00000 - 00000 of 00000
00,000 of 00,000
Just when you thought you'd figured out what art really is, Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer is where modern art and the Protestant work ethic weir...
After the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's joint acquisition with the Getty of Robert Mapplethorpe's art and archives proved to be a major coup, ...
Artist Shinique Smith traveled from New York to Los Angeles a few times this winter and spring to meet with students at Charles White Elementary Sc...
See also: *More L.A. Weekly Film Coverage Friday, May 17 In 1995, audiences met Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) in Before Sunrise, the story of a chance meeting on a train that turns... More »
One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in L.A. Weekly's People 2013 issue. Check out our entire People 2013 issue here. Five months after a 340-ton rock officially became part of Michael Heizer's ... More »
2nd Annual West Coast BBQ Classic Barbecue aficionados and grillmasters take note: The West Coast BBQ Classic returns to Long Beach. As contestants compete for a $9,000 cash prize and serious bragging... More »
This week, an Yves Saint Laurent suit hangs in an elementary school, Marilyn Monroe sings in a Century City bathroom, and a group of writers revises a 1980s tome on looking your best. 5. OK, kids, ... More »
Coinciding with the Paris Photo L.A. show at the Paramount Pictures lot, which will highlight works by filmmakers such as Chris Marker (La Jetée) and Bruce Conner (Breakaway), LACMA will feature two documentaries on April 26 and 27 about renowned... More »
Re: LACMA and Children of the Plumed Serpent
On Monday, April 16, 2012, I visited the LACMA Museum to see the two Latin-themed exhibits: ‘In Wonderland’ and ‘Children of the Plumed Serpent’. I am in my seventies, with some physical limitations and a helpful cane. It had been several years since my last visit to LACMA and I noticed the positive changes. However, there are still areas that could use improvement and when I tried to bring some of them to the attention of a person with authority I ran into a brick wall. Up to that point I had actually forgotten how little the museum staff values any feedback from the public even though the museum exists to serve the public, uses public and donated funds to run its programs, and keeps appealing for more of those funds. Yet there is as total unwillingness to be in any way accountable or even seriously listening. There is no mechanism in place for eliciting public feedback.
As a museum patron I wanted to give some feedback to a person in charge. I was directed to the staff entrance. After the receptionist had checked with the department I was told in no uncertain terms that the name of the curator could not be divulged to me, much less would there be a possibility of talking to the curator. By now I had walked all over the museum to find the staff entrance. My impression is that LACMA is of course in compliance with all the regulations of the American with Disabilities Act. However, I found that lack of signage was making it burdensome to easily locate the elevators. The Children of the Plumed Serpent exhibit featured a continuous loop of a short film of about 8-10 minutes. Yet there was no seating available. I wanted to see the film but was too fatigued to remain standing. I asked if there was maybe a chair. There was not. So I decided to sit on the floor, against an empty wall, away from the flow of traffic. The guard instantly came to inform me that I was not allowed to sit down. She got agitated when I remained on the floor. Please understand: I do not blame the guard. She thought she was doing her job. I blame the curator who set up the movie screening but made no provisions for any kind of seating and I blame the museum administration who obviously is lacking in sensitivity to the needs of handicapped patrons and is negligent in training the guards to those needs.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘In Wonderland’. The way the space was subdivided for the exhibit was creative and pleasing. The art works assembled were especially interesting when combined with similarly inspired works. The catalogue was impressive and I appreciated the fact that so many catalogue copies were made accessible to the public. I felt that this was one of the most intelligent, most well presented collections the museum had ever had. I was a happy patron.
Then I went next door to the ‘Children of the Plumed Serpent’, my primary reason for coming to LACMA that day, especially to view the codices on display. Unfortunately, this exhibit was not all it could have been and it left me very disappointed. The last time
LACMA had a codex on display it had been shown open on a very long rectangular table. This time the codex was only opened to one page. Why wouldn’t you show the whole thing? There was, however, a filmed version of the codex in a separate case which I only discovered accidentally since it was not well marked and the screen was dark when not activated. When it was activated it raced through the codex at lightening speed, making it impossible to really focus on any of the detailed hieroglyphic drawings. Different ceramic works and jewelry can readily be seen both here in L.A. and in Mexico. An actual example of one of the handful of codices is an entirely different matter. It should have been the jewel of the exhibit, displayed in its entirety and certainly a line-by-line translation should have been provided. John Pohl, the co-curator of the exhibit, published a wonderful children’s book called ‘The Legend of Lord Eight Deer’. There he explained the epic in great detail. He could easily have done so for LACMA’s exhibit. The same is true for the original map of Tolula and the genealogy of the royal families. Here the signage was again completely inadequate, often at a level one could only read when kneeling on the floor. There was a map posted at the entrance but that map was sorely inadequate. Since just about every museum in Mexico has wonderful, detailed maps of the different native population centers, INAH would have gladly shared such maps.
Congratulations for being able to import such outstanding artifacts, shame on you for not giving them the importance, the prominence, and the detailed explanations they deserve.
What disturbed me the most about my latest experience with LACMA was less the fact of a poorly curated exhibit that should have been exceptional but much more the fact that the institution keeps isolating itself from public comment and its employees are not held accountable. That is not a good way to run an important institution as the scandals at the Getty Museum must have proved to all of us.
Being the eternal optimist I am giving it one more try. I’ll go back for another visit before the end of May. I am sincerely hoping to see some improvements.
It's either totally wondrous or worthy of shared civic shame that the most ethnically diverse, racially mixed, friendly place to chat with Angelenos from all nations is the Canoga Park Costco. And then there's LACMA's Friday Night Jazz Series, a multi-culti/hi-low fashion/blue-red politics powwow set outdoors just a few feet from Chris Burden's city-defining landmark, Urban Light. This wildly mixed and friendly scene offers fine jazz, and if you get there 20 minutes early you can grab a... More »
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city