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Fodor's Southern California 2014
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Review
Without a doubt, LACMA is the focal point of the museum district that runs along Wilshire Boulevard. Chris Burden's Urban Light sculpture, composed of more than two hundred restored cast iron antique street lamps, elegantly illuminates the building's facade.
Inside, visitors will find one of the country's most comprehensive collections of more than 100,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present. Since opening in 1965, the museum has grown into a complex of several different buildings interconnected via walkways, stretching across a 20-acre campus.
Works from the museum's rotating permanent collection include Latin American artists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, prominent Southern California artists, collections of Islamic and European art, paintings by Henri Matisse and Rene Magritte, as well as works by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. There's also a solid collection of art representing the ancient civilizations of Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome, plus a vast costume and textiles collection dating back to the 16th century.
As part of an ambitious 10-year face-lift plan that is becoming a work of art on its own, entitled "Transformation: The LACMA Campaign," the museum is adding buildings and exhibition galleries, and redesigning public spaces and gardens.
In early 2008, the impressive Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) opened. With three vast floors, BCAM integrates contemporary art into LACMA's collection, exploring the interplay of current times with that of the past. In 2010, the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion was added, a stunning, light-filled space designed by Renzo Piano.
LACMA's other buildings include the Ahmanson Building, which contains African, Middle Eastern, South and Southeast Asian collections, as well as the Gore Rifkind Gallery for German Expressionism; the Art of the Americas building; the Pavilion for Japanese Art, featuring scrolls, screens, drawings, paintings, textiles, and decorative arts from Japan; the Bing Center, a research library, resource center, and film theater; and the Boone's Children's Gallery, located inside the Korean art galleries in the Hammer Building, where story time and brush paint lessons are just some of the kids' activities offered. The museum organizes special exhibitions and hosts major traveling shows.
Temporary exhibits sometimes require tickets purchased in advance, so check the calendar ahead of time.
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