Los Angeles has lots of cool art museums to visit, from the Hammer (literally five minutes from UCLA) to the Getty (also literally five minutes from UCLA) to the LACMA (please do more than just take pictures with the lamps) to the MOCA (the Geffen of the Geffen Contemporary location is the same Geffen of our medical school!).
But one underrated and often overlooked cultural treasure of our great city is the Annenberg Space for Photography, located just a short drive from campus in glittering Century City.
The modernistic space itself, while new, is rather small, but the curators really do make the best of it. There is typically one coordinated exhibit being shown at any given time, with pieces from both established greats and up-and-comers. The first time I went, the theme was the socially oriented “Water: Our Thirsty World“, and focused on the future of our earth’s fresh water – a very relevant topic indeed. More recently, they have been displaying photographs from their series titled “Digital Darkroom“, an exploration of photography in the digital age. The central gallery, modeled after a irising camera lens, usually shows a documentary or movie shot just for the show at hand, with artist interviews and the like.
The next exhibit looks especially promising: “Who Shot Rock & Roll” (starts June 23rd), so be sure to check it out!
Oh, and did I mention it’s free!? All the more reason to visit!