Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

When it opened in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was the largest new art museum the country had seen in a quarter century. The museum rose on the site of the old adobe and tree-shaded home ranch that the Hancock family donated to the county for a park in 1916. Three original LACMA buildings faced onto Wilshire from a raised plaza, with fountains and a reflecting pool along the boulevard. The original complex included the four-story Ahmanson Gallery housing the permanent collection, the Lytton Gallery with changing exhibitions, and the Leo S. Bing Center with a 600-seat auditorium.

A decade after its opening, the museum's water features were filled in and replaced with a sculpture garden, partly out of concern over oil and gas seepage. In the 1980s, a major renovation radically altered the museum's presence on Wilshire Boulevard. The Robert O. Anderson wing, housing LACMA's twentieth-century art collection, now fronts Wilshire with a wall of glazed limestone and glass block. 

Courtesy Ben Weber

Museum of Neon Art (MONA)

What began forty years ago with two artists and a few discarded signs has flourished into a well-respected museum, preserving and celebrating the rich cultural history of L.A. through its neon lights.