In Hannover, art is not confined to the 'hallowed halls' of art galleries, but can be encountered at every turn within the city centre itself. The sculpture mile, Niki de Saint Phalle's plump and colourful 'Nana' sculptures and the imaginative BUSSTOPs are public works of art that have become part of people's day-to-day lives. The Sprengel Museum Hannover shows 20th and 21st century art, and also hosts temporary exhibitions that attract great public interest. Other museums of contemporary art with a national reputation include the Kestner Society and the Kunstverein gallery. The Lower Saxony State Museum is a popular destination for family outings and covers an impressively broad spectrum with its State Art Gallery, departments of natural history (plus vivarium), archaeology and ethnology, and coin collection. Another visitors' favourite is the August Kestner Museum, whose collection features important examples of art, everyday items and design from antiquity through to the modern day.
The Wilhelm Busch German Museum of Caricature and Graphic Art showcases tongue-in-cheek satirical art, whilst the Historical Museum is geared towards local history. The new Herrenhausen Palace Museum – an offshoot of the Historical Museum located in the recently rebuilt summer residence in the Great Garden – is dedicated to the history of the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, the Gardens' historical figures and the universal scholar Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
The World of Kitchen (WoK), Europe's first museum dedicated to kitchens, features displays on all aspects of food preparation and diet. The Theatre Museum takes visitors on a journey through time that traces 350 years of theatre and opera in Hannover, and the Museum of Energy showcases its collection of curiosities and classic pieces, an 'electrifying' attraction. Visitors to the Museum of Aviation in Hannover-Laatzen can learn all about the history of flying by taking a stroll around its 4,500-plus exhibits. And then there is the annual Museums Night, when you can take all the time you need to explore Hannover's fantastic collection of exhibition spaces!