Los Angeles is an art town. From the galleries that dot Abbott Kinney in Venice to the high-profile institutions along Miracle Mile’s Museum Row, nearly every type of art is represented throughout the L.A.-area. As the art community in L.A. continues to earn recognition on a global scale, these four museums are at the heart of high art in the “City of Angels.”
For four decades, Downtown LA’s MOCA has been the city’s premiere destination for contemporary art lovers. Founded by artists, it’s a treasure trove of around 7,000 pieces from a wide range of artists. See works from the likes of photographers Diane Arbus and Ansel Adams, and painters Roy Lichtenstein and Willem De Kooning in the permanent collection. Temporary exhibitions are held in Little Tokyo, at the museum’s original (and largest) location, Geffen Contemporary.
Museum of Contemporary Art: 250 S Grand Ave and Geffen Contemporary, 152 North Central Ave
The Broad has been a success since it opened its doors in downtown Los Angeles in late 2015. The building’s striking architecture keeps the Instagram community happy, but the main draw of course, is the fabulous art inside. With pieces by artists like Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha, and Jeff Koons, this museum offers one of the most impressive permanent collections of post-war and contemporary art in the United States. The best thing about the museum—aside from its eye-catching honeycomb-like façade—is that admission is free. Just be sure to reserve tickets in advance to avoid long wait times. The Broad: 221 S. Grand Ave
The Getty Center has something for every art lover: Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculptures, decorative art, photographs from the 19th and 20th century, and gardens ideal for taking in the hilltop views. For fans of ancient Greek and Roman art, a trip to the property’s sister museum, the coastal Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, is also a must. The Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Dr. and The Getty Villa: 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades
Located on Miracle Mile’s Museum Row, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is home to more than 135,000 objects spanning more than 6,000 years of human creativity. While it’s impossible to see everything in the museum’s numerous galleries during one trip, the rotating exhibitions ensure that visitors have a reason to return. LACMA is also close to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and next to the future home of the Academy Museum. LACMA: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.
We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For more local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.
Photos courtesy of USC Digital Libraries, Los Angeles Public Library Digital Collections