Museums in Los Angeles

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In the late 1980s, the Simon Wiesenthal Center gathered top museum leaders and representatives to discuss new ways of teaching tolerance to a younger generation. Since 1993, the Museum of Tolerance has encouraged visitors to contemplate the effects of intolerance with interactive exhibits on the Holocaust as well as present-day discrimination. The guided, 70-minute sound-and-light presentation at the Holocaust exhibit recreates Nazi-occupied Europe, and the Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves exhibit showcases diversity through the personal histories of several American celebrities, including Billy Crystal and Carlos Santana. Some of the museum's features also examine more recent issues, such as the Tolerancenter, which highlights the struggles of the civil-rights movement and enlightens museum goers on contemporary human-rights violations. The museum also hosts special exhibitions, live testimonies from Holocaust survivors, and youth programs, such as anti-bullying workshops.

9786 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Since its inception in 1979, The Museum of Contemporary Art has devoted itself to post-1940 artwork, a focus that sets it apart from all other Los Angeles museums. Its permanent collection harbors more than 5,000 art objects, encompassing media from video installations and documentary photography to pop art. Works from renowned artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Diane Arbus share gallery space with pieces from up-and-coming artists across the museum?s three facilities.

To complement its permanent collection, the museum hosts rotating temporary exhibits, such as the current Mike Kelley exhibit, which explores american pop culture through irreverent, multimedia pieces. The museum staff also augments these displays with events, such as their screening series in collaboration with the Los Angeles Filmforum, which explores the intersection of experimental film and art like a projection screen sewn with pages from DaVinci?s journal.

152 N Central Ave
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Exhibitions and lifelike dioramas containing more than 150 vehicles sprawl across Petersen Automotive Museum's 300,000-square-foot confines, illustrating the impact of the automobile on American culture. On the first floor, permanent collections elucidate with detailed displays covering the role of the car in Los Angeles and motion picture, the history of alternative power, and the favorite engine sounds of each president. The Hot Wheels Hall of Fame parades more than 1,000 Hot Wheels vehicles, original models, and design sketches. Five galleries on the second floor shelter rotating exhibits, and the third floor's May Family Discovery Center introduces tykes to the fundamental functions of cars with interactive driving stations. Patrons wander among the extensive displays individually or join tours for groups, schools, car clubs, or families of parking cones.

6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Photographer Stuart Townsley uses a trained eye and high-tech equipment to capture memories into frameworthy prints and digital art, using 10 of LA's most attractive landmarks as backdrops. The famed local sites where he sets up camp—such as the roaring Pacific Ocean under Santa Monica Pier or the 1930s architecture and picturesque fountain of Union Station—elegantly complement subjects' smiling visages. His shutter snaps hundreds of times during each photo shoot, immortalizing the faces, poses, and secret handshakes of families and well-behaved pets. Well-versed in state-of-the-art retouching gear, Stuart unfurls his astutely edited creations onto glossy prints, canvases, and online albums.

Stuart's advice on what to wear and bring to shoots, garnered through 12 years of professional experience, conveniently resides online to aid in the selection of appropriate outfits for every mother, father, child, or hamster.

5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Rated “very highly recommended” by Frommer’s, the Smithsonian-affiliated Japanese American National Museum is one of the largest museums in the United States dedicated to sharing the untold stories, the fascinating culture, and the rich history of Japanese Americans. With more than 60,000 artifacts and a rotation series of exhibitions, the Japanese American National Museum offers hours of information displays, including the current Zen Garage exhibit. Holding an array of public programs, film screenings, arts-and-crafts workshops, and cooking seminars throughout the year, the Japanese American National Museum was recently awarded the 2010 Institute of Museums and Library Services’ National Medal, the nation's highest honor for museums and its second-highest honor for monocle-wearing intellectual dolphins. Those purchasing the Supporting membership will receive discounts on museum store items, and film, concert, lecture, and workshop tickets, as well as the following:

369 E 1st St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

A non-profit venue for and supporter of avant-garde contemporary art, LACE provides an artistic outlet unfettered by the demands of commerce. In its 30-year history, the organization has opened eyeballs to the work of more than 5,000 creative minds, including artists such as Martin Kersels, Nancy Rubins, and Johanna Went. Use your friend-level membership to preview exhibitions—such as the upcoming Los Angeles Goes Live: Exploring a Social History of Performance Art in Southern California, 1970–1983, opening in October 2011—before they're open to the public, giving you a small window of time in which to observe the art before children can attempt to smear it with peanut butter. Members also receive complimentary or reduced admission to special events such as the annual winter fundraiser and the LACE 10K, a steptacular art walk that immerses culture vultures in the greatest art form of them all, physical fitness.

6522 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles,
CA
US