Get Ready, Get Set, Van Gogh


LOS ANGELES, CA– ON JANUARY 29, over 30 museums in the Greater Los Angeles area and surrounding areas invited visitors to attend their museums for a day of free admission. These museums included all types of different exhibitions including from art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science.

“Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples,” commented the International Council of Museums.

Museums Free-for-All partnered with Metro Transportation to explore the participating museums because many of them are actually just a short walk away from a Metro bus or rail.

We first began our trip by going to the famous, yet still brand new, The Broad Museum. The museum normally encourages visitors to make reservations with free admission on their website. The only downside to this option is that tickets for the month open on the first day of every month, and if visitors miss this window, they may be offered with poor times. However, if one does not choose to go with this route, visitors are offered the choice of waiting in the standby line outside of the building, until spots open up. The wait time can range from half an hour to up to four hours. We failed to reserve tickets when they first went live, and were thus forced to wait in the standby line. Fortunately for us, we arrived an hour before opening time, and got a spot just at the outside of the queue that was set up.

The museum was very accommodating to its guests waiting in the standby line. They provided an endless amount of umbrellas to keep guests cool. Our time in line seemed to go by quite quickly, being as many of us in the front were let in because people who made reservations failed to show up for their time.

The Broad is Los Angeles’ newest addition to contemporary art museums. It is the 2,000 piece personal collection of Eli and Edythe Broad’s contemporary art collection. The $140 million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collections.

The gallery featured an open floor plan with natural light filtering in from light panels above. Many of the pieces were from the 20th century, including pieces from Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Barbara Kruger, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, and Jeff Koons. Near each piece is a caption that provides a little background on the art, and its creators, to guide viewers along. All in all, the museum was a refreshing sight for sore eyes. It offered an escape for everyday observers to get to view sights most usually wouldn’t see in regular life.

After two hours spent at The Broad, we got back into our car, and headed another 20 minutes west to The Getty.

The Getty is an impressively massive hilltop art mecca, displaying pieces dating back from before AD. This museum is the personal collection of an oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty. Although he is now deceased, his legacy and compassion for the arts still lives on in the world’s wealthiest art institution, the J. Paul Getty Trust.

To reach the museum itself, visitors can ride the tram that will take them to the top of the hill. If they wish to do so, visitors are also permitted to walk up a designated path, that will also allow them to take in the sights of all of Los Angeles below.

The grounds of this property are extensive, with some of it being carved out of the hilltop to create more room. They include multiple pavilions housing the art, and two ornately landscaped gardens. There is also ample lawn space that invites families to spend the afternoon relaxing, having a picnic and possible nap under one of the many trees. It offers scenic views that look down on the Greater Los Angeles area and the ocean.

Scattered across the area are large outdoor sculptures that tie into the meaning of the museum. Each pavilion features a different time period, and each of the rooms in the building shows art from that era from different countries or groups of people. Typically the bottom floor of each pavilion features sculptures, and the upstairs showcases paintings.

The museum displays pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts. The works range from 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and Asian photographs, contemporary and modern sculpture, and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center.

Overall, visitors could spend their entire day at The Getty and still not be able to get to admire all of the pieces.

Nhut-Linh Ngo, a visitor at The Broad, stated,”I think it is great that museums are encouraging visitors to their doors with free admission. Most people wouldn’t go out of their way to visit, after finding out they have to pay to enter.”

Museums Free-for-All is great event that encourages visitors to explore culture, history, and science, that they would have never thought of to go to before.

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