15 essential museums to visit in Los Angeles
Don't leave LA—whether you're a resident or a tourist—without seeing these truly great LA attractions.
A complete guide to the Broad
Make the most of your visit with some tips to know before you arrive, our favorite works of art, things to do nearby and more.
Top 10 must-see works at LACMA
LACMA holds one of the most impressive collections of art in Los Angeles. Here are 10 art works you don’t want to miss.
Getty Center guide
A visit to the vast Getty Center can be dizzying. Only have a couple hours to spare? Here's how to turn a mid-day break at this LA museum into an enchanting escape.
Best off-the-beaten path museums
Looking for something different to do? From car culture to Cold War propaganda, our offbeat Los Angeles museum guide reveals the city's best lesser-known attractions.
Free museums and admission days
Museums in LA
Ongoing museum exhibitions
Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road
Taken over the course of six months at the Bel-Air residence of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, this exhibition from LA photographer Catherine Opie presents portraits of rooms, closets, shoes, clothing and jewelry that depict an indirect, yet deeply intimate, portrait of a life defined by wealth and fame. Photograph: Catherine Opie, Andy Warhol to Elizabeth (Self-Portrait Artist) from the 700 Nimes Road Portfolio, 2010-2011, pigment print, 16 ½ x 22 in., courtesy of the artist, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Lehmann Maupin, New York & Hong Kong
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957
North Carolina's experimental Black Mountain College managed to support some of the most influential contemporary thinkers in its short 24-year lifespan. Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Josef and Anni Albers, and Merce Cunningham studied and taught at the progressive liberal arts college. The Hammer Museum is examining BMC's legacy with more than 250 objects by nearly 100 artists who attended the interdisciplinary school, including two soundscapes, a grand piano and a dance floor for live performances. Josef Albers, Leaf Study IX. c. 1940. Leaves on paper, 28 x 24 ¾ inches. (c) The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society New York. Photo: Tim Nighswander/Imaging 4 Art.
Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints
Long before we began to associate "noir" with crime movies, it was just a French word for "black." But even then, "noir," was more than just a color; beginning around 1840, French artists began depicting shadowy, often nocturnal or twilight scenes in which forms emerge and sink back into darkness. The Getty is mounting an exhibition of drawings and prints from Rodolphe Bresdin, Maxime Lalanne, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and others that examine dream states as well as the use of new—at the time—black drawing materials. Photograph: Apparition (detail), about 1880–1890. Odilon Redon (French, 1840–1916). Charcoal, fusain and black pastel. The J. Paul Getty Museum.
Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts
Before we could bounce messages back and forth via wires and satellites, books were our primary way of sharing and discovering experiences beyond our own. This exhibition from at the Getty features illuminated manuscripts and painted book arts from the 9th through the 17th centuries that bring to life both the real and imagined places that made the jump from interconnected human thought to paper. Photograph: Scenes from the Life of David (detail), leaf from the Morgan Picture Bible, about 1250, Northern France, unknown artist. The J. Paul Getty Museum
Alex Israel at The Huntington
Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel is staging an "intervention" at the Huntington Library. Sixteeen of his paintings and sculptures plus two site-specific murals will be integrated into the museum's Gilded Age mansion. Driven by the cult of celebrity, Israel's bright, pop culture-inspired pieces provide a sharp contemporary contrast to the gallery's ornate decor and classic European artwork.
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium
The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will both be taking part in "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium." The two museums will run concurrent exhibitions about the late, provocative portrait photographer. The Getty's technical-leaning show (March 15–July 31, 2016) will delve into Mapplethorpe's disciplined studio practice, figure studies and legacy, while LACMA's creative-minded exhibition (March 20–July 31, 2016) will focus on his methods, sources and creative processes. More than 300 mostly black-and-white portraits, still lifes and nudes will be on display between the two museums—they jointly acquired most of the art and archives from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011, including private correspondence, books and ephemera from the late artist's estate. In addition, LACMA will be featuring 30 complementary works from other artists as part of "Physical: Sex and the Body in the 1980s." Photograph: Self-Portrait, 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe. Photograph: Courtesy Getty/LACMA