Lost in LA – Museums!

25 Apr


For the second largest city in the USA, LA doesn’t seem to have nearly as many museums as it should…but maybe that’s just a hopeful future museum professional speaking. LA! Add more museums! I want a job!

That being said, some of the museums LA does have are very special spaces. Here’s a list of my favorites.

1. The weirdest, wackiest museum out there:

The Museum of Jurassic Technology

9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Museum of Jurassic Technology

I probably shouldn’t start with the Museum of Jurassic Technology, as it’s almost impossible to explain what it is. Art project? Collection of oddities? Crazy person’s lair? Probably a little bit of all those things.

Tucked into a small space on a non-descript section of Venice Blvd, the Museum of Jurassic Technology collects and displays some of the weirdest stuff out there. Dioramas of trailer parks. Check. Art work so small that it fits in the eye of a needle. Yep. A hall of paintings dedicated to the Soviet space program dogs. Well, of course.

@ museum of jurassic technology

So, go in. Leave your cynicism at the door, and prepare to be just a bit weirded out.

2. The museum with the million dollar view

The Getty

1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

An Evening at The Getty

What a view! The Getty is perched on a mountain between the ocean and the rest of Los Angeles, and the architect who designed the space knew enough to take advantage of it. Views EVERYWHERE! Gardens EVERYWHERE! The art collection is not as exciting as it could be, but it does get some good visiting exhibits. Really, it’s just a nice place to visit and enjoy the weather.

Getty Center Garden

The Getty Center also owns the Getty Villa, up in Malibu. This space is dedicated to ancient Greek and Roman art, and is very pretty also. It’s free, but you do have to book ahead. Worth it.

The Getty Villa

3. The museum with the stars…and another killer view

The Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Los Angeles view

Looking over downtown LA, Griffith Observatory houses a small museum dedicated to all things space. It’s a really beautiful space, both inside and out, and the exhibits are interactive enough to entertain both adults and kids. Sometimes sky watcher groups bring out their telescopes for the public to use too. The Observatory is based on the top of the Hollywood Hills in Griffith Park, so there’s a nice, fairly easy hike that starts from its parking lot that gives you a great view of the Hollywood Sign. You get to hit so many LA things in one stop!
Where the City Meets the Sky

Plus the view of downtown LA? Unbeatable.

4. For your taxidermy needs

Natural History Museum

900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

You’ve probably been to a natural history museum before, and the one in LA is fairly typical. But, um, even a typical natural history museum is awesome! The LA one has a lot of dioramas to stare at, a whole bunch of dinosaur bones, and a gem room that makes me consider the life of a jewel thief. They have some creatures on display that will freak you out a bit at the weirdness of nature (Dude. The Megamouth shark thing. BIZARRE).

During the winter and spring, on the first Friday of the month, the very cool NPR station KCRW and the museum team up to offer late night entertainment at the museum. If there’s anything better than sipping a gin and tonic while listening to a cool band and looking at fossils, I don’t want to know about it.
Elephant Onlookers
5. If you want to look at art…and then some more art…and more art.


5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036


LACMA is huge. So many buildings. The permanent collection ranges from four hundred year old Japanese prints to “Levitated Mass”–a giant rock that sits above a walkway below. There are pieces by Monet, Renoir, Diego Rivera, Picasso, Warhol, etc. The contemporary art collection is impressive. There are pieces from all over the world. Honestly, everything is here.

Even this painting from The Little Mermaid lives at LACMA!

little mermaid fire

And if you want to be like an LA fashion blogger, you’ll take a bunch of pictures of yourself in the lamps out front.

in the twilight zone

6. If photography is your thing…

The Annenberg Space for Photography

2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067

Century City, Annenberg Space for Photography

The Annenberg Space for Photography is tucked in the corporate center of LA. It seems like the least inspiring place for a photography gallery, but the museum really dazzles. It’s small, which means that the collection there is focused and well-curated. I’ve been to exhibits there on such varied topics as the nature of beauty (the guy I was dating at the time was very lucky to get to go too. So many boobs.) and sports. Right now, they have an exhibit up about war photography. Gripping stuff in a space that was custom built for it.

BEAUTY CULTURE at The Annenberg Space for Photography

As in my other Lost in LA posts, I did not take these photos. Please click on the photo to go to the super talented photographer’s Flickr page.


2 Responses to “Lost in LA – Museums!”

  1. Laura Rowsell (@LauraRowsell) April 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    You make me want to go to LA SO much, and I don’t think anything has ever done that for me before! So, you’re doing good work here, lady 🙂

  2. Angie April 26, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    What a great list! I love the Getty even though my main memory of it is falling down the stairs on my last visit.

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