Top 10 Most Popular Los Angeles Museums on Instagram

Los Angeles is home to an internationally renowned collection of museums that offer a visual feast for visitors. Here are ten of the most popular museums on Instagram.

For more great Instagram locations, read our exclusive guide to the Top 50 Most Popular Instagram Locations in Los Angeles.

Space Shuttle Endeavor at California Science Center

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

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. There are numerous Instagram possibilities within the pavilion, including unique views from underneath the Endeavour. Take an Instagram from the corner opposite the entrance for a different view of the entire shuttle. Endeavour: The California Story is a companion exhibit that likewise offers a variety of Instagram options.

The famous "Dueling Dinos" in the Grand Foyer of the Natural History Museum

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

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 objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. In July 2013, NHM opened Becoming Los Angeles, a 14,000 square-foot exhibition that explores the growth of Los Angeles over the course of five centuries. An abundance of Instagram shots are available to museum visitors, including the 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.

Photo courtesy of Chris Valle, Flickr

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. Located in the Sculpture Plaza of MOCA Grand Avenue, Nancy Rubin's monumental Chas' Stainless Steel, Mark Thompson's Airplane Parts, About 1000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire, Gagosian's Beverly Hills Space is one of LA’s most distinctive outdoor sculptures and an Instagram favorite. Made from hundreds of aluminum and titanium used airplane parts, the sculpture mushrooms from a narrow base to a 54-foot wide canopy.

Chris Burden "Urban Light"(2008)  at LACMA

 |  Photo: Discover Los Angeles

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. Two works of art at LACMA are among the most popular Instagrams in LA: Urban Light and Levitated Mass. Urban Light is a 2008 installation created by Chris Burden, located in front of the museum’s BP Pavilion on Wilshire Boulevard. Urban Light features 202 restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s, many of which lit the streets of Southern California. The lamps are arranged in a grid and offer a variety of interesting Instagram shots, day or night. Levitated Mass, a 2012 large-scale sculpture by Michael Heizer, is located on the north side of the LACMA campus. The installation features a 340-ton granite megalith that’s balanced over a 456-foot-long concrete trench. Visitors have found numerous ways to Instagram the massive boulder, from underneath to fun poses both near and far away. 

Hollywood Museum

Hollywood Museum

The Hollywood Museum is located in the historic Max Factor Building, just down the street from the Dolby Theatre, where the Academy Awards® are held each year. The museum houses 10,000 show business treasures spanning over 100 years of Hollywood history - it’s one of the most extensive collections of Hollywood costumes, star cars, props, posters, photographs and memorabilia in the world. Visitors can explore Max Factor’s world-famous make-up rooms, where Marilyn Monroe became a blonde and Lucille Ball became everyone’s favorite redhead. Various displays are ready for their Instagram close-up, from Max Factor’s unique “Beauty Calibration Machine” to Marilyn Monroe’s million-dollar wedding dress and Hannibal Lecter’s cell from The Silence of the Lambs.

Getty Center and Garden

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

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. Instagrams galore can be taken along the tree-lined walkway and a plaza that includes bougainvillea arbors and a pool with a floating maze of azaleas. Inside the museum itself, an Instagram of Vincent van Gogh’s Irises, one of the most expensive paintings ever sold, is a must.

Norton Simon Museum

Over a thirty-year period, industrialist Norton Simon amassed an extraordinary collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. His eponymous museum, located on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, houses an internationally recognized permanent collection of 12,000 objects. The Thinker (Le Penseur) is an iconic bronze sculpture on a marble pedestal created by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Monumental-sized casts of The Thinker are exhibited around the world. Cast No. 11 is located in the outdoor sculpture garden of the Norton Simon Museum, perfect for Instagrams of the figure immersed in deep contemplation.

Huntington Library, Art Collections, & Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens is an oasis of art and culture, situated on 207 beautiful acres in San Marino. The Huntington features four art galleries; an acclaimed library of rare books and manuscripts; and over a dozen specialized gardens arranged within a 120-acre landscape, including the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese garden. Each garden offers a myriad of Instagram options - the moon bridge in the Japanese Garden is one of the most popular shots. The Huntington’s best known painting is The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough. Pair an Instagram of Gainsborough’s portrait with Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie, displayed in the same gallery. Together, these two paintings became so popular and famous that parents around the world began the tradition of dressing baby boys in blue and baby girls in pink.

Getty Villa Courtyard

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

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. Views of the Outer Peristyle Garden, with its 220-foot-long reflecting pool and bronze sculptures, are among the most popular museum Instagrams. The Lansdowne Herakles is another L.A. masterpiece, renowned as one of the greatest statues of ancient Rome and a perfect subject for Instagram.

Air Force One at the Reagan Library

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is one of L.A.’s most unique cultural attractions, featuring exhibits, special events, a replica of the Oval Office, and much more. Inside the Air Force One Pavilion, you can Instagram and tour the same aircraft that flew President Reagan over 660,000 miles – 26 foreign countries and 46 U.S.states. The “Flying White House,” tail number 27000, served seven U.S Presidents from 1973 to 2001, including Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. The Reagan Library’s hilltop location in Simi Valley offers a panoramic backdrop for Instagrams of the Berlin Wall section on display.