A Stroll Through LACMA
May 14, 2015
LACMA. An appreciation. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is free to county residents weekday afternoons from 3 on, so every few months a schedule my LA visits so I’ll be free to spend a couple of hours there. In 1965, when LACMA opened, I lived a few blocks away, so it’s really my home museum. I know it pretty well, the layout and the collection, but I never get tired of it. I love to wander through its halls and gardens, visiting my favorite pieces and always seeing plenty that’s new…either newly displayed or newly noticed by me. I take pix, except for the few displays where photography is banned; pix of the works and also of the captions for reference and later study. I DIDN’T START at Chris Burden’s iconic 2003 installation URBAN LIGHT, where I caught a good shot of three kids taking a selfie, but let’s say I did. I didn’t end at the RELIEF OF NI’ANKHNESUT, 23rd century BC Egypt, but I may as well have. Between them, 43 centuries…most of human history. Including
- German Expressionism and the Bauhaus in the Ahmanson Building. The Ahmanson was LACMA’s first building. I remember when each of its four floors was open to the central quad. The Asian collection was on the first floor and you looked down on it. I liked that. I never knew why they closed it off. I guess they plan to tear down the Ahmanson and replace it with something more modern and functional. I’m skeptical. I hope they keep the extraordinary German Expressionism exhibit. I particularly like Magnus Zeller’s 1920 oil painting, THE ORATOR.
- Millard Sheets’ 1931 ANGELS FLIGHT at the Art of the Americas Building, another of my favorites. I remember the cable railway up Bunker Hill as it was when I first knew LA circa 1960. Always like to see it. Two other interesting LA paintings that I don’t remember noticing before: Gloria Stuart’s WATTS TOWERS I, and Ben Shahn’s APOTHEOSIS about labor activist Tom Mooney. And a wonderful mahogany bas relief carving, HOLLYWOOD, by Robert Witt Ames.
- DeWain Valentine’s 1970 RED CONCAVE CIRCLE at the Resnick Pavilion. Also a great piece by David Hockney that you walk right into as you enter the pavilion: 18 synchronized video screens. Crazy!
- PLAGUE IN AN ANCIENT CITY, Michael Sweerts, Flanders, c. 1652.
- The Netsuke Collection in the Japanese Pavilion. I love these. I only started paying attention to them after I read The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal.
- Assyrian Reliefs from Nimrod, another group that I rarely fail to stop at for awhile.
And lot’s more! What a great afternoon stroll.Complete album with more pix and lots of captions