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To prepare for my year, I’ve combed magazines, art blogs, museum websites, and friends’ brains searching for the best art exhibits of 2018.

Here’s my list for the top 10 must see exhibits of this coming year. May it inspire all you to see some great art in 2018.

(Listed in chronological order)

1: Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism


This recommendation came from a trusted friend who fell in love with this exhibit — featuring more than 80 paintings by 37 female artists. Paris is my favorite city, and I have a special kind of love for the inimitable Impressionist, Berthe Morisot, so I’ll definitely be making a special trip to see Paris through her eyes this year.

On now through January 15th at the Denver Art Museum
Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY from Feb 17 – May 13
Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA from June 6 – Sept 3

2: Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

There are only 34 paintings universally attributed to the Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer. This exhibit brings together 10 of those paintings and surrounds them with other painters of Vermeer’s era. This exquisite exhibit started at the Louvre and then stopped at the National Gallery in Dublin before ending its run in DC. If you can’t make it to the exhibit before it closes, don’t fear — the National Gallery holds 4 Vermeers in its permanent collection.

On now through January 21 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

3: Cezanne Portraits


When I think of Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne, I first think of his still lives of apples and skulls or his landscapes, so I’m eager to delve into his view of people in this unique exhibit bringing together over 50 of his portraits from collections all over the world. Sitters include his Uncle Dominique, the Gardener Vallier, Cezanne’s wife, and portraits of the artist himself.

On now through February 11 at the National Portrait Gallery in London
At the National Gallery of Art in DC from March 25 – July 1

4: Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

It shouldn’t shock anyone that this magnificent exhibition about Michelangelo (one of the protagonists in my debut novel) was one of the highlights of my 2017 — actually, it was one of the highlights of my century. This exhibit is like slipping into the pages of one of Michelangelo’s sketchbooks. If you haven’t seen it yet, you still have time; it doesn’t close until mid-February.

On now through February 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

5: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The Lute-Player. Marking the end of the restoration


You’ll have to travel to Russia to see this masterpiece by the other Michelangelo — Michelangelo Caravaggio. This painting has been under restoration for years. With this exhibit, the world can once again enjoy this masterpiece — one of my personal favorites by one of my favorite artists.

On now through March 25 at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

6: Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor

Degas-Tub-800x800Every time I see a collection of Degas’ work, I’m overwhelmed by his obsessiveness with his subjects, the human form, his art… Since this exhibit specifically touts the exploration of Degas’ “compulsive nature,” I’m excited to dive in and get closer to the process of this Impressionist giant.

From now through April 8 at Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA

7: Exhibition Van Gogh & Japan


We all know well that Vincent Van Gogh studied Japanese art – and even had his own  collection of Japanese prints, but I’m eager for this exhibit to walk me through “step by step how Van Gogh bent the Japanese example to his will” and “helped him to give his work a new direction.”

On from March 23 – June 24 at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

8: Delacroix


This world-class exhibit will bring together over 180 artworks by Eugène Delacroix, the inimitable 19th century Romantic French master. I’ve long been enamored by Delacroix’ emotion, expressiveness and tension; his scenes always elicit a feeling in me — fear, courage, excitement… I’m counting on the Louvre to provide insight into this giant’s career, life, and times.

On from March 29 – July 23 at the Louvre in Paris

9: Bruegel

This exhibit is gearing up for 2019 and the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel — arguably the greatest artist of the Dutch Renaissance. His paintings — teeming with interesting characters, landscapes and cultural details — have left an indelible impact on the history of art, and this exhibit will bring together possibly the largest collection of his works ever.

October 2, 2018 – January 13, 2019 at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

10: Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci

The Codex Leceister [detail], 1510. Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian Codex manuscript. Courtesy Bill Gates / ©bgC3

In preparation for the 500th anniversary of the death of my other protagonist Leonardo da Vinci (he died on May 2, 1519), Bill Gates’ notebook of Leonardo’s will be on display at the Uffizi in Florence. Don’t pass up any opportunity to spend some time inside one of the masters notebooks — and his insatiable brain.

October 29, 2018 – January 20, 2019 at the Uffizi in Florence


There are many other great exhibits coming in 2018.
Tell me which ones I shouldn’t miss!