If you’ve had your fill of Hollywood while visiting Los Angeles, having seen the Dolby Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and other iconic places and still want to see something more, a visit to Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA for short – is something you will simply cherish, even if you’re not into art.
Located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. It boasts of more than 140,000 works from all eras – ancient times to the current period. In addition, the museum also features films and concerts.
This museum is certainly a Mecca for the connoisseurs of art and art aficionados since it not only showcases a multitude of art histories, but also a spirit of experimentation involving artists, technologists, and great thinkers. It’s not surprising that this museum experiences millions of footfalls every year.
LACMA, established as a museum in 1961, was previously a part of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. It was thanks to the efforts of Howard F Ahmanson, Sr., who not only convinced the museum board to establish a separate museum but also backed it up with a donation of $2 million.
The construction of the museum began in 1963 and comprises three buildings – the Ahmanson Building, the Bing Center and the Lytton Gallery that is now called the Frances and Armand Hammer Building. The three buildings cost $11.5 million. Totally dedicated to art, this museum is counted among the largest museums in the US, after the National Gallery of Art.
LACMA showcases a mind-boggling collection of art that ranges from modern and contemporary to American and Latin American to Asian to Greek, Roman and Etruscan to Islamic. It also showcases other decorative arts and installations.
The modern art collection is displayed in the Ahmanson Building and boasts of works by Picasso, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and other celebrated artists. In the same building is located the Greek and Roman art galleries.
The American and Latin American art is housed in the Art of the Americas Building and includes pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, modern and contemporary works. The Asian art is displayed in the Hammer Building that includes Indian, Chinese and Korean collections.
Besides the art collections, the museum also exhibits a number of permanent art installations, such as Retrospective Column, Hello Girls, Smoke, and many more. Comparatively recently, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department was opened in the museum that displays a huge photo collection. In addition, LACMA screens movies that include classics, new releases, documentaries, etc. under its film program.