Art of the Ancient Middle East
This display - built around the Nasli M. Heeramaneck collection of ancient
Near Eastern art - comprises more than two thousand objects and artifacts
spanning a period of more than four Millennia. Persian
art is a focus of the collection, which features ancient
pottery, sculptures and precious metalwork, all illustrating the major
ancient cultures of the region.
Art of the Ancient Americas
This section includes representative artworks from the major civilizations
of ancient Mexico, notably the ceramic funerary offerings (assembled by
Proctor Stafford) from the tombs of the Mexican states of Colima, Nayarit,
and Jalisco. These clay sculptures, which chronicle the daily life of
the time, were popularized by the renowned Mexican muralist Diego
Rivera (1886-1957), husband of the Mexican painter Frida
Kahlo (1907-54). The collection recently increased in size from 1,800
to 2,500 items following a donation of Colombian ceramics from Camilla
Chandler Frost, and Stephen and Claudia Munoz-Kramer of Atlanta.
Latin American Art
Embraces a range of works in all media over the last 250 years. The collection
was greatly enlarged with the 1997 gift, by Edith and Bernard Lewin, of
more than two thousand works by Mexican modernists.
Dating from c.1770 to 1945, the American
art collection mostly consists of oil paintings, watercolours, and
The African art collection features
body adornments, brightly painted raffia masks, wood and ivory carvings,
bronzes, beaded crowns, and other items of tribal
LACMA's collection of Oceanic art
from the islands of the Pacific Ocean illustrate the extremely diverse
cultural range of the area. It has a particular focus on the arts of Polynesia
and Melanesia, but also features artifacts from Micronesia and New Zealand.
One of the finest collections of Islamic
art in the West, it contains over 1,700 works of art - pottery, calligraphy,
textiles, illuminated manuscripts, paintings and more - originating from
nearly all areas occupied by Moslems over a period of some 1,400 years.
The Chinese art collection,
developed since the 1920s, has Chinese
pottery, porcelain, celadon ware, painted scrolls, ancient Chinese
bronzes, jades, lacquerware, and furniture.
Considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections outside Asia,
the Korean art collection started
with the 1966 gift of Korean ceramics by Bak Jeonghui, then President
of the Republic of Korea. The collection grew further, then in 2000 the
museum acquired more than 200 works of art from a very important collection
in Los Angeles. Highlights include wonderful examples of Buddhist and
literati painting, pottery, lacquerware, and sculpture.
The Pavilion for Japanese
Art is home to LACMA's collection of Japanese works dating from roughly
3000 BCE to 1900. Highlights include a pair of six panel ink and coloured
screens on gold paper depicting the Willow Bridge on the Uji River.
European Painting (c.1300-1920)
This collection of fine art painting
on panel, canvas, and other supports (onyx, copper, ivory), features a
number of European Old Masters, and illustrates
most of the movements and styles during this period, including Gothic,
Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism
and Art Nouveau. The followers and style of Caravaggio are well represented.
Also included is the Ciechanowiecki Collection of French oil sketches.
See also our article: How
To Appreciate Paintings.
German Expressionist Art
This collection is built around the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German
Dating from the era of ancient Greece and Rome up until the early 20th
century, LACMA's collection of sculpture
- in alabaster, limestone, marble, silver, wood, bronze, wax, plaster,
terracotta, porcelain, and even papier-mâché - features a
range of statues, reliefs, figurines, medals and plaquettes, from across
Europe, including the beautiful Descent into Limbo (1640) by Alonso
Cano, and works by the peerless 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
LACMA's collection of modern art - significantly
enlarged by gift of the 130-piece Janice and Henri Lazarof Collection
(reportedly worth more than $100 million) - consists of more than 250
works, mainly paintings and sculpture, from Europe, along with additional
pieces from the United States and Mexico. Artists represented include
the Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas, the Romanian sculptor
Constantin Brancusi, the Expressionist Wassily Kandinsky, Cubist Pablo
Picasso, the Fauvist Henri Matisse, the Swiss "existentialist"
sculptor Alberto Giacometti, the Dada artist Kurt Schwitters, the classical
Surrealist Rene Magritte, and many other modern masters, like Sam
Francis, Willem de Kooning, Joan Miro, Louise
Nevelson, Alexander Archipenko and Jean Arp.
LACMA's assembly of contemporary art
consists of 2000 works dating from 1945 to the present, drawn from artists
across the globe. It features a wide range of media, installation
and conceptual art, video and film,
as well as more traditional painting and sculpture. One of the highlights
of LACMA's collection of contemporary art is Back Seat Dodge '38
(1964) by Edward Kienholz - an erotic sculpture depicting a couple in
the back seat of a 1938 Dodge motor car. It remains one of the museum's
most popular exhibits.
Costume and Textile Art
LACMA boasts a world-famous collection of more than 30,000 items, representing
some 100 different cultures and two Millennia of human creativity in the
Decorative Arts and Design
Divided into three main areas, European, American, and modern/contemporary,
and dating from c.1200 to the present, this collection of decorative
art features a range of precious metalwork, ceramics, glass art, and
Works on Paper (Prints & Drawings)
This collection, numbering some 30,000 items, includes works by western
European and American artists, and exemplifies such printmaking
techniques as woodblock, etching, engraving, lithography, silkscreen and
The Wallis Annenberg Photography Department
This section, opened in 1984 following an endowment by the Ralph M. Parsons
Foundation, comprises a collection of about 6,000 works, with a focus
on post-1940 photographs, although it includes examples of fine
art photography from the invention of the camera in 1839 onwards.