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15 hot museum exhibitions you won't want to miss

Fall is the perfect season to immerse yourself in culture: Museums and galleries were seemingly made for rainy days. And once inside, it almost feels like spring. It’s an era of rejuvenation, as new exhibitions in radically redesigned spaces are changing how artwork and historic artifacts are displayed. Digital apps promote personal interaction, while websites allow guests to map out visits in advance. Here’s a roundup of shows and exhibits around the globe that you’ll be hearing about. Plus, ideas on where to refuel

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LONDON: The British Museum’s Shakespeare: Staging the World (until Nov. 25) explores how theatre, popular culture, politics and diplomacy were reflected in the Bard’s plays while London was growing into a world power. Artifacts on display include rare manuscripts and common objects of the times, such as coins. (British Museum: Great Russell Street; britishmuseum.org)

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For contemporary art, move to the Tate Modern. The photography show by William Klein and Daido Moriyama (Oct. 10 to Jan. 20) will contrast social life on the streets of New York and Tokyo, as seen through the lenses of two masters. (Tate Modern: Bankside; www.tate.org.uk) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Get off at St. Pancras station and stay in the new Pullman hotel, the brand’s first in the U.K. The location is superconvenient, and the blue-and-white rooms are soothing retreat from the city.

Andrew Winning/REUTERS

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BERLIN: Take a walk around the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), a grand collection of archeology, ancient cultures and classical art institutions. (Museumsinsel: Bodestrasse 1; smb.museum/smb/standorte)

Thomas Wolf

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Seek out the Neues Museum, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the dig that uncovered the iconic bust of Nefertiti and other ancient Pharaonic artefacts. (Dec. 7 to April 13) A short distance away, the radically renewed German Historical Museum presents a grand chronological narrative on human activity in Germany. Its unvarnished treatment of the Nazi period is sobering. (German Historical Museum: Unter den Linden 2; dhm.de) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Warm up with a cup of coffee from the just-opened Barn Roastery, an industrial-looking java joint the twitterati is ridiculously excited about. (Schonhauser Allee 8; thebarn.de/roastery)

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PARIS: Late September saw the opening of the new Department of Islamic Art. The museum’s extensive collection – some pieces date back to the early years of the Muslim religion in the 7th century – now reside in a courtyard under a daring, undulating glass roof. (Place du Louvre, louvre.fr/en)

Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

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The Quai Branly continues its modern attempt at ethno-cultural dialogue in a non-eurocentric manner. Does it succeed? Judge for yourself with The Sources of Aborigine Painting (Oct. 9 to Jan. 20) and Nigeria: Arts of the Benue Valley (Nov. 13 to Jan. 27). WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Live it up at Wanderlust, a giant neon-green-tinged club, restaurant and gallery skirting the edge of the Seine that opened this summer. (32 Quai d’Austerlitz; wanderlustparis.com)

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TOKYO: The Tokyo National Museum traces Japan’s ancient history, Buddhist traditions and multiple art forms. A special exhibition, China: Grandeur of the Dynasties (Oct. 10 to Dec. 24) switches the attention to its neighbour, and “aims to view Chinese civilization from a new perspective” through new excavation findings and rare objects from across the provinces. (13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku; www.tnm.jp) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Unwind in the Palace Hotel Tokyo, where you’ll find the first Evian spa in Japan. Or simply take in the hotel, which reopened in May after a $1.2-billion renovation. (1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyodu-ku;palacehoteltokyo.com/en)

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BEIJING: The National Museum of China’s new premises – barely one year old – is described as “the largest single museum building in the world.” Focus on the major installation titled Ancient China, which traces general Chinese history from prehistoric times to the final days of the last Emperor in 1912. More than 2,500 objects are included, with hundreds designated as “first class” national treasures. (16 East Chang’an Avenue, Dongcheng District; en.chnmuseum.cn) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Check into the Opposite House, an oh-so-superslick hotel. Its latest amenity: a custom iPad/iPhone app that, among other things, streams music from its private playlist. (11 Sanlitun Rd.; theoppositehouse.com)

Alexander F. Yuan/The Associated Press

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TORONTO: The ROM presents Observance and Memorial: Photographs from S-21, Cambodia (until March 10). Pictures of prisoners from a notorious detention centre in Phnom Penh – just some of the two million victims of the Khmer Rouge – are testimony to a revolution gone deeply astray. 100 Queens Park; rom.on.ca

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In stark contrast, the Art Gallery of Ontario will sizzle with Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting (Oct. 20 to Jan. 20). The exhibit will explore both the distinctive styles of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and how the couple gained heroic status as symbols of social transformation. More than 80 works will be on display, drawn from rare collections in Mexico. (317 Dundas St. West, ago.net). WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Make time for David Chang’s latest Momofuko Noodle Bar outpost. The wait time for steamed buns and ramen can run two hours, but fans swear that it’s worth it. (190 University Ave.; momofuku.com)

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

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OTTAWA-GATINEAU: Vodou, a special exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Nov. 15 to Feb. 23), goes beyond a stereotypical voodoo show to explain the meaning of little-known rituals and open a window on Haitian communities within Canada. (100 Laurier Street, Gatineau, Que.; civilization.ca)

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At the Canadian Museum of Nature, the destructive forces of earthquakes, volcanoes and other forces will be explored in Nature Unleashed (until May 5). WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Skip lunch and indulge in the 12-course tasting menu at Atelier from chef Marc Lepine, winner of this year’s Gold Medal Plates culinary championship. (540 Rochester St.; atelierrestaurant.ca)

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QUEBEC CITY: The Musée national des beaux-arts will feature Art and Nature in the Middle Ages (Oct. 4 to Jan. 6), in collaboration with the Musee Cluny in Paris. The medieval artifacts – including illuminations and stained glass – will reveal complex layers of artistry and vision during this turbulent period of European life. (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille; www.mnba.qc.ca) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Book a night at the new Hôtel La Ferme, a cultural hub/eco-friendly resort just 45 minutes out of town. (50, rue de la Ferme, Baie-Saint-Paul; lemassif.com/en/ferme)

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NEW YORK: Where to begin? At the Met, of course. Don’t miss Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years (until Dec. 31), which explores the complex issue of artistic influence through 145 works, including 45 by Warhol himself. (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street; metmuseum.org)

AP

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And don’t forget MOMA. The entertaining and provocative Century of the Child: Growing by Design (until Nov. 15) shows how changing ideas about childhood, education and children’s entertainment have influenced many aspects of design, including schools, homes, clothing and even military propaganda. (11 West 53rd Street; moma.org) WHILE YOU’RE THERE: Grab an afternoon snack at Chobani SoHo, one of the city’s new yogurt cafes. Yes, yogurt (not the frozen kind) is the new cupcake – just much healthier. (150 Prince St.; chobanisoho.com)

Mary Altaffer/AP

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