Los Angeles is a city rich with history and culture. We’ve comprised a review of some of the top Los Angeles Museums with links to their sites.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Since its inception in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. Today LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes nearly 130,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art.
Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, an exceptional business leader and a man of vision. During his lifetime, Huntington amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established an impressive art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from around the globe.
California Science Center
The Science Center is open to the public seven days a week, 362 days per year, with free general admission to its permanent exhibit galleries. The facility, which opened in February 1998, spans more than 400,000 sq. feet and includes four major exhibit areas.
USS Iowa Battleship Museum
Battleship IOWA is the West Coast’s only Battleship open to the public. Operated by the nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center (PBC), the IOWA opened on July 7, 2012 as an interactive naval museum at the L.A. Waterfront. It is dedicated to “Celebrating the American Spirit” through the preservation and interpretation of the Battleship IOWA.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The NHMLA has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history, more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. Its curatorial staff not only cares for those collections but uses them for groundbreaking scientific and historical research.
Located on the Walk of Fame next door to the TCL Chinese Theatre, the famed LA attraction, Madame Tussauds Hollywood offers guests the ultimate celebrity experience. Here are a few big names you can meet and pose with for great keepsake photographs. Michael Jackson, Selena Quintanilla Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Marilyn Monroe, Kobe Bryant, and Johnny Depp are just some of the stars.
The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and offers free general admission. The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.
The Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of Southern California’s most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. The Observatory is the best vantage point for observing the world-famous Hollywood Sign.
Hollywood Bowl Museum
The museum opened in 1984 in what was originally the Tea Room. It was completely rebuilt as the Edmund D. Edelman Hollywood Bowl Museum in 1996 to provide a historical context for this iconic venue. The museum is a celebration of one of Los Angeles’ most historic landmarks. This venue has played a major role in music, entertainment and has helped shape the careers of some of America’s most famous performers.
Museum of Flying
Originally established in 1974 as the Douglas Museum and Library, the Museum first opened in 1979 at 2800 Airport Avenue. The Museum was founded by Donald Douglas Jr, the second President of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The collection consisted primarily of artifacts and the ephemera of Donald Wills Douglas Sr., the Founder and President of the Douglas Aircraft Company, however, the collection did not include any aircraft.
In the late 1980s a discussion began between Donald Douglas Jr. and a local entrepreneur, David G. Price. It was agreed that a new building would be constructed on the north side of the Santa Monica Airport as the future location of the renamed Museum of Flying. The new Museum opened in 1989 with the original collection and the compliment of many vintage aircraft with an emphasis on World War II fighter aircraft.
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Located in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits are one of the world’s most famous fossil localities. The newly named La Brea Tar Pits Museum (located in the George C. Page Museum building) displays Ice Age fossils — including saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and mammoths — from 10,000 to 40,000-year-old asphalt deposits. But visitors can also watch the processes of paleontology unfold. Every day inside the glass-enclosed Fossil Lab, scientists and volunteers prepare fossils including “Zed,” a recently discovered male Columbian mammoth.
Autry Museum Of The American West
Discover the art, history, and cultures of the American West! Located in beautiful Griffith Park, the Autry features world-class galleries filled with Native American art and artifacts. There is also film memorabilia, historic firearms, paintings, and more. Throughout the year, the Autry also presents a wide range of public events and programs. These programs include lectures, film, theater, festivals, family activities, music. and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant collections of Native American materials in the United States.
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Malibu opened on January 28, 2006. The museum is dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The Getty Villa serves a varied audience through exhibitions and public programs. The Villa houses approximately 44,000 works of art from the Museum’s extensive collection of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities, of which over 1,200 are on view.
Japanese American Museum
The Japanese American National Museum is the largest museum in America dedicated to Americans of Japanese ancestry. The founding of the Museum is a story of high hopes, remarkable achievements, frustration, and ultimately, success. As the saga of generations of Japanese Americans, it is a story of tenacity.
The Grammy Museum
Established in 2008 as a partnership between the Recording Academy and AEG, the GRAMMY Museum is a non-profit organization. The museum is dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form. This ranges from the technology of the recording process to the legends who’ve made lasting marks on our cultural identity. In 2017, the Museum integrated with its sister organization.
Enjoy the Los Angeles Museums and please let us know if we left any out.