Selections from more than 3,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures are rotated in changing exhibits at the Long Beach Museum of Art, capturing in one swoop approximately 300 years of artistic history. Ceramics from the 1700s, early 20th-century European art, and modern visions from local artists are permanent fixtures in the museum. These pieces are joined by an array of temporary exhibits, such as Catherine Opie's photographs and a tribute to the late artist Karl Benjamin, known for his vibrant geometric paintings and ability to draw perfect equilateral triangles.
As a community-driven organization, Long Beach Museum of Art survives on donations. In turn, it provides the public with educational and cultural programs, such as free monthly workshops and tours for local school groups. After a trip to the museum, visitors can enjoy a meal at Claire’s, an oceanside restaurant that houses Claire Falkenstein’s water sculpture, Structure and Flow.
While wandering the Museum of Latin American Art's permanent collection of works?from artists native to 20 Latin American countries?it might come as a surprise that the space was once home to a roller-skating rink and a silent-movie studio. Its transformation into one of the country's only museums dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art was the work of physician, philanthropist, and patron of the arts Dr. Robert Gumbiner. He acquired the properties and founded the museum in 1996, revamping the Hippodrome into galleries alive with Latin American music, paintings, and video.
Since that time, the museum has doubled in size, adding a 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden and expanding its collection to include masters such as Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Sebasti?n Matta, Los Carpinteros, and Tunga. The site now serves as a beacon of Latin American culture, showcasing artists who made names for themselves in their own countries but may not be well known in the United States.
Beyond the eye-catching exhibitions, which have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the museum offers educational programs and events such as concerts, film showings, and children?s art camps. Each is an outgrowth of the museum?s mission to stimulate the intellect and cultivate an appreciation for Latin America?s contributions to the world of art.