The 15 Most Expensive Art Exhibits In The World

Exhibitions showcasing art and architecture exist all over in world-leading galleries, but which are the best of the best? The most exquisite? The most expensive?

Art exhibits are always changing and “the next big thing” could literally turn up anywhere. Exhibitions in today's top museums host awe-inspiring collections from new artists and masters of the past. The museums that you will read about below are home to some of the most ambitious and expensive art exhibits around.

The exhibits consist of incredible, impeccable collections of an amazing array of different forms of art including paintings, sculptures, architecture, and ancient artifacts.

Check out this list to see the 15 most expensive art exhibits in the world.

15 Royal Academy

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The Royal Academy is featuring a portrait exhibit, David Hockney RA: 82 Portraits and 1 Still-Life. Located in London, the Royal Academy will host Hockey's portraits until October 2.

The portraits were painted in three days on oversized canvases. Hockney referred to his method as "20 hour exposure."

The subjects of the portraits are of some pretty recognizable faces including architect Frank Gehry, comedian Barry Humphries, textile designer Celia Birtwell, as well as some of Hockney's assistants and neighbors.

14 British Museum

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The British Museum is located in the heart of London. One of their most exquisite exhibits is on display at the museum until November 27, Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds.

The exhibition looks at the way the culture, religion, and politics of Egypt and Greece merged in the cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus.

On display at the exhibit is an array of gold artifacts found in the lost submarine worlds. Large numbers of Greeks settled in northern Egypt as traders and mercenary soldiers in the sixth century BC. Eventually, the two communities, Egyptian and Greek, began integrating with each other and worshipping each other's gods interchangeably.

13 Smithsonian Institution

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Located in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and various research stations.

The Smithsonian houses more than 137 million pieces of artwork detailing America's history.

Some of the most popular exhibits at the National Museum of American History include Dorothy's ruby red slippers and the dresses of the First Ladies of the United States.

The Wright brothers’ 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo 11 command module at the National Air and Space Museum are all must-see exhibits.

12 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art

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You didn't think all expensive exhibits had to be serious, did you? The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is located in New York City and was created to help people recognize the artistry of comics and cartoons. It was also intended to spark discussion and thought about this kind of art.

One exhibit to check out is The Artists of Batman Exhibition, which allows the opportunity to compare the Batman drawings of different artists and decide what version of Batman and his enemies you like the best.

The gallery of artwork is interesting, diverse, and colorful. You can guarantee that the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is one of the most unique and dynamic exhibits around.

11 Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

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Located in St. Louis Missouri, the Pulitzer Foundation was designed by architect, Tadao Ando. The art is housed in a masterful work of art in its own right.

Sculptures and paintings fill the building and the foundation also works with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra to put on chamber concerts.

Joe is a spiral sculpture created by Richard Serra who describes the exhibit as a "function of time."

Another piece worth seeing is Blue Black by Ellsworth Kelly. The piece stands 28 feet tall and is made entirely of aluminum and stands out all the more when you consider it contrasts against the white walls.

10 Museum of Fine Arts

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Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Museum of Fine Arts houses a diversely impressive collection of fine art that continues to expand to this day.

Inside, you can find Egyptian artifacts, impressionist paintings, Chinese calligraphy, and Japanese pottery. It is one of the most-visited art museums in the world.

The Egyptian collection is one of the largest collections of Egyptian art. It features busts, statuettes, pendants, and other trinkets that were buried in the tombs of Pharaohs.

Another must-see is perhaps one of the American Revolution's most famous portraits, Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley.

9 Philadelphia Museum Of Art

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is often recognized as the steps that were made famous after Sylvester Stallone ran up them in the movie Rocky. In fact, there is now a statue of Rocky Balboa right outside of the museum.

One of the most impressive exhibits is the Van Gogh Up Close Exhibition. Van Gogh was one of the world's most celebrated painters and the collection includes some of his artistic experimentation pieces.

The museum is also home to The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins which is an extremely realistic and detailed painting of a gory surgery.

8 New York Museum of Modern Art

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The New York Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA, as some call it, hosts, develops, and showcases the most exquisite modern art pieces.

The contemporary work includes architecture, paintings, illustrations, books, film, and even photos. Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh is perhaps the most infamous pieces of artwork in the museum.

Other must-see exhibits include Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso which famously and controversially depicts five prostitutes from a brothel in Avignon. Many thought that his contemporaries were mocking traditional European art, but others depict his paintings as helping develop modern art.

7 Seattle Art Museum

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The Seattle Art Museum is actually composed of three separate facilities including the main museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The collection has more than 20,000 works of art in various forms.

Olympic Sculpture Park has amazing sculptures surrounding the park including The Eagle by Alexander Calder, which may be the most famous part of the collection.

In terms of size, the "Art Ladder" is one of the largest statues that features exquisite craftsmanship.

6 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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This Gardner Museum is located in Boston and has artwork from the most famous artists in the world like Raphael, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.

The museum is not just paintings, it also hosts concerts, guest lectures, and community programs.

One of the most popular exhibits is The Rape of Europa by Titian. The aesthetically pleasing painting is full of vibrant colors and action.

Fun Fact: If you happened to be named Isabella or born on the day of your visit, the Gardner Museum will even let you see those works for free.

5 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is located in, yep, you guess it - San Francisco, California. Featuring some of the most interesting and unique artwork in all different shapes and sizes.

The museum features an impressive photography collection, sculptures, paintings, you name it.

One of the must-see exhibits is La Conversation by Henri Matisse. It is one of the most colorful and intriguing oil paintings. The vibrant colors exude from the painting and his depiction of two women smiling mischievously will have you wondering just what the conversation was about.

4 The Frick Collection

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Located in Manhattan at the former Henry Clay Frick House, The Frick Collection has some of the most high-quality old master paintings from some of Europe's most distinguished artists.

In addition to paintings, The Frick Collection is also home to an array of magnificently upscale furniture, porcelain vases, and Italian bronzes.

One of the most impressive exhibits is the Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting Exhibition, which includes nine paintings from all around the world that feature Renoir's work in full length format.

3 Tate Modern

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Tate Modern, located in London, is featuring work by the "mother of American modernism" Georgia O'Keeffe through October 30. O'Keeffe is one of the world's most-expensive women artists.

The pioneering feminist painter is an American icon and her paintings are now featured in British public collections. She is best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes.

The exhibition at Tate Modern is the largest O'Keeffe  retrospective mounted outside of America.

2 Royal Bridges

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Royal Bridges is an annual event which will take place on 29-30 of November at The Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai.

The exhibition is unique in that it features professional artists from royal and ruling families from Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East. Internationally recognized artists will encourage viewers to understand modern-day royalty in a new, creative way.

This year, the multi-dimensional exhibition titled "Convergence." It will showcase the diverse, individual histories and narratives of each individual exhibitor's background.

Convergence will display a diverse and robust selection of contemporary work from more traditional mediums of paintings and sculpture to other interpretive forms of artistic expression including jewelry and musical performances.

The exhibition will feature immaculate artwork from fifteen of the world's sovereign artists. Royal Bridges will conduct an auction for all of the exhibited pieces with proceeds benefitting the World Food Programme charity.

1 National Gallery Of Art

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The National Gallery of Art is located in the country's capital Washington D.C and is an easy choice for #1. It was created by Congress and financier Andrew W. Mellon as a gift to the people of the United States.

Admission is free, but the gallery has one of the world's most impressive collections of art in all forms.

One of the more well-known, must-see exhibits in The National Gallery of Art is The Sculpture Garden, which has 17 sculptures across the gallery's six acres of land.

A Naval Encounter Between Dutch and Spanish Warships were received by the gallery in 1995. The two naval warfare paintings were recreated and combined into the original larger painting and it is a sight to see.

Perhaps one of the most exquisite exhibits is Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes Exhibition which includes some of the most impressive bronzes of important politicians and religious leaders from ancient Rome and Greece.

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