RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

LACMA: blink before it’s gone



As I’ve mentioned before, my annual membership at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) enables me to stop by whenever I feel like it. I love wandering around the campus both inside the galleries and outside looking at the buildings and outdoor art.


The museum opened at the Wilshire location in 1965. Behind Chris Burden’s lampposts you can see one of the original buildings.


Like many buildings in Los Angeles that are deemed “out of date” the original buildings are in imminent danger of being demolished to make way for a more contemporary design.


This part of the museum which now fronts Wilshire Boulevard, was added in the 1980s.

I’ve always enjoyed this glass block structure. I think of it as being some kind of Assyrian fortress. Some critics say it pushes people away rather than welcoming in them. It’s all a matter of perception. I feel like it’s safeguarding the treasures within so people can enjoy them once they are inside.

The three photos above form the walkway to the original museum entrance and box office.

The Calder sculpture fountain with reflections.

I’m the first to admit that the architecture of the museum is a mish mash of styles. But the buildings reflect the times in which they were built. Click on an image below to start slide show.

Even the Los Angeles Conservancy, which has at the top of their website banner “Preserving the historic places that make L.A. County unique” seems to be standing back while plans for demolishing the older buildings and replacing them with a shiny new one go ahead. I don’t understand.

If you are interested in seeing the design (commonly referred to as “the blob”) proposed to replace all this, click on the link here. Does that mean in another fifty years, when the powers that be at the museum are tired of the architecture from the 2020s, they will be tearing it down and building something more suited to 2070s tastes? At least by then I won’t be around to see it.

But if the current plan goes through, I probably will be around to see these existing buildings, sadly, bite the dust.

You can visit some of my other posts related to LACMA at:




All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!



Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

15 thoughts on “LACMA: blink before it’s gone

  1. These are amazing shots, Roslyn. Have you contacted the Chamber of Commerce yet? They need to see your work!


  2. If mishmash styles and older buildings are juxtaposed with the modern constructions,they would make an interesting architectural museum too.They could add colossal construction with respect to the old ones and have them both.I have connected the word demolish with dillapidated and shabby buildings.If they are still strong constructions and they are demolished,it’s like demolishing the past.I find very logical your viewpoint that the new ones will have the same fate and so on.The lampposts are impressively arrayed and your simile concerning the glass block structure is excellent.That’s the purpose of a fortress,it’s there to guard the gates to the treasuries …


  3. I much prefer the existing style, as opposed to replacing it with whatever contemporary style they might feel appropriate. The history reflected in the existing buildings (no puns intended, of course) is part of the charm and aura of the treasures they contain. I agree with those that say you should be sharing your photos with the museum association or Chamber of Commerce, as your photos are very welcoming and vibrant, and invite people to explore the spaces within. Your eye manages to capture the beautiful angles that leave the viewer wanting to see more … which is the whole point of any literature inviting folks to visit the museum. Really nice shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comments. I feel the same way about the buildings reflecting the history of the times. I’ll be going back to take more photos while I still can.


  4. I love your blog. I’m from Seattle and have been considering moving to L.A. In fact, I just returned from a visit. I will definitely return and keep up with your observations. I was particularly struck by this latest post on LACMA. This is the second visit where I meant to go and missed it. I wished it stayed open later since that would help with so much to do. For this visit, I had to focus on The Broad.

    While in the area, we also had time to visit MOCA and that makes me think of what you’re saying here since MOCA is housed in an older building and, from what I can tell, has not changed since its inception. I did enjoy seeing the permanent collection of contemporary art presented in a setting attune to a certain era. So, yes, this is a treasure that should be maintained.

    Certainly, a case can be made for updating and upgrading. However, if the structure has a beauty to it and a timeless quality, then one should really consider leaving well enough alone.


    • Thanks Henry…. maybe I can start a movement to save LACMA’s 60s and 80s buildings! You gotta visit LACMA. One of the reasons I enjoy living in LA is because of the variety and quality of museums at my doorstep. If I have to pick one for the top of my LA list it has to be LACMA which is why I feel so strongly about keeping it intact!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. worked there back in the 70’s..sure has changed… saw Rock Hudson making one of his last movies there…. he gave me a big smile…


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