State of the Art

Travel Guide to California - - CONTENTS -


The first mu­seum on the West Coast de­voted solely to 20th­cen­tury art, SFMOMA, above, un­der­went a ma­jor ex­pan­sion in 2014-2016 that more than dou­bled the gallery space to 170,000 square feet, mak­ing it one of the largest mu­se­ums in the coun­try and one of the world’s big­gest mu­se­ums ded­i­cated to mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art.

Whether you pre­fer

to ogle mod­ern art or an­tiq­ui­ties, Ice Age fos­sils or space shut­tles, the Golden State’s wealth of world-class mu­se­ums awaits. With more than 1,000 mu­se­ums of all sizes across the state, there’s a life­time of fine art, science, his­tory and cul­ture to ex­plore, as well as weird and won­der­ful col­lec­tions for ev­ery imag­in­able niche-in­ter­est, from Star Wars mem­o­ra­bilia to the leg­ends of Big­foot. While it’s im­pos­si­ble to do them all jus­tice here, we’ve at­tempted to high­light the best of the best.

The Arts

Vis­it­ing LA? It’s easy to spend hours in the West’s largest art mu­seum, the Los An­ge­les County Mu­seum of Art (LACMA). Down­town, the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art (MOCA) and Gef­fen Con­tem­po­rary show­case the best in 20th- and 21st-cen­tury paint­ing, sculp­ture and con­cep­tual art. The In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art (ICA LA), for­merly the Santa Mon­ica Mu­seum of Art, has re­cently re­opened down­town to great ac­claim. The renowned Getty Mu­seum in­cludes both the mod­ern Getty Cen­ter in the Brent­wood district and the Getty Villa in Mal­ibu, which fo­cuses on Greek and Ro­man clas­si­cal art. Pasadena’s Nor­ton Si­mon dis­plays Euro­pean and Mod­ern artists amid a serene sculp­ture gar­den. In nearby San Marino, The Hunt­ing­ton

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