Los Angeles although more famous for its cinematic art more than any other should not be consigned to cultural oblivion. There are quite a number of noteworthy museums and galleries that can impress any art lover. In fact these first rate museum’s affordable ticket prices would motivate any art enthusiast.
Let us start our cultural adventure with the Museum of Contemporary Art. Its superb American and European collections from the 1940s to the present are distributed among its three locations (the Pacific Design Center at 8687 Melrose Ave in West Hollywood, 250 South Grand Ave and 152 North Central Ave downtown). Collectively the museum holds around 5,000 objects whose categories range from the established to the avant-garde. Examples of artists whose creations are on view throughout the year are Jean Fautrier, Franz Kline, Susan Rothenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The picturesque Getty Center is located on a hillside above Brentwood. Although its collections are valued at more than a billion dollars the views from its restaurants and coffee bars can certainly do justice to that amount as it offers a remarkable view of Los Angeles. Richard Meier who designed the complex maximized natural light to bring out the beauty of the travertine marble and make it a perfect canvas for the master pieces of James Ensor, Monet, and Van Gogh to name a few. J. Paul Getty also collected Greek and Roman antiquities as well as French decorative arts. The azalea maze which is the focal point of the gardens designed by Robert Irwin will provide a unique distraction between viewing art collections.
In the museum district along Wilshire Boulevard is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. If you want a virtual comprehensive history of art history lesson then this is your destination. Its more than 100,000 objects date from the earliest periods to the present. The LACMA also houses works by known Latin American artists of which Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are included. There are also touches of Asian influence as it has a Japanese Pavilion that shows off the country’s decorative arts.
If your taste runs more on contemporary fare the Hammer Museum at UCLA not only up your alley it is also free throughout the summer. If it is not summer or a Thursday the ticket price is also remarkably reasonable at $5. Although most of their collection showcases artists of our time, there are also some works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet. Found at 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
At 411 W Colorado Boulevard an unassuming brown building houses European, American and Asian art. The Norton Simon Museum of Art however is known for its works by Rembrandt, Goya, Degas and Picasso. Another distinctive facet is its living artwork outdoors. This garden designed by Nancy Goslee Power was inspired by Monet’s gardens at Giverny and it will in turn inspire you.
The Pantages Theater at 6233 Hollywood boulevard and the Pasadena Playhouse at 39 S. El Molino Avenue and Orpheum Theater downtown are architectural landmarks as well as working theaters. In the art world there is virtually something for everyone here in Los Angeles.