LACMA is packing, preparing for construction in early 2020

| October 31, 2019 | 1 Comment

GEFFEN GALLERIES, view east from BCAM. Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary

Statues and portraits are being packed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in preparation for construction of the David Geffen Galleries, set to start in early 2020.

The 347,500-square-foot permanent collection building, which will span Wilshire Blvd., replaces four buildings: Ahmanson, Art of the Americas, Bing and Hammer.

The latter have already mostly closed pending demolition, and the 31-year-old Pavilion for Japanese Art — in the middle of a two-year renovation — is temporarily closed.

Meanwhile, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and the Resnick Pavilion will remain open throughout construction. Visitors also can continue to eat and drink at Ray’s and Stark Bar. Also open is LACMA Café, located in an Airstream trailer on the plaza outside of Ray’s.

The Geffen Galleries building is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and open in early 2024, a museum spokesperson said.

LACMA overpass.

The $650 million project was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in April and is pending approval by City Council for the museum’s use of air rights above Wilshire Blvd. A city committee is scheduled to review the project Nov. 6.

The museum’s holdings continue to be accessible as part of its active traveling program.

Seven European paintings are on display at the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr.

Guido Reni’s mythological “Bacchus and Ariadne” is “one of the great masterpieces in LACMA’s collection,” according to Getty senior curator of paintings Davide Gasparotto on the blog Un Framed. The god of wine, Bacchus, and the princess are depicted on the Greek island of Naxos in the painting dating from 1619-20.

Another at the Getty is Rembrandt’s commanding “Portrait of Marten Looten,” a wealthy merchant in 1632. J. Paul Getty purchased the painting in 1938 and gave it to LACMA in 1953, a year before he opened his own museum in Malibu.

Cezanne’s “Sous-Bois” hangs next to Van Gogh’s “Irises,” perhaps the most popular painting at the Getty, according to

Six sculptures are on loan to the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes and other objects are at The Huntington and at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

On view in an original building at LACMA is the Snapchat-inspired exhibition, “Christian Marclay: Sound Stories,” through Mon., Nov. 11 in the Art of the Americas building.

“Building LACMA,” featuring renderings of Peter Zumthor’s Geffen Galleries project, is in the Ahmanson until the end of the year. Free.Visit

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  1. M.Welles says:

    Good artticle!

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