LACMA

LACMA is one of the finest art museums in the country, and it features no fewer than 110,000 pieces for visitors to enjoy. These pieces date from past times to the present, and they include works by such renowned artists as Rembrandt and Monet. More formerly known as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this museum complex on Wilshire Drive covers approximately twenty acres and is comprised of seven different buildings. It's the largest museum of its kind west of Chicago, which means that visitors should budget at least a couple of hours if they want to get a good look.

There is a lot to take in at LACMA, and the various exhibits offer a comprehensive look at art through the ages. Some of the oldest pieces on display are part of the Art of the Ancient Americas exhibit. The highlight of this exhibit is the collection of objects from ancient Mexico, with the Masked Male Figure being one of the more interesting pieces. This curious ceramic sculpture comes from the Maya culture, and it dates back to around 700-900 A.D. Other exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that boast ancient pieces of considerable interest are the Egyptian Art exhibit and the Art of the Ancient Near East. Visitors to this amazing art museum in Los Angeles could spend hours alone admiring the pieces in these two exhibits, with highlights including an Egyptian sarcophagus and a sixth-century vase that was unearthed in Iran.

The exhibits at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art are numerous and varied. For those who are interested in fashion history, the Costume and Textiles exhibit deserves some extra time, while photography enthusiasts won't want to miss the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department. Some of the other permanent exhibits at LACMA include the South and Southeast Asian Art exhibit and the European Painting exhibit. The former offers pieces from countries including Thailand and Vietnam, while the latter highlights an array of priceless paintings. Among the highlights in the European Painting exhibit is The Raising of Lazarus by Rembrandt. This piece dates back to 1630 and depicts the culmination of the ministry of Christ. It was the only painting of this miraculous event that Rembrandt ever did.

LACMA was established in 1961, and it has been impressing visitors ever since. Before that, this renowned art museum in Los Angeles was part of a larger museum that is now the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Numerous additions to LACMA have been added over the years, including the 60,000-square-foot Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which opened in 2008. It is interesting to note that newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, was the largest benefactor of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art between the years of 1946 and 1951. To this day, no other donor has contributed more to LACMA's collection than Hearst.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art can be found at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard along the famed Museum Row. Adjacent to the museum are the La Brea Tar Pits and the George C. Page Museum. LACMA is open every day of the year, except for Wednesdays and major holidays, and general hours are noon to 8 p.m. After 5 p.m., visitors can pay what they want to get in, and the museum is free all day long on certain days of the year. For those who have to pay full price to get into this dynamic art museum in Los Angeles, the money is well worth it. In a city full of museums, LACMA stands out as one of the best, and since the collection is so large, repeat visits might be in order.

Image: LACMA/Brant Brogan

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