Los Angeles Museums and Galleries
Hauser & Wirth
901 E. 3rd St., Downtown
While the Arts District gets buzzier by the day, the arrival of Hauser & Wirth, the massive new spin-off of the Swiss gallery, has transformed the neighborhood. Here, occupying a block-wide stretch of 19th-and 20th-century buildings that previously served as a flour mill complex, the space feels anything but a traditional white-box gallery. Look for pieces by important local artists like Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford, and Richard Jackson. Through the end of the year, catch a survey of Austrian painter Maria Lassnig. The multi-use space also includes an education center, ARTBOOK shop, and even a community garden.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., South Central
Since the early 1900s, L.A.'s Natural History Museum has been playing host to millions of artefacts from the past five or so billion years—and the collection keeps growing. (In 2011, they opened Dinosaur Hall.)
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., The Valley
The Skirball Cultural Center, a Jewish cultural institution that offers everything from exhibits to readings to recitals, is also home to architect Moshe Safdie's Arc, an incredible installation that occupies an 8,000 square foot gallery. Kids can climb aboard the wooden ship and interact with the animals, crafted with everything from rope, to recycled newspaper, to keyboards, and vegetable steamers. Make reservations well in advance.
Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City
Honor Fraser Gallery is one of LA's premier galleries for contemporary art.
Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz
Overlooking the Hollywood Hills and crowned by Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House, built in the early ‘20s for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, this park draws locals and tourists alike for art classes, outdoor movies, and Friday afternoon wine tastings.
Blum & Poe
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City
If you're an artist in LA, one of your goals is probably to get a show at Blum & Poe, one of, if not the, best LA galleries for contemporary art. It's a wonderfully big and airy space, and there's always something interesting showing.
Jancar Gallery (Closed)
3875 Wilshire Blvd., Downtown
Expect modern art in all forms of media, particularly photographs and videos, in this utilitarian space.
456 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills
Any artist shown at this particular Gagosian has to compete with the clean, sleek architecture of this four-room space. Its opening parties are particularly wonderful.
Murphy Sculpture Garden
Charles E. Young Dr. E., Westwood
Sculptural works from the likes of Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Mattisse, Isamu Noguchi, and others, sprawl across five acres of UCLA’s campus. You can wander around yourself, or arrange a tour though they book up far in advance.
10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
There’s always something excellent on display at this UCLA museum—it’s also nicely manageable, making it the perfect way to spend a few idle hours. The adjacent museum store is one of the best in the city: The bookstore is gigantic, and they have some great gifts from L.A.-based designers, but they win the biggest points for their kids room in the back, where you’ll find art and design-specific tomes for little ones, along with a handful of well-conceived toys.
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