Memorial Day Weekend 2012 at L.A. Museums

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Looking for something to do Memorial Day weekend?  Why not see some art, or just stroll in the gardens at one of Los Angeles’ great art and cultural museums.  Here are my best picks for museum activities over the  holiday weekend.


Family Star Gazing: Now what could be better than exploring the night sky at The Huntington’s Family Star Gazing event? Families start the evening with a special presentation by a Jet Propulsion Laboratory educator.  Then its time for star gazing with the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers on the Huntington’s Library lawn, and  the science exhibits in Dibner Hall will be open too (Saturday, May 26). Tickets required.

Getty Center Gardens Reopen:  The Getty Center’s spectacular Central Garden, designed by artist Robert Irwin, reopens to the public this Saturday, May 26.  It’s been closed since February for maintenance to the walk-ways and planters. To mark the occasion, the Getty Restaurant will be featuring specially priced Grove Margaritas and Garden Martinis this Saturday and Sunday.  For families, check out the Getty’s family activity for the Central Garden Gardens as a Work of Art. Note the Getty Center Museum is closed Monday.

CAFAM Opening Reception: If you’re looking for an inexpensive and inspiring night out, don’t miss the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s opening reception celebrating two new exhibitions: Baseball: The All American Game (description below), and Production or Destruction, a solo exhibition of ceramist Ehren Tool (Saturday, May 26, 6-9 pm).

Memorial Day: If you’ve got Memorial Day off (Monday, May 28), there’s a Target Free Holiday event at LACMA with live music by George Kahn Jazz and Blues Revue, bilingual tours, and activities for all ages.

Art Museums open on Monday:  The Getty Villa in Malibu, the Huntington, LACMA, MOCA, and the Norton Simon will be open this Monday  — a great opportunity to check-out some of the following new (and closing) exhibitions.


Baseball: The All American Game at CAFAM highlights over 40 works of baseball-inspired folk art and objects from the collection of Gary Cypres, owner of one of the largest sports memorabilia collections in the world (opens May 26).

Project Mah Jongg at the Skirball is an exhibition about the history and meanings of the game of Mah Jongg, a popular American Jewish tradition since the 1920’s. Outside the exhibition, Kids can play a special game using Mah Jongg tiles plus other classic board games like checkers (opens May 17).

Herb Ritts: L.A. Style  at the Getty Center (April 3-August 26,2012) – This exhibition features a selection of L.A.-based photographer Herb Ritts’ vintage prints, magazine covers, Polaroids, and video projects.

Visions of Empire:  The Quest for a Railroad Across American, 1840-1880 at the Huntington (April 21-July 23). Train buffs are sure to enjoy the exhibition’s 200 collection items (including original letters, diaries, photos) chronicling the early days of U.S. railroad history, many on display for the first time.

Pearl of the Snowlands: Tibetan Buddhist Printing from the Derge Parkhang at the Fowler Museum. The exhibition includes twenty-five woodblock prints along with photographs depicting Tibetan architecture and ancient hand-printing process (now open).

The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol at MOCA Grand Avenue explores the recent transformation of abstract painting in contemporary art (now open).


California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way at LAMCA will be closing in a few weeks on Sunday, June 3.  Don’t miss this impressive survey of midcentury design, with almost 300 objects ranging from furniture to surfboards to even an entire Eames living room.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and I’ll see you in the galleries!


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