From bustling DTLA to… well… bustling Hollywood, there are a number of expertly curated museums to explore. Though the invisible line that separates the east- from the west-side of Los Angeles proper is hotly debated, we at youRhere like to think of the northern-most border being somewhere in the center of West Hollywood. Right now, we’re just going to focus on the east-side museums.
Any Angeleno’s social media account will tell you that we’re #blessed for a variety of reasons, but access to some of the most explorative exhibits in the country is at the top of that list. In the current climate of the world, mental health experts are making a point to highlight self-care as vital. As a member of the YRH community, we already know you’re a travel aficionado, and that love often extends to culture. This list is meant to expand your mind from behind a screen… or even expand your post-pandemic travel plans! Many of these museums have online offerings, from photo galleries of their exhibits to full-on virtual tours. Pour yourself some tea, grab a monocle (you know, the one we all have in our homes), and set off on an online drive-thru of these east-side museums.
Yes, this icon of Hollywood history lies on the border of west and east, but we had to feature it somewhere! The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is one of the most notable exhibits in the city. Situated in the Miracle Mile region of mid-LA, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western US. It’s concept first took root in 1910 in Exhibition Park, but the installation took up permanent residence in its current location in 1961. It’s a prominent backdrop of blockbuster films, California-centric TV shows, and lord-knows how many Instagram photo shoots. If you’re thinking “hm, that name sounds familiar, but I can’t picture LACMA in my head…” here’s a great visualization cue: very-close-together lamp-posts. That particular feature is quite popular for photo-taking.
The museum itself boasts frequently-rotating art installations (you can currently view an exhibit featuring popular menswear from 1715-2015!) across continents and cultures, representing a resplendent view of humankind. They’re currently in the beginning stages of a big remodel (a topic that has sparked some debate, given COVID-19) and may have even more modern architectural designs to offer patrons following our quarantine period. You can view a variety of LACMA’s art displays through their website, as is the case with many other east-side museums.
The Hollywood Museum
We weren’t going to get away with an east-side compilation without an option dedicated to film and superstars, were we now? Located in (you guessed it) Hollywood in the historic Max Factor Building on Highland Avenue, the Hollywood Museum—sometimes called the Hollywood History Museum—could be termed “kitschy” by modern standards: but oh, we love kitsch in Tinsel Town. You can read all about the museum online and take a virtual tour (of sorts) through their location tag on Instagram!
From Back to the Future to Marilyn Monroe and beyond, the Hollywood Museum is a hot-spot for film paraphernalia spanning decades of movie magic. In addition to the clothes, set dressings, and knick-knacks on display, the museum is housed inside the former studio of Max Factor—essentially the monarch of early-Hollywood makeup—established in 1935. The museum features plenty of information on the “king of makeup” that revolutionized the industry and paved the way for modern makeup techniques we use today.
via @discoverla’s Instagram
Talk about your modern marvel! Museums don’t have to be long-established or old to matter, and The Broad—pronounced, like any California surfer would, like “Bro-de”—proves that. Established in 2015, The Broad displays art installations from the 1950s through today, making their work a cornerstone for contemporary pieces. The architecture of the building is a stand-alone “wow” factor, so it’s no surprise that the exhibits inside are just as stunning.
At its location in downtown Los Angeles, The Broad focuses on highlighting the works of modern painters, sculptors, and beyond. The best part? Admission is free! Another (equally free) option, especially during our time of lockdown, is to explore its rotating exhibits via their website’s The Broad at Home section. Upon its eventual re-opening, visitors can come and check out it’s Instagram-worthy campus.
Perhaps the most famous of the east-side museums is our ol’ friend Griffith. There are Hollywood stars… and then, there are Hollywood stars. Griffith Observatory encapsulates both. Dedicated to the study of astronomy, this hilltop hub has been an icon for the city below since 1935. Modern movie-goers will probably recognize the façade of the Observatory from famous scenes in La La Land, Charlie’s Angels, and more. So you see… it’s a hot-spot for movies… features exhibits on space… and has one of the best sweeping views of the city… Hollywood stars! Okay, moving on.
The space features a large number of public telescopes, as well as the world-renowned Zeiss Telescope, located in roof-top dome of the building (it debuted along with the Observatory itself; it’s the most-looked-through telescope in the world!), and three solar telescopes. We can’t wait to take a stroll through space and time in this breathtaking museum soon—and do so virtually until then! Their official website features in-depth history of the museum’s founding, as well as photos of the exhibits. You can marvel at the planetarium, view real-life electricity, and watch their giant pendulum from a distance!