Museums Free-For-All in Los Angeles: Jan. 28, 2018

Free admission to more than 40 museums
"Octopus Frontlet," 300–600, Moche culture; gold, chrysocolla, shells. Museo de la Nación, Lima, Peru, MN-14602. Ministerio de Cultura del Perú | Courtesy of "Golden Kingdoms" at the Getty Center

In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, SoCal Museums presents the annual Museums Free-For-All on Sunday, Jan. 28. More than 40 museums—presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science—will open their doors and invite visitors to attend their museums free of charge. This offer is for general museum admission only and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply. Consult individual museum websites for hours and other visitor information. 

Museums Free-For-All is once again partnering with Metro, encouraging visitors to Go Metro and explore the participating museums, many of which are a short walk away from Metro Bus or Rail. Go Metro to more museum destinations at

Read on for highlights of Museums Free-For-All 2018.

Maria Varela - "A young Chicanita hawks La Raza newspapers at the Poor People's Campaign, Washington, D.C." (May-July, 1968) from "LA RAZA" at the Autry | Instagram by @abtgla

Autry Museum of the American West

The Autry Museum of the American West is dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States.

Now on view at the Autry through Feb. 10, 2019, LA RAZA is the most sustained examination to date of both the photography and the alternative press of the Chicano Movement, positioning photography not only as an artistic medium but also as a powerful tool of social activism. LA RAZA is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

Annenberg Space for Photography

The first solely photographic cultural destination in the L.A. area, the Annenberg Space for Photography is dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography in an intimate environment. The space features state-of-the-art, 4K digital technology as well as traditional prints by some of the world's most renowned photographers and a selection of emerging photographic talents.

On view through March 4, Cuba Is explores aspects of Cuba not easily accessed by foreigners, and sometimes not even by Cubans themselves. Over 120 photos feature subjects ranging from defiant youth known as “frikis” to the hard-partying children of the 1%, the underground system of sharing digital content—“El paquete”—to Miami’s Chonga girls. Cuba Is is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

The Broad museum's third floor galleries with skylights and interior veil | Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Broad

Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, The Broad is a new contemporary art museum that opened in September 2015. Located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, the museum was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. The Broad is home to the nearly 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.

California African American Museum

The California African American Museum (CAAM) exists to research, collect, preserve and interpret for public enrichment, the history, art and culture of African Americans. The museum conserves more than 3,500 objects of art, historical artifacts and memorabilia, and maintains a research library with more than 20,000 books and other reference materials available for limited public use.

On view at CAAM through Feb. 18, Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected) includes three of artist Lezley Saar’s most recent bodies of work: Madwoman in the Attic/Madness and the Gaze, Monad, and Gender Renaissance, along with a selection of early altered books that show the origins of the artist’s interest in literature, mixed media, and marginalized figures.

Space Shuttle Endeavour | Photo by Leroy Hamilton, courtesy of California Science Center

California Science Center

Located in historic Exposition Park, the California Science Center is the West Coast’s largest hands-on science center. The facility spans more than 400,000 square feet and includes four major exhibit areas - World of Life, Creative World, Ecosystems, and the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Housed in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion, the Endeavour is one of four orbiters to go on permanent display after the conclusion of the Space Shuttle program. (A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour.)

"Octopus Frontlet," 300–600, Moche culture; gold, chrysocolla, shells. Museo de la Nación, Lima, Peru, MN-14602. Ministerio de Cultura del Perú | Courtesy of "Golden Kingdoms" at the Getty Center

Getty Center

Perched on a 110-acre hilltop above Brentwood, the Getty Center is world-renowned for its collection of European and American art from medieval times to the present. The museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, who created a campus with Modern design, open spaces and spectacular views. The 134,000 square-foot Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, is located at the heart of the Getty Center.

January 28 is the final day to see Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas, a major international loan exhibition featuring more than 300 masterpieces. Golden Kingdoms explores the development of luxury arts from 1200 BC to the beginnings of European colonization in the 16th century. Made of precious metals and other substances esteemed for their color and luminescence, these works were imbued with sacred power by the people who created and used them. Golden Kingdoms is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.

Getty Villa courtyard | Photo by Stephen Lee Carr, Flickr

Getty Villa

Located in the Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa houses a collection of 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities that span 7,000 years of history, from the end of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman Empire. The Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. Note: some galleries will be closed while the Villa reinstalls its collection. (Free, timed tickets are required for Museums Free-For-All. Visit

GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE

Museums Free-For-All coincides with GRAMMY® Sunday, and to celebrate the GRAMMY Museum is hosting special events throughout the day. Beginning at 10am, the first 100 visitors will get a copy of the 2018 Nominees album. Free screenings of GRAMMYs® Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special are taking place at 11am and 3:30pm, featuring co-hosts John Legend and Carrie Underwood and rare archival footage, exclusive interviews, and special appearances by multi-GRAMMY winners and nominees. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. The first five completed scavenger hunts (12:30pm) get a free GRAMMY Museum hat and 10% off a membership. At 2pm, the education program with veteran instructor Darryl Swann features a hands-on demonstration of sampling techniques, mixing principles, and instruction on how to use an old-school drum machine and vinyl records to create beats.

"California Flora (National Forest Condensation Wall)" by Sam Falls | Photo courtesy of Hammer Museum

Hammer Museum

Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading cultural venues for emerging artists, the Hammer Museum in Westwood was founded in 1990 by Armand Hammer as a venue to exhibit his extensive art collection. The Hammer houses a permanent collection with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Sargent, as well as one of the world’s finest collections of works on paper.

For California Flora (National Forest Condensation Wall), L.A.-based artist Sam Falls traveled to all 19 National Forests in California to create a map of sorts that depicts the state’s flora, from the ocean to the desert, from volcanic topography to the forest floor. The installation is on view through April 29.

Edecán (hostess) dress and cape for the XIX Olympics, Mexico City (1968) from "Found in Translation" at LACMA | Instagram by @abtgla

Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA)

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art.

LACMA is currently presenting three exhibitions as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. On view through April 1, Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985 is a groundbreaking exhibition and accompanying book about design dialogues between California and Mexico. Its four main themes—Spanish Colonial Inspiration, Pre-Hispanic Revivals, Folk Art and Craft Traditions, and Modernism—explore how modern and anti-modern design movements defined both locales throughout the 20th century.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Founded in 1979, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted exclusively to contemporary art. In a remarkably short time, MOCA has developed one of the nation's most renowned permanent collections of art produced after 1940, currently numbering over 6,800 works and steadily growing.

Anne Frank exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance | Photo by Benny Chan/Fotoworks

Museum of Tolerance

Anne is a moving and inspiring exhibit now on view at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance (MOT) in West L.A. The exhibit is a multi-media experience that chronicles the life and legacy of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who gained international fame after the posthumous publication of her diary, which documents her experiences while in hiding with her family during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Also located in Exposition Park, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) houses one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — more than 35 million specimens and objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The permanent exhibit, Becoming Los Angeles is a 14,000 square-foot exhibition that explores the growth of Los Angeles over the course of five centuries. Other highlights include a 63-foot whale skeleton at the entrance; the Walter Horace Judson stained-glass skylight; the world's only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series, located in Dinosaur Hall; and Nature Gardens, a 3.5-acre urban wilderness. (Limited free tickets available at

1963 Chevrolet Impala, "El Rey," 2011, Albert de Alba, Sr., Collection of Albert De Alba, Sr. (Elite Car Club) | Photo courtesy of the Petersen

Petersen Automotive Museum

Following an extensive $125-million renovation, the Petersen Automotive Museum reopened to the public in December 2015. The Petersen utilizes state-of-the-art technology with displays of historically significant vehicles to tell the story of the automobile in Southern California and around the world. Permanent exhibits feature characters from Disney/Pixar’s Cars, Xbox Forza racing simulators, BMW Art Cars, a motorsports gallery, and famous cars of film and TV. (RSVP for Museums Free-For-All at Eventbrite.)

On view at the Petersen through July 2018, The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración examines the diversity and complexity with which 50 artists visualize, celebrate, and interrogate the lowrider car through vehicles, paintings, sculptures, and site-specific installations.

Tina Modotti, "Anita Brenner," c. 1926. Gelatin silver print, 3-3/4” x 2-3/4”. Courtesy of the Witliff Collections, Texas State University.

Skirball Cultural Center

The Skirball Cultural Center is guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball has established itself as one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in L.A. (Timed-entry, one-hour tickets to Noah’s Ark are limited and distributed first-come, first-served.)

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico offers a new perspective on the art and visual culture of Mexico and its relationship to the United States as seen through the life and work of the Mexican-born, American Jewish writer Anita Brenner. An integral part of the circle of Mexican modernists in the 1920s, Brenner played an important role in promoting and translating Mexican art, culture, and history for audiences in the U.S. Another Promised Land is part of Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA and is on view through February 25.

Leopoldo Méndez, "Fusilamiento," 1950. Linoleum cut, 16x20 in. LACMA, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller. Artwork © Leopoldo Méndez Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. | Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA, courtesy of USC PAM

USC Pacific Asia Museum

Located in Pasadena, the USC Pacific Asia Museum's mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Now on view through June 10, Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century is the first major exhibition on the heretofore unexamined influence of Mexican art and artists on the development of art in China in the twentieth century. The exhibition, its accompanying publication, and public programs present the trans-Pacific ties between the creative communities of Mexico and China in the last century. Winds from Fusang is presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.