Museum of Russian Icons – Clinton, Massachusetts
Throughout its long, violent and controversial history, Russia has been consistent in bringing forth epic creative works in every medium. And Russian taste has always been totally over the top. During the last Winter Olympics, viewers got a glimpse of Russian performing arts. In this museum – the largest collection on the continent – it’s the visual arts on display, intertwined with Russian Orthodox religion. Every piece of iconic artwork in this collection is venerated, of faith-based origin: doors, plates, lacquer boxes, and more. It goes without saying that the Easter egg decorating workshops here are next-level.
MUSA (Cancun Underwater Museum) – Cancun, Mexico
It’s interesting to see a destination putting such a literal spin on the “immersive experience”. You will in fact need to SCUBA 30 feet deep to appreciate the bizarre, beautiful, ever-evolving collection of life-sized statues sunk off the shores of Cancun and Isla de Mujeres. Nearly 500 pieces are down there, including a VW Bug and a disturbing piece called Timebomb…and a crowd of 450 figures cast from real people. As was the intention, the pieces are turning into an artificial reef, with lobsters and eels lurking about, and coral growing over the entirety. You can see some of the works from above if you’re snorkeling, but not with the same effect.
Abba: The Museum – Stockholm, Sweden
An interactive exhibition dedicated to the Swedish pop/Euro-disco icons, this permanent collection opened in May 2013. The objective is to offer the “full ABBA experience” as though visitors were a band member…and yes, that means there will be karaoke. So brush up on your “Fernando,” “Super Trouper” and “Mamma Mia.” There may also be dance parties, impromptu piano playing, and for sure plenty of awesome stage outfits from the Dancing Queen heyday to admire. Sadly, those are mostly behind protective glass and not available for interactive dance floor fun.