If you’re an art lover, we bet that you’ve seen a few galleries in your time! There are plenty of incredible art galleries all over the world, but once you’ve seen the Tate and the Louvre, a lot of them can feel repetitive.
So, we bring you a list of the world’s most unusual art galleries! Some of these are set in historic buildings, whereas others have unusual art themselves. Any art fan should immediately place all of these quirky galleries on their bucket list.
The Old Police Station, London, UK
The Old Police Station in London is, as the name suggests, a historic, Victorian police office that is now the residency of artists! It was built in 1872 in response to the rise of street crime in the neighborhood – this is when the city was expanding and in particular, when South East London saw more slums. The police station operated until 2010 when it retired as the oldest working police station in London.
In recent years, it’s had a makeover – to an art gallery! The gallery doesn’t have a particular theme, but it invites local artists to showcase their own micro-exhibitions in the historic prison cells! Even many locals don’t know about this South London gem, so it’s well worth visiting if you’re in the British capital!
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
This one is a bit more of a museum than an art gallery, but you could argue that a wedding dress from a doomed relationship is artistic, right?
The Museum of Broken Relationships is famous for being one of the top things to do in Zagreb, and one of the quirkiest galleries in the world. It was made by one ex-couple who had a doomed relationship and decided to document their journey in this museum (we’re presuming they stayed friends in order to do this!).
The quirky gallery features everything from old photos of the couple and their wedding gear to an axe – which was apparently used to break things that they once shared. Maybe the split wasn’t as amicable after all…
It’s also a creative space for other people to express their stories of heartbreak, potentially helping new singles find relatable stories to help them get over somebody! You can visit the museum in person or even share your stories and art online.
Palms Art Casino Collection, Las Vegas, USA
Palms Art Casino Collection is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in art and gambling! While you’re trying out your slot machine strategies, you can enjoy the vivid art exhibitions hanging by the various casino games.
These art exhibitions are supposed to mimic common moods that people might have while they’re gambling, such as joy or frustration. There’s also a sculpture work by Damien Hirst here too!
MONA, Hobart, Australia
MONA is one of the most bizarre art galleries on earth, and if you are a big fan of art or the weird and wonderful, this is a must-visit! It’s located in Hobart, the capital of Australia’s island state of Tasmania.
Tasmania is well-known for its beautiful hikes and incredible beaches, but this art gallery is a completely different attraction! The gallery is perfect if you’re exploring the Australian island and have a rainy day.
It’s been called “a subversive adult Disneyland”, with the strangest attractions detailing anything from human bodily functions to Egyptian mummies. It’s not a museum for the faint-hearted though – there’s an infamous machine that can turn anything into excrement and much more!
Miho Museum, Koka, Japan
Even outside the Miho Museum, you’ll feel like you’re in a work of art. It was designed by I.M. Pei, the same architect who created the Louvre glass pyramids. Made from limestone, the museum has a fusion of Eastern and Western artwork inside.
Look out for Roman wall paintings that date back to the times of Pompeii, Gandhara Buddha statues that date back to the 2nd century, and more. The place was curated by Mihoko Koyama who is an heiress to Toyobo, a Japanese textile company and the founder of a religion called Shinji Shūmeikai, which recommends spiritual healing through art.
Arquipélago, Contemporary Arts Center (Azores, Portugal)
This museum features contemporary art and is situated in a late-19th century distilling plant and ex-tobacco factory! Plans for the distillery were created in 1893 – it was supposed to be part of three new distilling plants.
However, only one of them ended up being built due to various political and economic reasons. It opened in 1896 and was named the Ribeira Grande Distillation Factory. In 1902, the new factory served as a military barracks that then acted as a tobacco factory until 2006. As you can imagine, this building has lots of stories to tell!
Nowadays, it serves as a large complex that mainly focuses on contemporary art, although it has other exhibits and features too. That being said, this Contemporary Arts Center is well worth visiting if you’re in the Azores!
Art is nearly always fascinating, but sometimes the stories of how art reached certain places are even more interesting. If you like your art to have a story or try to find inspiration in buildings and other places, then add all of these unusual art galleries to your travel bucket list.