Best Museums and Galleries in LA

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Take a day to explore the diverse culture unique to Los Angeles through its famous museums and hidden galleries.

While Los Angeles may be home to the glitz of Hollywood and celebrities, the culture of the city remains in tact and represented in its historic museums. The city celebrates its diversity through works of art by artists around the globe, as well as those who share the culture of LA. To represent the new generations and ideas that are coming alive in the city, smaller galleries and museums create a space for lesser known artists. Film is not the only dominating art medium known to LA. There are plenty of exhibits that showcase the work of rising artists and famous pieces you may already recognize. The LA Passersby know the city well enough to recommend some of their favorite museums and galleries. Spend the day exploring a new exhibit, or step inside any of the museums with free admission to get a spark of inspiration for a creative project.


Hauser & Wirth / Downtown

Recommended by Nada Alic, Cassi GibsonNatalie O'MooreMariana Orkenyi 

One of the largest galleries to emerge in LA that also houses a bookstore and restaurant, Hauser & Wirth specializes in engaging art. According to its mission statement, "Hauser & Wirth is widely admired for a sympathetic approach to restoring historic buildings and giving them a new lease of life as contemporary art spaces that invigorate surrounding communities." By focusing on education, every exhibit is accompanied by a lecture or workshop for visitors for a deeper understanding of the work. General admission is free.

Visit Hauser & Wirth at 901 E 3rd St


Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) / Mid-Wilshire

Recommended by Angie MyungMariana OrkenyiEva Goicochea, Moriel Zelikowsky

It's a popular destination and LA landmark, and that's just regarding the Urban Light sculpture by Chris Burden. With a devotion to contemporary art, LACMA is the largest museum on the West Coast. The museum properly reflects the diverse history of Los Angeles with an eclectic and culturally rich collection of art. General admission for adults is $25, and $21 for seniors and students.

Visit LACMA at 5905 Wilshire Blvd


Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) / Downtown

Recommended by puno Dostres, Marawa WampAngie MyungNatalie O'Moore 

As a contemporary museum, MOCA has set out to curate a collection that aims to adapt to constantly "changing definitions of art." It houses more than 7,000 pieces of art created post-1940. With its main venue on Grand Avenue, its two other locations are The Geffen Contemporary and the Pacific Design Center. With the exception of the MOCA Pacific Design Center, which is free, general admission to MOCA is $15, with $10 for seniors and $8 for students.

Visit MOCA at 250 S Grand Ave


Hammer Museum / Westwood

Recommended by Angie MyungNatalie O'MooreMariana Orkenyi 

Specializing in historical works and special exhibits of edgy contemporary art, the Hammer Museum exhibits challenging art within its home of UCLA. Director and photographer, Angela Kohler, along with her husband, Ithyle Griffiths, have teamed up to exhibit their projects at this museum. General admission is free.

Visit Hammer Museum at 10899 Wilshire Blvd


The Broad / Downtown LA

recommended by jameela jamilNada AlicEva Goicochea    

LA Passerby and actress Jameela Jamil says, "The Broad downtown is my favorite art gallery in the world. It has the most incredibly lay out and collections." Specializing in contemporary art, The Broad is home to more than 2,000 pieces. It is currently exhibiting Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Rooms, which you may have seen across Instagram. With two floors of gallery space, there is a focus on audience engagement and constantly rotating exhibits. Opened since 2015, this eye catching building cannot be missed on Grand Ave. General admission is free. 

Visit The Broad at 221 S Grand Ave


SADE / Lincoln Heights

Recommended by Natalie O'MooreNada Alic 

Tucked away near Elysian Park and the Dodgers Stadium, this art gallery captures the moody and psychedelic aesthetic unique to Los Angeles. The current exhibit on display is "Leap Year," a series of charcoal work on cardboard by Ben Wolf Noam. 

Visit SADE at 204 S Ave 19


Museum of Jurassic Technology / Culver City

Recommended by Ariel RomanPuno Dostres 

This museum can resemble a museum of natural history, but its collection is curated with the specific vision of curiosity and appreciation of the "Lower Jurassic" period. It could be considered strange and quirky, as some works include collages made from butterfly wings and a microminiature sculpture of Pope John Paul II made from a hair strand. General admission for adults is $8, $5 for seniors and students, and $1.50 for disabled persons. 

Visit Museum of Jurassic Technology at 9341 Venice Blvd


For more recommendations in los angeles, visit the Passerbuys Map

Words by Jessica Joyce Jacolbe