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“park on the street behind the Museum”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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Ranked #26 of 553 things to do in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Since its inception in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles's uniquely diverse population. Today LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. Among the museum's strengths are its holdings of Asian art, Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists; and Islamic art, of which LACMA hosts one of the most significant collections in the world. A museum of international stature as well as a vital part of Southern California, LACMA shares its vast collections through exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities that attract over a million visitors annually, in addition to serving millions through digital initiatives, such as online collections, scholarly catalogues, and interactive engagement online. Situated in Hancock Park on over 20 acres in the heart of Los Angeles, LACMA is located between the ocean and downtown. With this much to explore, we encourage you to spend an entire day with us, delving deep into the work of your favorite artists, taking a free tour, catching a film or concert, or just letting your curiosity lead the way.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I'm a fan of Hockney's painting and one of his largest ones is part of the collection--spectacular. The entire 20th c. collection is good.The cafeteria has good food and there is a pleasant outdoor terrace attached. LACMA is right next to the LaBrea Tar Pits which once trapped mastodons. It's worth a half hour detour to check out the existing pits and the exhibit.

Thank Dorothy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2013

AFter several trips to LACMA over many years, I remain pleasantly surprised at the range and depth of exhibits and experiences they make available. LACMA manages to find and display fun, interesting, significant art and artists including the Masters, new artists and interesting and diverse exhibits.

Thank cldkRidgecrest_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a week ago, and it’s taken me a week to collect my thoughts about it. The contents of the museum certainly rate an “excellent” rating, but beyond that there are serious shortcomings. It’s certainly worth a visit, but understand that there are also some limitations.

Let’s start with the most important thing – the art. It’s wonderful. This is a large campus with multiple buildings and the collectors have obviously labored to have representative pieces from every genre, aspect, and period. If you like 20th century art, for example, you will find representative works from every “name” artist and several others. I noted works by Arp, Braque, Cezanne, Degas, Giacometti, Hepworth, Klee, Lichtenstein, Malevich, Monet, Naguchi, Pollack, Warhol, etc. They had special exhibits relating to Matisse and Picasso, both of which were well-presented and very interesting. If you are interested in other eras, they are there as well. I particularly liked several of their Rembrandt paintings, one of which is strategically located so that the subject glowers at you as you come up the steps.

LACMA’s web site is also excellent. Just about everything can be seen or investigated on line. While, like all great art, it is better experienced in person, they have done a very nice job on-line. I also liked the café and museum store and the general concept of an art campus.

So what are the provisos? Well, there are many. The first is that the central buildings are not terribly well designed and somewhat dated. While this will likely be apparent to you on your arrival, and while they have tried some cosmetic fixes, there is actually a plan to raze just about everything and to start over. See:

http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2013/06/130605-LACMA-Director-and-Peter-Zumthor-Make-the-Case-for-Museums-Redesign.asp

The planned expansion looks really interesting, but I have to review the museum as it currently stands. What stands is dated and in need of renovation.

There are two related issues. First, in several places the lighting is awkward. On several floors they have black ceilings and white walls with spot lighting on the paintings. This is likely fine if you are a surgeon used to harsh, spot lighting, but while clinically exact it is not always ideal for displaying art at its best. Second, and more importantly, the display of art itself is not terribly . . . well . . . artful. As others have noted, in places you feel as if they are simply storing semi-related art in the same room. Adjacent rooms have almost glaringly incompatible artwork. I saw one room in which they seemed to have simply tacked up spare paintings from one period along a wall without any consideration of how each looked or how they worked with each other. In another, they had decorative arts along two walls, and oil paintings along two others, with no real connection between the two. One contemporary art building had only three large pieces of art on one floor, one of which was an electronic display that wasn’t even working. Throughout the museum, the elevators were glacially slow, and stairs (which I would have happily taken) were not well marked or easy to find. The end result: Really nice art not terribly well displayed.

Any other provisos? Yes, a significant one. As others have noted on this site, they need to work on their staff. It’s likely dull being a museum guard, but it’s not dull to the patrons. I did get some positive reactions from some staff members (one was wonderfully enthusiastic on hearing I wanted to see the Richter exhibit), but another largely barked at me that they were “closed” as I entered a building. I practically had to cross examine him to find that what was “closed” was a single exhibit and that the building’s remaining 3 floors were open, including some crowd-pleasing works. The museum nicely gives you a guide listing the most notable works, but at least 2 were off display and the staff expressed no knowledge about their whereabouts – it struck me that they should either have removed the art from the listing or educated the staff as to where they were.

On that note, the map they give you was pretty weak. It will help you find entire buildings, but didn’t do much to guide you to what may interest you most or to invite you to new areas to explore.

So should you visit LACMA? Absolutely. You will see a lot of moving and memorable art. But know its limitations. It has a lot to learn from the newer Getty in terms of design and presentation, but the art itself is often magnificent.

2  Thank ElaineAndGreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Several days can be spent making sure no exhibit is left unseen, or no masterpiece left un-pondered and the museum is easy to navigate and has a much more free spirit than most museums as there is no one entrance as your ticket is scanned at the entrance to each building and guests are free to go about and see anything at their own pace and pleasure.

Now depending on your tastes some pieces of art may not tickle your fancy and you may be unimpressed at the rock at the back of the museum that cost over $200 million to transport and install, but there is always something to appreciate for any artistic taste and soon the complex will host the Academy of Motion Pictures museum as well, so the LACMA will truly have everything under one roof.

Try to go to the museum when they are having live musical performances in the different buildings, the Japanese Art building was a fantastic experience when coupled with musical performances.

Thank The_Roaming_Raven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 13, 2013

I know art is subjective but I though this museum was just okay. I guess after visiting the Getty Museum I wanted to see more. It is a very large musem, lots to offer inside and out. They have restaurants and places to purchase snacks. It was nice but

Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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