Art Museums of Los Angeles

By Eamon White

Los Angeles is known for many things from its movie business to the busiest highways in the country, but something that many people tend to forget is its wealth of quality art museums. There are only two other cities in America where you can see more—New York and Chicago. Even if you aren’t into old renaissance paintings or outlandish conceptual art, there will be a museum for you in Los Angeles.

Here are just a few of the best and most notable museums in LA:

The Broad— This museum is LA’s newest (for now) and most instagrammable museum of art. The museum opened just over a year ago and is already one of LA’s hottest destinations. It features many famous artists from Andy Warhol to Takashi Murakami to Jeff Koons. Even if you aren’t a fan of modern/contemporary art there will be something here that interests you, not only that, but it’s free! It is very popular, so you better be willing to wait in line to get in. It is also conveniently located only a few blocks from the Pershing Square metro station so you can get there easily on the red or purple lines.

MOCA LA—This museum of modern and contemporary art has three locations, the largest of which is located across the street from the Broad (above). It also has locations in Little Tokyo and Beverly Hills. If you like the Broad, you will definitely like MOCA. It offers a similar period of art, but with more intellectual bent. MOCA takes more risks and depending on your interests can be very rewarding. MOCA has many artists that have come to be considered modern masters like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns or Mark Rothko.

LACMA— LACMA is the largest museum in Los Angeles. It is a survey museum and features everything from impressionism to Japanese art to renaissance masters. LACMA also has many annual exhibits on famous artists and pop culture icons ranging from Robert Mapplethorpe to Tim Burton. No time at USC would be complete without visiting LACMA at least once.

Norton Simon Museum— The Norton Simon is technically in Pasadena, but it is easily accessible via the Metro Gold line which you can take from Union Station. The Norton Simon has the LA metro area’s largest collection of impressionist masterpieces. In addition it has a large renaissance collection and a large collection of Indian art. The Norton Simon is also famous for its sculpture garden. It is part botanic garden and part museum. After you’re finished here you can walk down the street and go to any one of dozens of restaurants in Old Town Pasadena (I recommend Sushi Stop).

Eamon is a sophomore studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Linguistics. He is from Boulder, Colorado and enjoys running, reading, and watching TV. Eamon is obsessed with art and can be found at an art museum most weekends. Eamon has been learning Spanish since high school and is continuing it here at USC. He is also slowly learning Mandarin Chinese.