or drag this pin anywhere on the map
More than 150000 works spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present
It all starts with the new entrance: the BP Grand Pavilion, which at last gives the museum a proper focal point. The new entrance included the installation of Chris Burden’s Urban Light, a piece made up of 202 cast-iron street lamps gathered from around LA, restored to working order and then installed in a grid network.
But the most exciting development is the newly constructed Broad Contemporary Art Museum (widely known as BCAM), funded by LA philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and now home to a dazzling selection of modern work. Spread over three floors, the selection of pieces on display is strong on American artists – there’s a very impressive Richard Serra piece on the first floor; Cindy Sherman and Jenny Holzer are among the artists represented on the second floor; and the third floor, enlightened by a glass ceiling, holds classic pieces by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and local artist Ed Ruscha.
The Ahmanson Building has also been spruced up as part of the renovation work, and the collections reorganised. The modern collection on the ground floor holds works by the likes of Picasso, Mondrian, Klee and Kandinsky; upstairs, the Greek and Roman art collections are now housed in a space that benefits from huge picture windows and, thus, lots of natural light. The American art collection has also been reinstalled on the second floor of the Art of the Americas building, where you’ll also find the Latin American collection.
Despite all this activity, the work is far from complete. Phase two of the transformation calls for the renovation of LACMA West, housed in the old May Co department store building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax but strangely underused over the last few years, and the construction of a new, single-storey building behind BCAM that will house temporary exhibits.
And phase three provisionally calls for the renovation of the galleries untouched by phases one and two, which at present contain an array of European art (including Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces by the likes of Cézanne, Gauguin and Degas), a world-renowned collection of Islamic art, plenty of pieces from Africa and, in the Japanese Art Pavilion, all manner of delightful pieces from the far east.
The precise plans for phase three have yet to be finalised and may require the temporary closure of some galleries – call ahead if your interest is limited to a particular area. The permanent collections are supplemented by some excellent temporary shows and a very strong programme of events, among them film screenings and plenty of free music. Full details of all events, including the variety of daily tours, are available on the museum’s website.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA , Los Angeles
Phone: 1-323 857 6000
Open Hours: noon- 8pm Mon, Tue, Thur; noon-9pm Fri; 11am-8pm Sat, Sun.
Price: Cost money