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How to Put Some Culture into Your Los Angeles Visit {Guest Post by It Started in LA}

How to Put Some Culture into Los Angeles Visit {Guest Post by It Started in LA} | CosmosMariners.com

Today, you're in for a treat!

Gwen from It Started in LA is going to show you around the cultural spots of Los Angeles, California. Gwen's a transplant to LA from Sydney, Australia; she and her husband made the move halfway around the world when he got offered a job to run a post-production company in Hollywood. Now, her normal life has a twist of 90210 with a bit of Hollywood on the side!

What are the first three things you think of when someone says LA?

Many think entertainment, fitness and amusement parks. Right?  

Sure, there is that but I’m here to tell you there’s more to LA than good looks. (Actually, that’s not entirely true—what I’m about to tell you is all about good looks.)

Whether you’re planning your first trip to LA or you’re a seasoned veteran I wonder if you come to LA to get a dose of culture.  Not “culcha” … culture.  The real live stuff—art galleries, museums and history.

Before you think of me as an LA culture guru, I need to ‘fess up to the fact that it’s taken me two years of living in LA—and 20 trips to Universal Studios—to get some of that LA culture into me.  

And don’t I feel silly?  So, like they say: do as I say, not as I do, and put some culture into your next LA visit.  You won’t be disappointed.

The Broad

(pronounced like it rhymes with road—not as in Broad beans)
The Broad is a contemporary art museum located in Downtown LA in a fabulous new purpose-built building.

The Broad is brand spanking new, and just opened its doors to the public on September 20, 2105. Ten days later I went to check it out.  It’s fantastic.

As an Australian (or American!), this is incredible on so many levels.

1.   The collection is private—Eli & Edythe Broad’s own collection.
Clearly massive art lovers they’ve taken art appreciation to a whole new level.  It’s not all “theirs," but rather they set up a foundation so the general public can have access to and appreciate art as well.

Known as the Broad Art Foundation, the Broad is made up of a combination of the Foundation’s and their own personal collection.  Since they started collecting art some five decades ago they’ve amassed more than 2,000 pieces.  And it’s growing weekly.  They have a borrowing system where they lend art to galleries all over the world so they can share their collection with others.  What great people.

I wonder if they every dreamed they’d amass such a collection?  And the collection is amazing.  I studied art at school and--don’t get me wrong--I really like it.  

But I’m not one of those people who can name famous artists—especially contemporary ones—like I’m naming rock bands or fashion houses. Mention Andy Warhol and, of course, I'll know him.  Doesn’t everybody?  And don’t his paintings belong in some fandangled New York gallery rather than part of a private collection?

2.   They funded the building.
To house art that they’ve collected that they’re sharing with us that’s free to visit.  And the building is incredible.  The photos look incredible enough but up close—and when you’re inside it—it’s jaw-dropping.  The building itself is worth going to see.  Full credit to architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and executive architect Gensler. (I actually think this has now passed the Guggenheim—and architectural wonder—as my favourite museum).

3.   Speaking of architects, the building is next door to the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.

It’s in amazing company.  For some philanthropic and art loving trivia, Eli Broad was the founding chairman and is a life trustee of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (which is across the road), he was a visionary behind the development of Grand Avenue (where The Broad is based), and he spearheaded the fundraising campaign to build the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall).  Talk about an art over-achiever!

The low-down on the Broad
The Broad is on 221 S Grand Avenue in Downtown LA.  
How to Put Some Culture into Los Angeles Visit {Guest Post by It Started in LA} | CosmosMariners.com

General admission is free but hop online and reserve timed admission tickets before you go. It doesn’t cost anything and saves you waiting in a queue for too long. There is a queue for general admission—and you’re not guaranteed admission if you’re in that queue so just getting your admission pass online is the smart thing to do.

On the ground floor as you walk in you might see a queue with another queue.  If you want to see the highly touted Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, you need to go straight to that queue and get yourself a timed reservation to view it.  It’s still free but it has limited capacity.  By the time I realised this there was a two plus hour queue—there has been known to be a six-hour queue and apparently in New York people waited some nine hours just to experience it.  So, if this is what you’re learn from my mistake.

The Getty

About a 15 minutes drive from my place is a museum known as the Getty.  Yep, it’s pretty famous and it also has amazing grounds, incredible art and a gorgeous building.  Every Friday on my way to tennis, I see it.  Every time tennis is done, I think: "I must visit … next week."

Next week finally came two years later.

The Getty is another museum that’s free to get in with incredible works of art that’ll make your jaw drop.  John Paul Getty was another uber wealthy guy who collected art and decided art should be made public for people to enjoy.  He established his own museum so people could see his private collection in 1953.

When he died in 1976, he left most of his personal estate to the J Paul Getty Trust.  He, too, built two places for us to visit: the Getty Centre in the Bel Air area and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

The Getty Centre has an incredible collection of “who’s who” artists.  My art teacher would have been quite proud of the fact that I managed to recall a number of pieces—artist and period—surprising even myself.

On show is Thomas Gainsborough, Gericault, Goya, Turner, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Renoir, Manet and Munch.  Yep, your masters of the masters.  (Maybe I can recall artists like they’re rock stars or fashion houses after all?).  I was delighted to be able to show my kids Van Gogh’s Irises right here in our hometown. Van Gogh’s Irises is here in LA, not in Paris. That’s incredible!

The museum is easy enough to navigate.  Plan your trip to take in the expansive gardens—which we didn’t spend must time at during our visit but we will come back and take it all in.  And we might even take a picnic.

The low-down on the Getty
The Getty Centre is on Getty Center Drive off Sepulveda Boulevard in LA, 90049.

How to Put Some Culture into Los Angeles Visit {Guest Post by It Started in LA} | CosmosMariners.com

General admission is free and parking is $15.

The Getty Villa address is 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. It’s also free to get in but you need to hop on line and get yourself a timed-entry ticket.  The Getty Center and Villa has a shared parking program wherein you pay for parking at one and it’s free to park at the other (as long as it’s on the same day).

The Getty Centre is closed Mondays and the Getty Villa is closed Tuesdays.

Four more places to add to your list

LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
ScienCentre (featuring the Space Shuttle Endeavor) 
On your next trip to LA think outside the Hollywood/theme park box and soak up some of the incredible opportunities available here.

Have you been to Los Angeles? What did you enjoy seeing there? Would you be interested in visiting any of these museums?

About Gwen
Gwen moved to LA in August 2013 thrust out of her happy normal life in Sydney, Australia when her husband got offered a job to run a Post-Production company in Hollywood.  She found herself smack bang in lifestyles of the rich and famous.  Now her normal life has a twist of 90210 with a bit of Hollywood on the side.  It Started in LA the Blog is born from the experiences she’s lucky enough to be privy to.


Don't forget to head over to Gwen's blog and social media for more LA adventures!


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