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Some people checking out one of the exhibits.
Long Beach Museum of Art
Closest available address
2300 East Ocean Boulevard Long Beach, CA 90803
Open Thursday 11am to 8pm & Friday–Sunday 11am to 5pm
Best time to visit
Long Beach Museum of Art is located in downtown Long Beach and fronts the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1950. The museum property includes a historic home, a contemporary exhibit hall, an indoor/outdoor restaurant, and a large grass lawn which is a frequent event venue. There are approximately 3,000 works of art in the collection, with a mix of both paintings and decorative arts. Art themes include early 20th century American and European art as well as California modern. Galleries are open Thursday-Sunday; admission is free on Fridays.
The historic home was built in 1912 by Elizabeth Milbank Anderson, who inherited a sizable estate and was a generous civic benefactor. The house was later home to a social club and was eventually purchased by the city of Long Beach for use as an art gallery. Some art is displayed in the house such as figurines and paintings on the first and second floors, but it mainly serves as a restaurant. The larger exhibit hall next to the house was completed in 2000 and is the main display area. There is an artist in residence studio in the exhibit hall basement.
This visit was mostly a time filler as there were a few hours to kill before a flight on a Sunday, and the museum was nearby. It turned out to be much better than expected due to a highly interesting temporary exhibit by F. Scott Hess. The exhibit was called Paternal Suit and featured the artist's heirlooms as well as his own painting and decorative arts about his family history. It was an excellent and really novel show from a talented artist. There also were some nautical themed oil paintings from the permanent collection on display, but they were much less interesting. Since the Hess exhibit was so impressive, the overall experience was very enjoyable. It's hard to rate the permanent collection though, since so little was viewable. Prior to coming here you should check out the exhibit schedule on the museum website to see if the art is of interest. Given the quality of the Hess works, the museum has good taste, so it's likely future temporary exhibits will have appeal. Temporary exhibits usually include more traditional permanent collection art and more experimental art on loan. On a side note, the restaurant was packed by noon on Sunday, so it's clearly a popular brunch destination. Lunch service is also available as is a happy hour/dinner service on Thursday nights when the museum is open later.
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