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the pits


Earlier this year, I said I wanted to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art before it closes. Then the year flew by without a rose-smelling pause and it was nearly October. So we forced a schedule opening and went to LA for a day. It was overcast and gray when we got there. Expecting warm and sunny, I brought no jacket and shorts. Cold and dark is not the usual report in LA, but it was just that.

I had never seen the La Brea Tar Pits before this trip. I sort of thought they were a fictional thing, like something from The Flintstones. I certainly didn’t think they still existed as pits of tar. Neighborhoods get named funny things. I don’t go to Wicker Park in Chicago expecting to see basket makers weaving out on the grass. Who would arrive in Queens and announce, “I came to see the queens. Be a doll and point in their direction”?

But guess what? There are actual tar pits in the stroll between the museums.  

The Page Museum has a lush garden that looks as if it is from another time.



The grounds surrounding the LACMA are just as interesting as the insides. There are quite a few sculptures on the walk around the building. Some of them are permanent fixtures. Some will only be there a short time, so hurry over to get a look at Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads.
 ⿓ I was born in the year of the dragon. So I had to be photographed with my totem.

By the front fountain there is a colorful sculpture by Nancy Graves called Trace. I was proud of myself for correctly identifying Alexander Calder’s mobile (Hello, Girls).

 Urban Light – Chris Burden  
We really enjoyed walking the sculpture gardens outside. It’s quiet and fascinating.

At this point we’ve seen so much, but we haven’t even been inside yet. There were very few places we were allowed to take pictures inside. This included the Tim Burton exhibit we came to see. However, I can report that it was crazy amazing cool! I’ve loved many of Burton’s films. It was neat to see his inspiration, development, and drawings that turned into the scenes and characters of his films. Tim Burton will be in the Resnick Pavillion until 31 October 2011. If you’re in LA by then, it is must see.

A couple rooms inside we were allowed to take pictures.
Smoke – Tony Smith
The Mondern Art Department includes Giant Pool Balls by Claes Oldenburg

Yes, that painting on the back wall is of ‘SPAM.’

Attached to the LACMA is a building that is as much a work of art as its inhabitants. It is the Pavilion for Japanese Art. It was designed by Bruce Goff. Inside, you take an elevator to the top floor. Then one gliding walkway takes you past every ancient work of art until you reach the ground again.


The night before we spent our fabulous day on Wilshire Blvd, I got two hours of sleep. So if you think I’m looking a little tired in these photos, it’s definitely true. That look is not entirely skepticism of some of the art. The lack of sleep was worth it for a fun day of art exploration…or maybe I dreamed the whole weird day?

Back from la la land, it’s on to the next adventure!

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Posted in art and travel by dA on October 22nd, 2011 at 2:13 PM.


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2 Replies

  1. Fred Long Oct 22nd 2011

    And the 2 1/2 hour drive from the LACMA to LAX was “fun” too :( But we did get to see the ocean :)

  2. pretty sure I slept through that drive?