Top 10 Most Popular Los Angeles Museums on Instagram

"Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away" by Yayoi Kusama at The Broad
Yayoi Kusama - "Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away" at The Broad | Photo: @sterlingsanders, Instagram

Los Angeles is home to an internationally renowned collection of the best museums that offer a visual feast for visitors. From dinosaurs to the Space Shuttle, here are ten of Instagram's most popular museums in Los Angeles County.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures viewed from Fairfax Avenue
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Joshua White, JWPictures/©Academy Museum Foundation

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened in September 2021 and houses more than 13 million objects in a spectacular 300,000 square-foot campus. There are Instagram opportunities galore, from Oscar-worthy views on the terrace of the Sphere Building to close-ups of iconic cinema artifacts like the sled from Citizen Kane.

"Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away" by Yayoi Kusama at The Broad
Yayoi Kusama - "Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away" at The Broad | Photo: @sterlingsanders, Instagram

The Broad

Opened in September 2015, The Broad is a stunning contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. The museum is home to 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art in the world.

Two of the famed Infinity Mirror Rooms by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama are in The Broad's permanent collection. One of LA's most Instagrammed artworks, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013) is a mirror-lined chamber populated with a dazzling and seemingly vast array of LED lights, creating a sense of limitless space.

The museum's second Infinity Mirror Room installation, Longing for Eternity (2017) is located on the third floor. The Broad describes the experience: "From outside Longing for Eternity, viewers can peer through porthole-like windows into the dazzling, LED light–filled hexagonal chamber. … Through extreme repetition, both types of Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms create phenomenological experiences that provoke a sense of boundlessness and transcendence."

Space Shuttle Endeavor at California Science Center   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
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.

"Dueling Dinos" in the Grand Foyer of the Natural History Museum
"Dueling Dinos" at 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.

Night view of Chris Burden's "Urban Light" at LACMA
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. 

 Getty Center and Garden   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
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.

 Getty Villa Courtyard   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
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.

Hollywood Museum
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 world's most extensive collections of Hollywood costumes, star cars, props, posters, photographs and memorabilia. 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 "Beauty Calibration Machine" to Marilyn Monroe’s million-dollar wedding dress and Hannibal Lecter’s cell from The Silence of the Lambs.

Huntington Library Chinese Garden Pavilion Bridge
Pavilion of the Three Friends and the Jade Ribbon Bridge at Garden of Flowing Fragrance | Photo: The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and 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 more than a dozen specialized gardens arranged within a 120-acre landscape, including the Desert Garden, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Garden of Flowing Fragrance (Liu Fang Yuan), one of the largest classical-style Chinese gardens in the world. 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.

Air Force One at the Reagan Library   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
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.