With rain on Thursday and more predicted this weekend, it may be time to visit one of Los Angeles’ world-class museums. But don’t get caught up in the same handful of tired art galleries. The Broad and LACMA have wonderful collections, but you can just as easily get lost wandering some of L.A.’s stranger museums.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Easily one of Los Angeles’ most infamous destinations, the Museum of Jurassic Technology David and Diana Wilson in 1988 as a repository for the weird and wonderful. Boasting more than 30 permanent exhibits, the Museum houses works of art such as micromosaics made from butterfly wing scales, oil portraits of dogs sent into outer space, and a collection of unusual letters sent to Mt. Wilson Observatory. The Museum of Jurassic Technology is open four days a week, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Bunny Museum
If cute and cuddly animals are your thing, make sure to drop by the Bunny Museum in Pasadena sometime. Of course, you’ll want to leave rowdy kids at home, as these bunnies aren’t for petting. The Bunny Museum is dedicated to rabbits in pop culture and kitsch. There are no live animals in sight, but there is plenty of art to admire, along with one rather morbid exhibit. The Chamber of Hop Horrors is dedicated to chronicling the abuse of bunnies throughout time, both in real life and on film.
Museum of Neon Art
Neon signs are more often associated with late-night liquor store runs, but as anyone who has seen the recent Fine Arts Building neon art exhibition can attest, there is more to neon than just hot gas. The best place to go in Los Angeles is the Museum of Neon Art, which houses everything from risque R-rated pieces to ordinary parking garage signs that have stood the test of time. Recently, MONA has added kinetic sculptures and plasma to its collection.
The Martial Arts History Museum
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ll love the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank, which tracks the evolution of martial arts from its eastern origins to the current scene in America. Although real-life culture and history take center stage here, the museum doesn’t hold back when it comes to pop culture. Anime, action movies and even video games have exhibits at the museum, and unlike the Bunny Museum, the Martial Arts History Museum encourages visitors to bring the kids.
International Surfing Museum
Of course, all the museums in the world couldn’t make the average Angeleno forget summer. If you’re already pining for summer days (despite fall weather in the mid-80s), keep the dream alive by visiting the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach. Surf City USA’s ultimate nostalgia trip has an archive of hundreds of items, from photos to memorabilia and of course, music.