The largest art museum in the western United States
Located on the Pacific Rim, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of nearly 140,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Committed to showcasing a multitude of art histories, LACMA exhibits and interprets works of art from new and unexpected points of view that are informed by the region’s rich cultural heritage and diverse population. LACMA’s spirit of experimentation is reflected in its work with artists, technologists, and thought leaders as well as in its regional, national, and global partnerships to share collections and programs, create pioneering initiatives, and engage new audiences.
LACMA has its roots in the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art, established in 1910 in Exposition Park. In 1961, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art became a separate, art-focused institution. LACMA opened its new Wilshire Boulevard location to the public in 1965, with the permanent collection in the Ahmanson Building, special exhibitions in the Hammer Building, and the 600-seat Bing Theater for public programs.
In the ensuing decades, both the campus and the collection grew considerably. The Anderson Building (renamed the Art of the Americas building in 2007) opened in 1986 to house modern and contemporary art. The Bruce Goff-designed Pavilion for Japanese Art opened in 1988 at the east end of campus. In 1994, the museum acquired the May Company department store building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, which is now home to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, slated to open in 2019.
Since 2007, the museum has doubled its exhibition program, audience, and its campus, and has operated a satellite gallery at Charles White Elementary School in MacArthur Park, where LACMA presents museum-caliber exhibitions and programs in partnership with the school and surrounding communities.
In recent years, LACMA has committed to expanding, upgrading, and unifying the museum’s 20-acre campus through the addition of new buildings, including the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) (2008) and the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion (2010), as well as monumental public artworks and open-air gathering places for the community. Now, LACMA is focusing on replacing four aging buildings on the east campus with a new home for the permanent collection.
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