Tours and Excursions

On the Thursday afternoon of the Congress (15th September) a wide range of tours and excursions were arranged, allowing the city of Los Angeles to show its public and hidden cultural aspects. These were in two groups: bus tours and walking tours.

Bus tours

BT01—Making The Artist’s Vision

Depart 12:00; return between 18:00 and 19:30 - Includes lunch. Dinner on your own at end of tour in one of the city’s charming neighborhoods
This tour took participants behind the scenes of the exciting and technically complex world of large-scale contemporary sculpture fabrication. Visiting two of the most sophisticated and technically cutting edge studios in the world—Carlson Arts, LLC, fabricator of works by Jeff Koons, Ellsworth Kelly, and Claes Oldenburg, among others; and La Paloma Arts, fabricators of Jonathan Borofsky's Walking Man series, among others.
Fortunately for us, they were located next door to each other in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. They opened their doors to IIC participants for a rare inside tour of their facilities. Consisting of more than 50,000 square feet of hangar-like spaces, visitors got an up-close view of how large scale sculptures were technically designed, constructed and installed.
The tour ended in one the city’s charming neighborhoods with informal dining options before the bus returned to Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

BT02–Weisman Collection and the Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA

Depart 12:00; return between 18:00 and 19:30
Includes lunch. Dinner on your own at end of tour in Westwood Village
This two-part tour took visitors through a private collection and a public garden ending in one the city’s charming neighborhoods, Westwood Village with excellent informal dining options before the bus returned to Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

An Intimate View of Art: The Frederick Weisman Collection

An intimate tour of one of the great Los Angles private collections, the Fredrick R. Weisman collection. Delegates were greeted by Billie Milam, a conservator and director of the Fredrick Weisman Foundation.
Weisman began collecting art in the late 1940s, starting with the works of Willem de Kooning, Alberto Giacometti, and Mark Rothko. By the mid-1960s, the collection was well known and included works by European Modernists and Surrealist works. Artists such as David Hockney, Andy Warhol. Ed Ruscha, and Super Realist sculptures by Duane Hanson and John de Andrea filled the intimate space.
The collection of over 400 works is presented in a domestic setting and delegates experienced the works of art the same way Frederick Weisman did, in the intimate setting of his home.

Out In The Open: Conservation and Maintenance of the Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA

There are many stories to be told with the history of a public sculpture garden. Conservators overseeing the conservation maintenance of the sculptures in The Franklin D Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA shared some of those stories.
The University of California at Los Angeles is an important public university for Southern California. The campus is open to the public, which means there are no restrictions to who may visit the outdoor park and its artwork. Visitors bring their dogs and children to play in the garden, creating challenges in maintaining the pristine quality of the art. Dogs foul the art, children climb on the art, people spill liquids on the art and find it a challenge to skateboard and play football using the artworks as goal posts. The normal environmental problems also occur with tree pollens, acid rain and even constant automatic water sprinklers hitting the artworks.
Visitors learnt how conservators from the Sculpture Conservation Studio have maintained and treated the 70+ sculptures since 1998.
The garden spans more than five acres and is one of the most distinguished outdoor sculpture installations in the country. Landscape architect Ralph Cornell designed it in 1967. It currently hosts 79 sculptures by artists including Deborah Butterfield, Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin and David Smith.

BT03–The Marciano Museum of Art and LACMA

Depart 12:00; return between 18:00 and 19:30 - Includes lunch.
Dinner on own at end of tour at The Original Farmers Market
This tour took visitors to two museums—the first, not even open to the public yet, and the other one of LA’s most iconic museums. The tour ended at The Original Farmers Market with a wide range of excellent informal dining before the bus returned to Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

LA’s Newest: The Marciano Art Museum

LA’s newest cultural venue, the Marciano Art Museum was not yet open to the public when IIC delegates were given an exclusive tour of the extensive collection of contemporary art housed in the newly refurbished Scottish Rite Masonic Temple (a grand historic landmark building) on Wilshire Blvd in Mid-City LA.
The space was re-imagined to not only present the Marciano collections of well over 1,000 works of art, but also to provide cultural resources to the local and international cultural community. Encouraging research, performance and the making of contemporary art the Marciano Art Museum with an open storage archive, a young artists’ forum and a variety of temporary exhibition spaces for installations by local and international artists.
Maurice Marciano was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, “There is such a vibrant, vibrant art community in L.A., with so many artists living here. Artists who would not necessarily have a big exhibition at a well-established museum. That really inspired us to have a space where we could give a forum to these young artists to exhibit their art.”
The 90,000 square foot building, on Wilshire Blvd. was designed by Millard Sheets and built in 1961. Click here for photos of the building.

Looking at the City’s Museum: The Los Angeles County Art Museum

Situated within 20+ acres in the heart of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA), the “City’s Museum,” holds more than 150,000 objects including one of the city’s most impressive collections of contemporary art.
Visitors were guided through a behind the scenes tour of the conservation, analytical and research facilities, with opportunities to talk with conservation staff handling specific objects and installations, including Stephan von Huene's Kaleidophonic Dog, Jesus Raphael Soto's Penetrable, Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass, Richard Serra's Band, and Metropolis by LA artist Chris Burden.

BT04–The Getty Center

Depart 12:00; return between 18:00 and 19:30 – Includes lunch.
Each tour offered sufficient time at the end to visit the museum collections and ended in one of the city’s charming neighborhoods with informal dining options before the bus returned to Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
IIC is offered two separate Getty Center tours.
The Getty Center sits on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, just off the San Diego Freeway. Inspired by the relationship between these elements, architect Richard Meier designed the complex to highlight both nature and culture. The spectacular design features beautiful gardens, sculptures, open spaces, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the vast street grid of Los Angeles.
In addition to being a remarkable physical campus, the Getty Center houses the conservation studios serving the extensive collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute’s research laboratories and the Getty Research Institute.

BT04a–Getty Museum Paintings Conservation Laboratory and Stark Outdoor Sculpture Collection

Visitors went behind the scenes of the Getty Museum’s Paintings Conservation Studio and then toured the outdoor contemporary sculpture collection with the conservators responsible for the care of the sculptures. After the Museum visit, a Getty docent took visitors on an architectural tour of the Getty Center, including a visit to Robert Irwin's Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center. There was one hour to enjoy visiting the Getty’s many galleries before the bus returned to Westwood for dinner.

BT04b–The GCI Research Facilities and Getty Center Architectural Tour

GCI scientists took visitors behind the scenes of the scientific research facilities of the Getty Conservation Institute. After leaving the GCI, a Getty docent took visitors on an architectural tour of the Getty Center, including a visit to Robert Irwin's Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center, and around the outdoor contemporary sculpture collection in the expansive grounds. There was one hour to enjoy visiting the Getty’s many galleries before the bus returned to Westwood for dinner.

Walking tours

WT01—Art On The Move! A Tour of LA Metro Public Art Works

Depart 12:00; return between 13:30 and 15:30 - Includes lunch.
From photography installations to onboard posters, a diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into LA’s growing Metro transportation system, improving the visual quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. Visitors and a docent hopped on the LA Metro lines, stopping at numerous stations, to learn more about these stunning public works.

WT02— Painting the Town: A century of murals in downtown Los Angeles from 1914-2015

Depart 12:00; return 15:30 - Includes lunch. *Bonus option concludes at 17:30 or 18:00 with happy hour on your own afterwards.
From the historic movie theatres of LA’s golden age, to contemporary street art, Los Angeles contains a wealth of interior and exterior murals that tell the history not only of the city, but also the story of mural painting in the last century. Interweaving art and architecture, these murals add layers of complexity to the streetscape with visions of the past, present and future of Los Angeles and California.
Exploring on foot, the tour took delegates inside some of downtown’s finest buildings from the 1920s and 30s, to see the painted interiors, and along the streets to view large-scale works on facades by some of the most important muralists from the late twentieth century and super-sized examples of street art from the 21st century. Conservators, preservationists, and artists were given different perspectives on creating, conserving and preserving this diverse collection of murals covering many of the walls in the city center.
Bonus option for the heartiest and most adventurous, the tour continued on to El Pueblo Historic Monument for a private viewing of the mural, América Tropical by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1932), stopping along the way to see some of the LA freeway murals created in the 1980s. The site, approximately 15 minutes away from the tour’s last stop, could be reached by foot, metro or downtown shuttle (DASH). Opportunities abounded for a post tour happy hour along Olvera Street, a historic Mexican-themed marketplace.
Organized in partnership with the Los Angeles Conservancy with support from The Getty Conservation Institute.

WT03— The Broad! A Behind the Scenes Tour of LA’s Newest Contemporary Art Museum

Depart 12:00; return between 13:30 and 15:30 - Includes lunch.
One of the most anticipated events in the Los Angeles cultural scene was last fall’s opening of The Broad, LA’s newest museum of contemporary art and a major addition to the city’s cultural identity.
Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum is situated on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum, designed by the world-renowned architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, adds a spectacular structure to the Los Angeles skyline and is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection.
With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept which merges the two key components of the building: public exhibition space and collection storage, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase one of the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art in the world.
A member of the Broad museum staff guided delegates through both the collection and the stories that grew from preparing and installing one of LA’s newest and most impressive museums.

WT04—Where Music Meets Art: Disney Concert Hall

Depart 12:00; return between 13:30 and 15:30 – Includes lunch.
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is an internationally recognized architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world.
Craig Webb, senior partner and architect at Gehry Partners, LLP shared special insights into how he transformed Frank Gehry’s vision into reality. From the stainless steel curves of the Hall’s striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and its orchestra.
Additionally, the tour gave unprecedented access and insight into the design and function of this iconic building.

WT05—LA’s Skyline

Depart 12:00; return between 13:30 and 15:30 - Includes lunch.
IIC offered two downtown architectural tours.

WT05a—Deco Walk: The Art Deco Architectural Masterpieces of Los Angeles

Officially debuted at the 1925 L'Exposition Internationale des Artes Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris, the style now known as Art Deco took the western world by storm.
New, modern, and angular, the style was perfect for the machine age, and was used for everything from jewelry to teapots to skyscrapers. Typified by vertical lines, geometric patterns, and references to Gothic, pre-Columbian, and Egyptian art, Art Deco is stunning in its varieties of color and design.
Visitors saw that downtown Los Angeles boasts an extraordinary collection of Art Deco buildings, due to a building boom during the heyday of this architectural style. Source: LA Conservancy

WT05b—Contemporary Architecture and LA’s Skyline

From architecture to public art to public space, the Los Angeles Central Business District is a microcosm of the growth and development of the city.
From the 1880s when Victorian mansions crowned Bunker Hill, to today when sleek skyscrapers define the downtown skyline, the built environment of the Bunker Hill area has constantly evolved, reflecting the tastes, aspirations, and economics of the city’s population.
Delegates experienced the skyscrapers, plazas, and public art that define the bustling financial district today, and discovered how they relate to both the past and the future of Los Angeles, one of the great cities of the world. Source: LA Conservancy