I’ve come to realize that going to school in Los Angeles is not so bad (despite the heat). LA is a huge city just begging to be explored. There will always be a new restaurant to try or a screening to go see. One of the many things to do in this city is to visit some of the many museums. I, sadly, have not visited many of them, but the ones I’ve been to have all been fun experiences.
One of the most famous museums is probably the Getty Museum. There are two campuses: the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Center is a huge museum at the top of a hill and has rooms dedicated to art like old renaissance paintings and ancient sculptures. What I remember most from my visit was the garden. While the museum is famous for its art pieces, it also has a beautiful garden full of flowers and some meandering dirt paths. There is also another part of the museum called the Getty Villa out by Malibu. It’s much smaller than the Getty Center, but if you go on a sunny day, LA does not get more beautiful than this. The Getty Villa is off the Pacific Coast Highway, up a long winding road in the hills off the highway. Once there, your view will open up to an expansive villa that overlooks the ocean; it will feel like you’ve been transported to a summer vacation home in Italy. The museum is filled with Greek and Roman art and even houses an actual mummy. The Villa also has a garden in back with big columns and a beautiful view of the ocean. I highly recommend going on a sunny day.
In addition to the Getty, there are museums like LACMA, MOCA, and the Broad. These museums exhibit more contemporary art unlike the Getty’s classical pieces. I’ve only been to LACMA, but I’ve heard amazing things about all three. LACMA is probably the most famous out of the three with its iconic streetlight sculpture out front. When I first went, I didn’t realize how huge the museum was. LACMA is made up of several buildings and it takes hours to get through even one. It was fun when I went though because they had a special exhibit on the famous movie director Guillermo del Toro. The exhibit was full of his inspirations – all very creepy. There were even life size models and costumes of characters from his films like Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth. I want to go to LACMA again so I can explore the rest of the museum. You definitely need more than one day.
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.
If you’re staying local during the winter break, now would be a great time to go on a museum-hopping adventure. Many of the country’s finest museums are scattered around the Los Angeles area and conveniently accessible from USC. Each museum features something unique, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and new media, and showcases various time periods from ancient to classical to contemporary. I have listed some of my favorite museums as well as fun places to eat and explore after your visits.
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Downtown Los Angeles is located across the street from the Broad Museum, which makes for a fun, double-museum day visit. The MOCA’s permanent collection includes works from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollack. Its featured exhibitions are always fun, thought- provoking, and always changing.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, located in the Little Tokyo Historic District, is the sibling museum of MOCA on Grand Avenue. Pro tip: present the ticket stub from your first MOCA visit and receive free admission to the other MOCA museum, if visited on the same day.