Not long ago, Hollywood film premieres and private parties dominated Los Angeles' social landscape. Now the city's power brokers and celebrities lavish attention and money on exhibition openings and promoting great art – which is to the benefit of everyone else. Here are five of L.A.'s top spots for viewing world-class art:
Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Spread out over a 20-acre complex, the museum's collections have long been one of the most impressive in the city: Greek and Roman sculpture, galleries of 17th century Dutch landscapes and classic pieces by Picasso, Mondrian, Klee and Kadinsky. Through 2018, LACMA is one of 70 institutions throughout the city participating in the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an ambitious exploration of the city's relationship to Latin American art and artists. Admission is $15, free for kids under 17. Open daily at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. http://www.lacma.org.
The Huntington: If you can, devote a day to visiting the onetime winter home of railway magnate Henry E. Huntington and his arts patron wife Arabella in San Marino. Stroll the 120 acres of botanical gardens, see European and American artworks in Huntington's former Beaux Arts mansion, or visit the library he built to house his collection of rare books and see a Gutenberg bible and a manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Admission is $25-$29, free for kids under 4. Open Wednesday-Monday at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. http://www.huntington.org.
The Broad: Homebuilding billionaires Eli and Edythe Broad amassed such a large collection of contemporary art that the philanthropists needed to build a downtown museum to showcase their 2,000 pieces in rotating exhibitions. They also wanted to prove their hometown as "the cultural capital of the United States." Admission is free. Open Tuesday-Sunday at 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles. https://www.thebroad.org.
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The Getty: Enjoy spectacular views of the city on clear, sparkling January days. Oh, and there is art too. A monumental concrete-and-steel complex displays the Getty Trust collection of Renaissance paintings, Baroque sculptures and 19th- and 20th-century photographs. Admission is free. Open Tuesday-Sunday at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. www.getty.edu.
Hauser & Wirth: The international gallery, which represents some 60 top artists, opened a downtown Arts District location in a 100,000-square-foot former flour mill. Its owners, arts world power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth, may be in the business to sell art but they also are devoted to mounting museum-quality exhibitions. Their onsite restaurant Manuela, with its own kitchen garden and Southern/SoCal flair, has also become another Arts Districts hot spot. Admission to the gallery is free. Open Wednesday-Sunday at 901 East Third Street, Los Angeles. https://www.hauserwirthlosangeles.com.