Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Travel Tyro: LA is for Art Lovers

As an unabashed art fiend, my friend had already anticipated that an art museum (or two) would inevitably end up on my list of things to see while visiting LA during spring break. From a day trip to Malibu where we squeezed in a quick visit to the Getty Villa to rainy day museum hopping at the Broad, FIDM Museum, and LACMA, I got to experience some of SoCal's most iconic art museums.

Getty Villa

The Getty Center is arguably one of LA's most popular museums, but unfortunately I didn't have time to see both the museum and villa. While I love a good art museum, I can never refuse the opportunity to visit an estate with all of its unique quirks, history, and character.

The Getty Villa was commissioned by American industrialist J. Paul Getty in the early 1970s to be a modern copy of a first century Roman country house. The architecture is simply stunning and certainly makes you feel as if you've been temporarily transported to Italy. Today, the villa holds collections of about 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan artifacts that span over 7,000 years, but my favorite part of the house were the expansive open gardens that are truly central to the villa itself.


The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising or FIDM is one of the most prominent fashion schools on the west coast and like New York's FIT, the school has an ever-growing collection of high fashion from the past and present that is often curated into an exhibition at its museum. Currently, the museum's annual motion picture costume design exhibition highlights some of Hollywood's most recent Academy Award-winning designs including Cinderella, Brooklyn, and the Danish Girl. It was surreal seeing so many distinct costumes up close and the minuscule design details that don't get magnified on the big screen.

The Broad

The Broad is a new museum in DTLA known for its postwar and contemporary art collections with its "veil and vault" space that's uniquely designed to offer glimpses of both the public galleries and behind the scenes storage rooms. The museum's current infinity room is extremely popular on Instagram, but my friend and I opted to skip the hour-long line and instead enjoyed the vast exhibitions on display including some Koons and Warhol.  

The Walt Disney Concert Hall (across from the Broad) is every architect enthusiast's dream. Built by Frank Gehry, for the LA Philharmonic, the curved titanium building's deconstructionist style is a real stand out in the middle of DTLA. 

Wayfarer Chapel

While not exactly located in DTLA, nestled among redwood trees on the cliffs of Palos Verdes sits the open glass church, Wayfarers Chapel, that offers soaring ocean views and a tranquil fusion of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and nature.


We missed the museum hours at the Los Angeles Museum of Art (better known as LACMA), but we did stop for an Instagrammable photo op with the outside light installation. Like the Broad, LACMA has an extensive collection of modern art and I'd definitely like to go back on my next visit to LA!

Who: Everyone who appreciates a good Koons, costume design, and architectural gems
What: LA's fine art and architectural delights of  
When: All year round
Why: LA is becoming a growing hub for arts and culture. This NY Times article puts it best. 

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