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LA County Museum of Art Visitors Guide

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Introduction
LA County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Photo © 2010 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is considered the largest encyclopedic art museum in the western United States. Its collections, which include over 100,000 pieces, encompass the history of art from ancient times to the present, and from all corners of the world.

LACMA has gone through a variety of transitions since it was first established with borrowed art as part of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in Exposition Park.

The current museum opened in 1965 in Hancock Park on Museum Row on the Miracle Mile next to the famous La Brea Tar Pits. By 1992, the original three buildings had expanded to six, including the acquisition of the former May Company department store on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, which became LACMA West, accessible through a separate entrance.

The new transformation and expansion project is bridging the gap between the main museum and LACMA West with a new Contemporary Art Building and an Entrance Pavilion situated between the two. An underground parking structure has been added on 6th Street behind LACMA West, with the green space of Hancock Park extended over where the parking lot used to be. A new corridor will be constructed to run from LACMA West across the campus to the Pavilion for Japanese Art.

The Phase I, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, the Entrance Pavilion and the parking structure, opened in early 2008. The first part of Phase II, the new Resnick Pavilion opened in September 2010. Ray's farm to table restaurant and Stark Bar opened in 2011. Plans are in effect to replace the four buildings of the east campus with a new, earthquake-stable, solar-powered structure with more art-viewing area.

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