museums of LA & Orange County
Los Angeles County Art Museum - My favorite California museum. It will be interesting to see what the new redesign of the building turns out like.
Huntington Library -The real stars at this museum are the gardens. A very peaceful place to wander around.
The Norton Simon - This museum has a little bit of everything. There are some very nice Impressionist paintings here.
And while you are in Pasadena don't forget to see the Gamble House.
MOCA - the LA museum of Contemporary Art - Art that makes you think.... if you like that kind of thing.
Petersen Automobile Museum - a great place to bring guys to with luscious cars, a interactive kids section and a place to plug in your electric car.
UCLA Hammer - Not as big and massive as some of the other museums but
it has had some very well thought out exhibitions over the years.
The J. Paul Getty - You need reservations to get in (or a student picture I.D.) but once you pay five bucks for parking you will enjoy a utopian paradise of art and architecture.
Orange County Museum of Art - Modern Art on the edge, in actually three different locations, Laguna, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa at South Coast Plaza.
The Bowers Museum - Not just California history but the site of some impressive special exhibits from all over the world.
Art museums of Europe - A few links...
The Victoria and Albert - They have a whole room devoted to textiles with tables where you can sketch them... my idea of heaven.
The British Museum - Elgin Marbles and Mummies. The way the light streams in at closing time will take your breath away.
The Musée d'Orsay - Room after room of Impressionist painters. Everybody famous is there. They also have a roomful of Art Nouveau furniture that is exquisite. The building used to be a train station. It has the most beautiful of all art museum restaurants.
The National Museum of Finland - This fortress-like museum in Helsinki has cases of interesting woodcarvings and costumes. A great place to spend a day sketching.
The Glacier Garden in Lucerne is a weird and wonderful place if for nothing else than the Alhambra "Hall of Mirrors." The Transportation Museum is interesting as well.