October 26, 2017

Marc Chagall Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

MarcThere have been many “first” trips for me with DayTripper Tours over the past 13 years. Although this was not my first time to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it had been many years since I last lead a tour to the museum. I had a small group for this tour, just 26 passengers but I was very excited about seeing the Marc Chagall exhibit and all the transformations that have taken place.

LACMA got its start in 1910 at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art over at Exposition Park near the campus of USC. It wasn’t until 1965 that they opened their permanent collection as a separate institution in the Ahmanson Building on Wilshire Blvd. This stretch of Wilshire Blvd. is known as “Miracle Mile” where you can find many different museums to visit in just one day.

For this trip my passengers had the option of going to the famous Farmers Market or The Grove for lunch or they could stay at the museum the whole time where they also had several choices for lunch and they could spend more time exploring LACMA. We had a timed entry for the Marc Chagall exhibit but we were lucky in that it was still a little slow when we arrived at LACMA, so they let everybody go in early which was great. Most of my passengers spent their whole day at the museum while the rest of us headed over to the Farmers Market for lunch.

IMG_7493I love going to the Farmers Market on any trip with DayTripper Tours. It is so nostalgic and there are so many places to eat and shop. It has been visited by Presidents and celebrities like, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and even the Shah of Iran. Since it is so close to the CBS studios you can still spot a celebrity on occasion. I always like to try a different place to eat every time I go so I can recommend places for my passengers. This time I decided to try the famous Magee’s Kitchen which was one of the first restaurants established at the Farmers Market. As the story goes, one day while visiting a vacant lot at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax, the Magee’s noticed a group of farmers selling their produce from the back of their trucks. Blance Magee gave them some sandwiches and potato salad to eat and as they say, the rest is history. It is very popular with local Angeleno’s and it did not disappoint. Even though they are famous for their Corned Beef sandwich, I had the Roasted Turkey Club. After lunch I did a little shopping and then we were back on the bus heading back to LACMA which is less than a mile from the Farmer’s Market.

The bus drops off right in front of the “Urban Light” sculpture which has become an icon since its installation in 2008. I saw a lot of people taking selfies. I too could not resist taking a photo. If you have never seen it, it is 202 restored street lamps from the 1920’s and 30’s that were collected by the artist Chris Burden. He started collecting them in 2000, buying the first ones at the Rose Bowl flea market. Most of them come from the streets of Southern California. They are all placed by size and style and have become a very popular tourist attraction.

IMG_7499Next I headed over to the Marc Chagall exhibit in the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, the largest naturally lit, open-plan museum space in the world, according to the LACMA website. I admit that I did not know much about Marc Chagall but did some research about him before this trip. The art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century”. He worked in many different forms of mediums from painting, book illustrations, stained glass stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine art prints. The exhibit we were seeing concentrated on his four productions for the stage and they role that music and dance played in his artistic expression. He was also a violinist so it  made sense how it all came together and how he was inspired by music as an artist. The costumes that he designed were described as people wrapped up in his paintings. They were very colorful and unique. This was the first time they were being exhibited since they appeared on stage in the 1940’s to the 1960’s. As you walked through the pavilion they had music playing from the Operas which added to the whole experience. It was an impressive exhibition and I was inspired as a musician and graphic designer myself. I can appreciate the talents and gifts of others expressions.

I continued to explore the other pavilions at LACMA making my way over to the very peaceful Japanese Art pavilion. They had some of the most beautiful collections of vases I had ever seen. I also went into The Broad Art Museum, not to be confused with the Broad in downtown LA. It is named for the same couple Eli and Edy Broad but does not hold any of their personal collections. What I did see was an amazing sculpture by Chris Burden called “Metropolis II” which included 1100 custom designed cars, eighteen highways, and a variety of architectural structures made of wood, glass, stone tiles and other materials. It looked like many different cities and I got there just in time to see all the cars and trains going around the tracks. It was amazing.

IMG_7520I even had time to walk next door and view the La Brea Tar Pits. There new excavations that I had not seen since the last time I was there and it is another option when you go to LACMA. You can even visit the George C. Page museum if you wanted to. It is not included in the price of this tour but it is an option.

We arrived at the museum close to 11:00am and we headed back home to San Diego at 3:30pm. Although it was plenty of time to explore I still didn’t get to see everything but I wasn’t disappointed, because I will be signing up to do lead another tour to LACMA in the future. All the feedback received from my passengers was positive. Everybody seemed to enjoy the Marc Chagall exhibit and their day at the museum. Many of them had already been to LACMA but it is one of those museums that you never get tired of going back to again and again because the exhibits are always changing and there is so much to see.

Well, I hope to see some of you on one of my next tours. Until then, happy trails to everyone.

Donna D’Alia
DayTripper Tour Director

Tour: Marc Chagall Exhibit at the L.A. County Museum of Art
Date: October 21, 2017


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