6 Great Things to Do at L.A. Museums this Summer

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From exhibitions about modern architecture in L.A to ancient art in Sicily, you don’t have to travel far to get inspired this summer. Here are 6 summer fun things to do at L.A. art and cultural museums for everyone. See you in the galleries!

1. A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living, Hammer Museum (through September 8, 2013).

Mid-century modern architecture fans will enjoy this survey of Los Angeles-based architect A. Quincy Jones.  Original architectural drawings and vintage photographs illustrate Jones’s vision for expansive and thoughtful interior spaces that promote “better living.” The exhibition’s scholarly approach has lots to read so I’m recommending it for adults and teens – the Junior Architect Handbook activity book is great for older kids. Ages 12+

2. Beyond Brancusi: The Space of SculptureNorton Simon Museum (through January 6, 2014).

Discover how Brancusi’s groundbreaking use of space and material influenced the great artists of the 20th Century. The exhibition features nineteen modern sculptures from the museum’s permanent collection by notable artists such as Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, and Robert Irwin. Afterwards, enjoy lunch or a snack in the Patina-operated Garden Café. All ages.

3. Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open, Skirball Cultural Center (through August 18, 2013).

This thoroughly engaging exhibition celebrates artist Gary Baseman’s creativity and family, and everything that’s important in life. Fashioned after Baseman’s childhood home in Los Angeles, the exhibition includes an eclectic mix of Baseman’s artwork, personal memorabilia, and his parent’s mid-century furniture (see my review). All ages. Best Pick: Families

4. James Turrell: A Retrospective, LACMA (through April 6, 2014).

James Turrell’s immersive light installations have to be experienced to be believed. Get ready to have your visual perception and your mind altered. See the exhibition on a Summer Late Friday (July 5-Aug 30) when the galleries and Stark Bar are open until 11:00 pm, and there’s free Friday Night Jazz. Timed ticket reservations required. All ages. Best Pick: Night Out

5. Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940-1990Getty Center (through July 21, 2013):

Overdrive explores L.A.’s extraordinary expansion and architectural innovation in the postwar era. Drawings, models, photos, and films document the city’s future-driven, cutting-edge, architectural icons like the Capitol Records Tower and the LAX Theme Building. The exhibiiton In Focus: Ed Ruscha remains on view until September 29. Both exhibitions are part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. All ages.

6. Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and RomeGetty Villa Museum (through August 19, 2013).

Filled with treasures from ancient Sicily, this exhibition is sure to captivate all ages (see my review). You’ll find rare coins, jewelry, vases, and sculptures like The Mozia Charioteer — one of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek art. And nothing beats a stroll in the Villa’s Herb Garden on a warm summer day. All Ages. Best Pick: Out of Town Guests


Images Credits:
A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, Architects. Milton S. Tyre House 1951-54. Photo by Jason Schmit, 2012, courtesy of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
DeWain Valentine, Large Wall, 1968, Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist © 2013 DeWain Valentine.
Living Room in Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open, Skirball Cultural Center. Photo courtesy of dailydujour.com
James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr.
Banner, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.
Coin with a Head of Apollo (detail), 410–403 B.C., Sikeliote (Sicilian Greek), minted in Katane. Courtesy of the Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi, Syracuse.




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