If you've been wanting to visit one of the many great museums in our city but are too cash-strapped - you're in luck.
This weekend is "Museums Free-For-All," presented by the Museum Marketing Roundtable. On Saturday, January 28th and (or) Sunday, January 29th, participating museums will open their doors to anyone with a curious mind. With Pacific Standard Time still going strong, it's a great opportunity to learn about what Los Angeles has to offer when it comes to art and culture.
The full list of participating museums can be found here and on the map at the bottom of this post. To make the decision a little easier for our readers, we've selected a few exhibits that interest us here at Departures.
Here are our picks, with related links:
- Autry National Center
In addition to the great permanent exhibits tracing the history of western migration and its depiction in Hollywood, the Art of Native American Basketry displays baskets from more than 100 cultures, drawn from their collection of nearly 14,000 artifacts. The Family Discovery Gallery allows visitors to experience the life of a Chinese American family in the 1930s inside a recreated family home, a restaurant, and an antiques shop owned by generations of the See family. See our interview with writer Lisa See here.
- California African American Museum
King in California II is a photo exhibit that documents Martin Luther King Jr.'s travels to California, where he visited regularly from 1956 through 1968. Although the holiday has passed, you can read here about the struggles that led to Martin Luther King Jr. Day becoming an official holiday.
- Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles
Located in the historic Garnier Building in the Old Plaza, the museum currently features Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945-1980), an exhibit showcasing four pioneering Chinese American architects who were active between 1945 and 1980: Eugene K. Choy, Gilbert Leong, Helen Liu Fong, and Gin Wong. The story behind Eugene Choy's iconic Cathay Bank building in Chinatown can be read here. We also talked to Pauline Wong, executive director of the museum.
- Fowler Museum at UCLA
We've covered the Chicano Art Movement extensively in Painting the Walls chapter, in collaboration with Avenue 50 Studios. Many of the artists we interviewed are featured in Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement, including Judith F. Baca, Guillermo Bejarano, Barbara Carrasco, Richard Duardo, Judithe Hernández, Leo Limón, John Valadez. Icons of the Invisible: Oscar Castillo presents photographs documenting the Chicano communities during the years in which many of the featured artists were active.
- The Getty Center
One of the cornerstone exhibits of Pacific Standard Time, Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 features the crew surrounding the Ferus Gallery: Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston and Ed Moses and Charles Brittin (see slideshow of his photos here), as it traces the world of post-war Los Angeles art. See a full list of participating artists here, and a great interactive map of the L.A. art world, ca 1945-1980.
- Laguna Art Museum
Several masters of California Plein Air painting are featured in California Artists: Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century, including Franz Bischoff, Hanson Puthuff, and William Wendt. Hear Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum, talk about plein air here.
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Saturday Only)
Celebrating the works created in California during a turbulent era that birthed the punk movement, UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN: California Art 1974-1981 includes works by William Leavitt, Paul McCarthy, and Raymond Pettibon. You can also see Judith Baca's sketches for the Great Wall of Los Angeles (see our retrospective here), as well as works from John Baldessari, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses, and Ed Ruscha. Suzanne Lacy's maps that depict police data for reported rapes are powerful and fascinating as well.
- Museum of Latin American Art
The legacy of Mexican muralists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco plays a prominent role in MEX/LA: MEXICAN MODERNISM(S) IN LOS ANGELES 1930-1985, which would make Shifra Goldman - a big proponent of Mexican and Chicano Art - very proud.
- Museum of Tolerance (Sunday only)
Tracing the struggles of Latino families in Southern California, Para Todos Los Ninos: Fighting Segregation in California highlights elements that led to the Chicano Movement and subsequent walkouts and marches.
See below for locations of all participating museums:
View Museums Free-For-All, 1/28 &1/29 in a larger map
Top photo: Chinese American Museum | Photo by Flickr user Ken Shelton used under a Creative Commons license.