The same Saturday we spent exploring Griffith and eating at The Counter, we participated in Free Museum Day LA. You can guess from the name what this day entails. Various museums in LA, which normally charge for admission, offer free entry to everyone for the entire day.
This year the following museums participated:
- Annenberg Space for Photography
- Armory Center for the Arts
- Autry National Center of the American West
- California African American Museum
- California Science Center
- Fowler Museum at UCLA
- The Getty Center and Getty Villa
- Hammer Museum
- Japanese American National Museum
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial (Hollywood and San Pedro)
- Museum of Contemporary Art
We chose to explore the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or LACMA. It is one of my favorite museums in LA and I have had the privilege of visiting a few times. LACMA is located on Wilshire Blvd. at Fairfax Avenue. As it was already on our way home, we figured it would be the best place to stop. We were not alone in that thought. The museum was packed (for obvious reasons) but the crowds became an exhibit in and of themselves. It was a little mesmerizing to see so many people seeing so much art all at once.
Because of the massive amount of people there, and a lack of long term parking, we didn’t have a ton of time to walk the galleries. Most of our hour and a half was spent in the Ahmanson Building. We walked through the second floor which houses galleries for Modern Art, German Expressionism, and a number of private collections. I was happy to revisit some of my favorites (unfortunately I wasn’t able to jot notes and juggle my camera at the same time – so specific titles and artists will have to come later with a more comprehensive visit). There is a lot of art to look at but I squeezed through to capture a couple interesting pieces.
Near the end of our time in the galleries we caught up with some friends (a difficult thing given the intensity of the day) and we moved over to the Broad Contemporary Art Museum building. This part of campus houses the famous “Metropolis II” installation by Chris Burden. Chris’s work is an amazing kinetic sculpture depicting cities from all over the world in one massive metropolis. You can watch the cars move nearly every other hour when they run the circuit. Living in LA, we can definitely relate to the hustle and bustle of city life shown in “Metropolis II”. It’s such a cool condensed picture of the mechanics of life.
Our last stop was of course Burden’s other famous installation known as “Urban Light”. This features 202 street lamps restored from the 20s and 30s. I read that most of them once lit the streets of Southern California. Very cool. We love learning more about LA’s history.
Free Museum Day is a fun way to see some exhibits without having to pay the sometimes pricier fee of entry. Although the crowds prevented us from seeing a lot up close, it was neat to look at a selection of art with so many people. And of course, it’s always nice to run into friends.
You can check out LACMA here. They offer free admission after 3pm Mon-Fri for LA County residents! We might be taking advantage of that very very soon 🙂