Situated in Hancock Park in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is dedicated to collecting works of art that represent Los Angeles's uniquely diverse population. Founded in 1965 and set on Museum Row, LACMA features a collection of more than 150,000 pieces of art dating from antiquity to the present, making it the largest art museum in the western United States today.
Encompassing the geographic world and the richly diverse world of art, the collection includes Latin American art, ranging from ancient pre-Columbian works to modern and contemporary pieces, Asian art, and one of the most significant gatherings of Islamic art. The internationally acclaimed museum also offers a range of outstanding educational programs, workshops and classes, and research facilities, as well as online collections, digital initiatives, and scholarly catalogs.
The mission of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is to collect, interpret, exhibit and conserve significant works of art that present a broad range of cultures and historical periods, as well as encourage and inspire the public to take an interest in them. The LACMA also aims to translate the collection into meaningful aesthetic, cultural, educational, and intellectual experiences for a wide range if audiences of all ages.
The idea for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was born from the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art, which was established in 1910 and located in Exposition Park. After a growing interest in arts and culture, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was established as a separate, art-focused institution in 1961 and opened to the public in 1965. At its opening, the museum was located on Wilshire Boulevard in its permanent collection in the Ahmanson Building, special exhibitions displayed in the Hammer Building and public programs hosted in the 600-seat Bing Theater.
The LACMA’s campus and the collection grew considerably, and the Anderson Building, now known as the Art of the Americas building was opened in 1986 to house the Museum’s expansive collection of modern and contemporary art. The innovative Pavilion for Japanese Art opened in 1988, and the May Company department store was transformed into what is known today as LACMA West in 1994.
The western half of the campus was recently revitalized by the Transformation project with a collection of buildings designed by the highly acclaimed architectural firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which includes the three-story 60,000 square foot Broad Contemporary Art Museum, the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, and Ray's restaurant and Stark Bar.
Today, the LACMA campus presents a comprehensive and innovative collection of art, special and traveling exhibitions, live performances, and an array of educational programs.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) features a collection of more than 150,000 pieces of art divided into sections by region, media, and time period and are spread throughout the buildings on the campus.
Housed in the Ahmanson Building, the Modern Art collection displays works from 1900 to the 1970s, including watercolors and paintings by Picasso, Klee, and Kandinsky, and sculptures by Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and Brancusi. Other significant genres include African Art and German Expressionism.
The Contemporary Art collection is displayed in the 60,000-square-foot Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and features the Eli and Edythe Broad Collection with works by Joan Miro, Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, Sam Francis, and Jasper Johns.
The Art of the Americas Building (formerly known as the Anderson Building) houses the American, Latin American and pre-Columbian art collections, which includes pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Modern art, as well as a 1,800 piece collection of 20th-century Mexican art. The Spanish Colonial collection includes works dating back to the 17th century by José de Ibarra, Miguel Cabrera, Diego Riviera, and Rufino Tamayo.
The Hammer Building houses the Asian collection, which includes the most comprehensive holdings of Chinese and Korean art in the west. Korean ceramics, a Chola Dynasty statue and 75 ancient Chinese works are displayed Pavilion for Japanese Art.
The second floor of the Ahmanson Building houses the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art collections, while the museum's Islamic galleries include over 1,700 works from enameled glass, ceramics, and manuscript illumination, to inlaid metalwork, carved stone and wood, and Islamic calligraphy. The collection also features Persian and Turkish glass and glazed pottery and tiles.
The Museum’s decorative arts and design collection include hundreds of accessories created between 1700 and 1915, including a vast array of hats, fans, purses, shoes, and shawls, as well as men’s and women’s clothing.
Permanent art installations at the LACMA include a contemporary sculpture garden with a curving reflecting pool and large-scale outdoor sculptures. A palm tree garden with over 100 palms surrounds the LACMA's courtyard and BCAM building with over 30 varieties of palms.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard in Hollywood and is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm with extended hours during the holidays.
Explore LACMA's collection and exhibitions through a variety of docent-led tours, ranging from engaging free daily tours, interactive family tours, educational school, scholar and student trips, and private, docent-led tours for permanent collections and special exhibitions.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Los Angeles
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036, website, Phone: 323-857-6000