From interactive and creative installations to concerts and tranquil gardens, some of the most well-known museums in Los Angeles employ pieces inside and outside their walls to enhance the experience of visitors. Museums across LA County contain some of the most notable and esteemed collections amongst their buildings, which attract thousands of viewers every year to their exhibits. This is a list of some of the most famous displays and installations in Los Angeles’s most acclaimed institutions.

1. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Chris Burden’s Urban Lights | Maria Alejandra Cardona, © Chris Burden / licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

LACMA is an essential destination for any art exploration in Los Angeles. With one of the most extensive collections of contemporary and Asian works, LACMA offers an exuberant experience of art, culture, and tradition. The museum reflects the diverse culture and heritage of the Los Angeles County through its combination of antique works and contemporary installations. One of the most well-known installations of the museum is​ “Urban Light” by Chris Burden​. The installation consists of over 200 street lamp fixtures, opened for display in February 2008.

The work is comprised of street lamps dating back to the 1920s and has become the face of the museum. “Urban Light” attracts hundreds of thousands attendees to the museum every year, and numerous photos on social media show the attractive and romantic scenery of the piece at night. Each evening, hundreds of LED lights are turned on and then are turned off during the day. Collector and market seller Jeff Levine supplied and aided Burden in building the collection of the lamps as well as remodeling and servicing them over the years. The lamps came from a variety of different cities and locations within Los Angeles County. Each one serves as a reflection of the city’s dynamic culture and heritage.

Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6000

Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, free for children.

Hours​: Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 10AM–7PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM
Monday 11AM–5PM
Tuesday 11AM–5PM
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 11AM–5PM

2. The Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is known for its collection of Early European and Asian works that were collected by famous entrepreneur and philanthropist Norton Simon. Over his lifetime, Simon collected over 8,000 pieces, and through his travels he was able to purchase important cultural and traditional works from a number of heritages. One of the most revered pieces of the museum is a bronze replica of ​”The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin​. The piece dates back to 1880, and the bronze-casted edition is situated outside of the façade of the museum, part of the sculpture garden that wraps around the front entrance. The famous replica of the esteemed work displays the intricate detailing of contracting and relaxed muscles, as well as furrowed brows that appear to become more constrained the longer you look at the them.

Address: 411 W Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 449-6840

Admission: $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, free for children.

Hours: Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 11AM–8PM
Sunday 11AM–5PM
Monday 12–5PM
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 12–5PM
Thursday 12–5PM

3. J. Paul Getty Museum

Collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum consist of a wide variety of European paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and sculptures. Along with the vast collection of art, the museum provides visitors with an equally-exciting exterior experience throughout the several different gardens on display. They are constantly evolving with the seasons and attracting new wild and plant life.​ The Central Garden​ contains a series of mazes and vegetative pathways that interact and intertwine among the structures around them.

The garden was created by Robert Irwin and opened in 1997. He intended for the design of the pavillion to not only be a visual experience, but also a sensory experience as well. Visitors are able to witness how the water that fills the central fountain at the end of the sloped hill travels from the front steps of the entrance through large stone basins and connecting waterways. Within the central fountain’s center there is a maze of azaleas, and if you are lucky you might be able to see the resident duck try to find his way to the center. Within the central plaza visitors will see overwhelming bougainvillea plants that carry themselves through man-made structures that hook over park benches. All of the gardens and vegetation that surround the center accentuate the pool and its reflection on the stone detailing.

Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300

Admission: Free

Hours: Friday 10AM–5:30PM
Saturday 10AM–9PM
Sunday 10AM–5:30PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10AM–5:30PM
Wednesday 10AM–5:30PM
Thursday 10AM–5:30PM

4. The Hammer Museum

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Katsushika Hokusai, Fuji behind the waves off Kanagawa (The Great Wave), 1831-1833 Full-color woodcut (nishiki-e). 10 3/16 x 14 3/4 in. (25.9 x 37.5 cm). Collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. Purchased from the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection 

Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer, The Hammer Museum opened to the public in November 1990. The Hammer Museum prides itself on the principles of exploration and display of modern and contemporary works that comment on cultural, societal, and political trends. The Hammer Contemporary Collection holds over 2,000 artworks.

Located within the Grunwald center, “​The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (1831-1833) ​ is a woodblock print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. As one of the first woodblock prints in the collection, ​”Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” the print depicts the overwhelming presence of a huge wave towering over the incapacitated boats below with Mount Fuji in the background. There are extensive copies of the print around the world, and The Hammer Museum houses one of the most detailed and intricate replicas.

Address: 10899 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 443-7000

Admission: Free

Hours: Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 11AM–5PM
Sunday 11AM–5PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM
Thursday 11AM–8PM

5. The Broad

The Broad, located within the heart of downtown Los Angeles and adjacent from the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, is renowned for its installation of two of ​Yayoi Kusama​’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. Currently, ​”The Infinity Mirrored Room:​ The Souls of Millions of Lightyears Away,” is the only one that currently resides at the museum. Kusama’s works are well known for their exploration of human vanity and self reflection through the use of 360-degree mirrors and the placement of distinct lights that bounce off various reflective surfaces.

This installation is a national attraction that has gained the attention of thousands of people every year that visit the museum. The compacted room contains metal, glass, and acrylic detailing with the placement of lights strung throughout the room. Visitors can stand within the center and take photos of the numerous illusions created within their reflections.

Address: 221 S Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 232-6200

Admission: Free

Hours: Friday 11AM–8PM
Saturday 10AM–8PM
Sunday 10AM–6PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11AM–5PM
Wednesday 11AM–5PM
Thursday 11AM–8PM