Global art and cultural attractions to experience in 2023

Museum of the Future Dubai — Global art and cultural attractions
Museum of the Future, Dubai. Image supplied.

Whether it’s the great masters, modernists, or archaeologists that excite, here are some of the top art and cultural celebrations, and awaited museum openings, taking place around the world in 2023.


Paris Musées/Petit Palais

Sarah Bernhardt: And the woman created the star

14 April–27 August 2023

To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of painter, sculptor, and actress Sarah Bernhardt, Petit Palais in Paris will host an exhibition to present the legacy of her life and influence. Bernhardt was dubbed a ‘sacred monster’ by Jean Cocteau and was idolised in her day for her theatrical performances in plays by Racine, Shakespeare, Edmond Rostand, and Alexandre Dumas. Nearly 400 exhibition pieces will trace her life, including posters, programs, costumes, and props, which she collaborated on with the Czech painter, Alphonse Mucha, in the 1890s, representing the pinnacle of the Art Nouveau movement.

Where to stay

La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa


The Art Institute of Chicago

Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape

14 May–4 September 2023

This exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago pulls into focus the years between 1882 and 1890 when Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, and fellow post-Impressionist artists Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Émile Bernard, and Charles Angrand, based themselves in villages on the outskirts of Paris. The industrialised suburbs sparked artistic experimentation in colour and brushstrokes. The exhibition will feature more than 75 paintings and drawings from this period, including many from private collections and some that are rarely displayed publicly. Among the works are 25 by Van Gogh, including two triptychs that will be shown together for the first time.

Where to stay

Kimpton, The Gray


V&A, South Kensington

Gabriel Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

16 September 2023–25 February 2024

If you missed catching Gabriel Chanel. Fashion Manifesto at NGV in Melbourne in 2022, you now have an excuse to head to London instead. The exhibition is entirely dedicated to Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, French couturière (1883-1971). Presented with the support of CHANEL, and in partnership with Palais Galliera, the fashion museum of the City of Paris, Paris Musées, the exhibit includes more than 100 outfits as well as jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, and perfumes that span the entirety of her long career, in which she rewrote the fashion rule book for women. V&A is preparing for the opening of V&A East Storehouse (2024) and V&A Museum at East Bank (2025), a new arts, innovation, and education hub in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London.

Where to stay

Number Sixteen, Firmdale Hotels

Tate Modern

Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian: Forms of Life

20 April–3 September 2023

Swedish painter Hilma af Klint and Dutch painter Piet Mondrian never met, however, both created their own expressions of abstract art rooted in nature. Both artists shared a desire to understand the forces behind life on Earth. At this exhibition at Tate Modern, view Mondrian’s iconic grids and rarely exhibited paintings of flowers, which he continued to create throughout his life. Also on display will be enigmatic works by af Klint (who was also a medium), creating large-scale, otherworldly masterpieces that she believed were commissioned by higher powers.

Where to stay

Shangri-La The Shard, London


Picasso Celebration 1973-2023

Various dates 2023

The 50th anniversary of the death of legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was commemorated on 8 April 2023. To celebrate his prolific body of work and his artistic heritage in France, Spain, and internationally, the governments of France and Spain have collaboratively created an international program titled ‘Picasso Celebration 1973-2023’. The celebration revolves around 50 exhibitions and events hosted at renowned cultural institutions in France, Spain, other European destinations, and North America. The festivities will coincide with the opening of Centre d’Études Picasso in Paris.

At the age of 13, Picasso attended the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona where his father was a teacher. The Spanish city will host Miró – Picasso from 19 October 2023 to 25 February 2024 at the Picasso Museum. Between June–September, the exhibition titled ‘But is it possible that they could have done this before me? Picasso and Spanish ceramics in the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona Collections’ will also run at the Picasso Museum.

The Principality of Monaco will host ‘Modernity and Classicism’ at the Palais Princier de Monaco from 9 September until 15 October 2023.

Where to stay

Serras Hotel Barcelona

Museum openings


Museum of the Future

A recent opening, the Museum of the Future in Dubai debuted in February 2022. Founded by the Dubai Future Foundation, the museum invites visitors to explore how society might evolve in the coming decades using science and technology. The ‘living museum’ experience incorporates immersive theatre and themed attractions. Clad in stainless steel and glass, the low-carbon project, featuring passive solar architecture, was designed by architect Shaun Killa, co-founder of Killa Design, who wanted the structure to represent Dubai’s vision of the future. The void in the centre is meant to symbolise the unknown and what we don’t know about the future. The museum stands at 77 metres high, made up of 1024 separate panels — each one specially created by robots and algorithms.

Where to stay

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai


Sydney Modern Project

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Another recent opening, unveiled in December 2022, the Sydney Modern Project is a new standalone building and art garden that has joined the existing, historic Art Gallery of New South Wales. The AUD$344 million project, which has nearly doubled the gallery’s display space, was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, and marks the most significant cultural development to the harbour city since the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973. Visit to explore a collection of works by prominent Australian and international artists, as well as extensive outdoor spaces. The building is Australia’s first art museum to be awarded the highest rating for sustainable design.

Where to stay

Ovolo Woolloomooloo


Grand Egyptian Museum

With a scheduled late 2023 opening, after being in development for 20 years, the US$1 billion Grand Egyptian Museum will become the world’s largest archaeological museum complex and scientific, historical, and archaeological study centre. The original designs were completed by heneghan peng architects, who adopted a pyramid motif. The museum site will occupy around 500,000m2 adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pyramids on the Giza Plateau. More than 3,500 years of ancient Egyptian history will be showcased through a collection of more than 100,000 artefacts — many of which will be displayed for the first time.

Where to stay

Marriott Mena House, Cairo


teamLAB Borderless

Relocating from Odaiba in Tokyo Bay to central Tokyo, teamLAB Borderless: MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM will reopen in 2023 as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project. The new museum will unveil works by art collective teamLab that explore the concept, “wander, explore, discover in one borderless world.” The original complex in Odaiba, which opened in 2018, attracted 2.3 million visitors from 160 countries in its inaugural year. Artworks are seamlessly connected, moving in and out of rooms, creating an immersive, borderless experience.

Where to stay

Janu Tokyo (opening later in 2023)


Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Reopening in May 2023, the former Albright-Knox Art Gallery was designed by Shohei Shigematsu at OMA, with Cooper Robertson selected as the executive architect. The new Buffalo AKG will house a world-renowned collection of modern and contemporary art and is comprised of more than 4645m2 of state-of-the-art exhibition space, five classrooms, an interior community gathering space, and vast, public green outdoor zones.

Where to stay

The Edward Hotel, Buffalo


Istanbul Modern

Opening in 2023 in a new building is Istanbul Modern, Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano Building (of Centre Pompidou and Whitney Museum acclaim), the landmark structure is located at the museum’s original site on the waterfront of Karaköy, in one of the most historic districts of Istanbul. Established in 2004, Istanbul Modern holds a collection of modern and contemporary art, photography, design, architecture, and new media. The museum’s new building will showcase works from the collection and temporary exhibitions, as well as provide an environment for educational workshops. Spaces will include several exhibition halls, a cinema, a library, a design shop, event spaces, a café, and a restaurant.

Where to stay

The Bank Hotel Istanbul, a Member of Design Hotels

Ones to watch out for


Powerhouse Parramatta

When it opens in 2023, Powerhouse Parramatta will be the first NSW State Cultural Institution to be based in Western Sydney. The museum will play host to exclusive international exhibitions, education, and community programs; and will display more than 500,000 objects in its collection. Works on Powerhouse Parramatta, designed by Hiroko Kusunoki, Nicholas Moreau, and Steven Toia (Lead Architects at Moreau Kusunoki and Genton), commenced in 2022. At 30,000m2 it will become the largest museum in NSW, with an anticipated two million visitors through its doors in the first year.


Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry (also the designer of Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain), Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is on track for a 2025 opening. The museum will be the largest outpost of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation’s list of international museums. The collection, which has been in development for more than 15 years, will include modern and contemporary artworks, showcasing global art histories from such regions as West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia.

Share this article