The history of the museum, of its building, is quite unusual. In the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself could be seen as the first “work of art” in the Musee d’Orsay, which displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914.
The Uffizi was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’Medici to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany. Over time, the top floor loggia became an exhibition of the dynastic collection of ancient sculpture, artwork and artifacts.
The eastern wing of the building incorporated the ancient Florentine church of San Pier Scheraggio and the wing to the west connected with two existing buildings, the Mint and the Loggia dei Lanzi. Vasari conceived an architectural module to be repeated all along the building: a portico flanked by two pillars, with niches on the ground floor and three windows on the upper story.
In 1565, on the occasion of the marriage of his son Francesco to Giovanna d’Austria, Cosimo I asked Vasari to design a raised passageway connecting Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti, the new residence of the family. The passage starts from the government palace, Palazzo Vecchio, goes through the Uffizi, then runs parallel to the river above a portico and crosses over the Ponte Vecchio. The Corridor continues through the facade of the church of Santa Felicita to reach the Boboli Gardens.
The National Gallery of Art – the nation’s museum – preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters an understanding of works of art.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the foremost museums in the world, with rich holdings comprising artworks from seven millennia – from Ancient Egypt to the late 18th century. The collections of Renaissance and Baroque art are of particular importance. The KHMs extensive holdings are on show at different locations: The main building on Ringstrasse houses the Picture Gallery, the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, the Coin Collection, and the Kunstkammer that will reopen in February 2012. Other collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum are housed in the Neue Burg (the Collection of Historical Musical Instruments, the Collection of Arms and Armour, and the Ephesus Museum), in Hofburg Palace (the Treasury), and in Schoenbrunn Palace (the Collection of Historical Carriages). The collections on show at Ambras Palace are also part of the holdings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum