download before you visit.

This post took a long time to put together because I spent a lot of time on each site, really enjoying the art and the extra features some of these sites have. I hope you find them interesting too.

Tate Museum: British and International Contemporary Art


Van Gogh Museum Netherlands


Rijksmuseum Netherlands


Guggenheim International


National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Australia


Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston


MoMA: Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Smithsonian Museum site, is absolutely vast and has many different sections within Art and Design. One section that I thought was particularly nice was the “Arago” postage stamp collection, which includes a history of U.S. stamp design.


Joan Miro Foundation, Spain


Munch Museet, Norway


Have you come across any art museum web sites have impressed you with their design and content?

Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

Free Guide:

How to Choose the Right Charting Library for Your Application

How do you make sure that the charting library you choose has everything you need? Sign up to receive this detailed guide from FusionCharts, which explores all the factors you need to consider before making the decision.

  • grazz

    The Italian Madre has recently relaunched its website and it’s a nice one.

    Nice showcase anyway, thanks :)

  • lukkas

    I didn’t find one per say but here is a site with a great list of world museums

  • TomBradshaw

    Great examples of design usability, letting the art speak for itself and displaying alot of information on a page

  • Marco Verheul

    I noticed two errors on this page:

    1. It’s the “Rijksmuseum Netherlands” instead of “Rijksmusesum Netherlands”
    2. A screenshot of the Guggenheim is displayed where the Rijksmuseum should be

    As a dutchman I thought you should know :-)

  • Jennifer Farley

    Hi Marco, well spotted and thanks!

  • Antony Titson

    good design

  • http://erthe.ty unfosaula

    dsfgsdfg dfssdfgf fdsgsdfgsd


    very nice!

Learn JavaScript for free!
Free course: Introduction to JavaScript

Yours when you take up a free 14-day SitePoint Premium trial.