Museum Trippin': Inside the Craft & Folk Art Museum

Craft and Folks Art Museum

A few weeks ago Le Kid and I headed to a homeschooling meet up at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. Although I’d seen it plenty of times on our way to LACMA or the Tar Pits, I never really felt the need to go. But because I’ve been looking to meet more homeschoolers (and because the exhibit we were seeing featured the work of a black artist by the name of Sonya Clark), we decided to venture out.

I’m glad I did. Not only is the Craft & Folk Art museum (CAFAM) larger than I expected (it looks pretty small from the outside, but is actually three stories tall), it was actually pretty cool. And their gift shop? DOPE!

When we first stepped into CAFAM, a large portrait of Madame CJ Walker made out of combs hung near the entrance.

Sonya Clark, Madame CJ Walker portrait

Although we got to tour the museum an hour before they opened and were there to see the Sonya Clark exhibit, we were able to check out some of the other installations as well. Currently, they are showcasing the art of Alaskan folk artists, and we saw some pretty cool paintings, photos, and sculptures. Some were even made of walrus belly!

I wasn’t familiar with Sonya Clark’s work before our visit, but I enjoyed checking out her exhibit which was all about hair.

Sonya Clark's work at the CAFAM

Here’s how the CAFAM described her exhibit:

Drawing from her African-American, Scottish, and Caribbean roots, Clark incorporates both the actual hair of African-American women and culturally associated hair-braiding techniques into textile form and sculptural objects. Her symbolic and innovative interpretation of materials and weaving processes explore the layered historical and intergenerational contexts of racial identity, disenfranchisement, and definitions of beauty within African-American cultures.

Le Kid got a kick out of Clark’s Abe Lincoln with an afro, and I was amazed at how hair could be molded into art (and even necklaces!).

Abe Lincoln with ‘fro!

If you get the opportunity to see Sonya Clark’s work in your city, or if you’re in Los Angeles and want to check out something besides the standard (and sometimes way too pretentious) art museums, be sure to stop by the Craft & Folk Art Museum! We will definitely be heading back.

Photo Trippin': The Getty Museum

The Getty museum courtyard

Over the past two weekend–yes, both–le kid and I have ended up at The Getty Museum. Last Sunday we went on a whim. It was a bright blue day, we were feeling a little stir crazy, and it’s free (but parking is $15), so we decided to head on out. This past Saturday, while out to breakfast with my mom, I asked her if she wanted to go to a museum, and since she’d never been before, we decided to go again.

The Getty museum sits atop Los Angeles and houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs.

While I know nothing about architecture–other than things look nice–the Getty looks very old worldly with its pale marble floors and walls, numerous fountains, and expansive greenery.

The Getty Museum courtyard

The Getty boasts a wonderful collection of art, which includes some of the “masters” like Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Rembrandt, and many others.

People gathering around Van Gogh's Irises.

Van Gogh's Irises

Painting of Louis XIV

One of le kid’s favorite parts of the museum (aside from the Family Room, which offers a hands-on place for kids to play) were the sculptures.

My mom studying the sculpture

Le kid enjoying the family room.

A fountain in the courtyard

On a clear day, the Getty is a beautiful place to spend a day. With its lush campus, amazing views of LA, cafes, and art, the Getty is definitely a must-see when you’re in Los Angeles.

The view from the Getty Center

Have you ever been to the Getty? What’s your favorite part of the museum? 

Feeling Cultured at the L.A. County Museum of Art

A section of the Berlin Wall in Los Angeles

A section of the Berlin Wall in Los Angeles.

Who doesn’t love pretty pictures? Even if you’re like me and can only name a handful of artists, I have a profound appreciation for the arts.

Over the weekend, le kid and I made our way to the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA). They were having a Target-sponsored family day, and since the kid (plus an adult) got in free, I figured…why  not?

We’d been to LACMA a few times before, but like most museums, the exhibits are constantly changing. This time they were showing a collection of Californian art, as well as a new instillation piece called Metropolis II that I knew le kid would LOVE (here’s a hint: it’s all about cars).

Metropolis II at LACMA

He was TOTALLY into Metropolis II

We arrived at the museum a little after 1pm, and lucikly, we were able to score street parking across from the museum (saved us $8). When we got to the campus, we strolled through the courtyard looking at the stations set up for the kids. The museum was also celebrating the Chinese New Year and kids were able to make masks, as well as learn about what “sign” they fell under according to the Chinese astrological calendar.

The kid didn’t feel too crafty, so we decided to head into the museum. We strolled through the California art exhibit, which also included a section on Spain’s influence on indigenous populations in the Americas.

After we toured those exhibits, we hit up the “modern art” building. Surprisingly, le kid had a lot to say about almost every piece that we saw, and really enjoyed himself. Even though he’s just 6, he had very strong opinions on what pieces he liked and why. I was very impressed!

(check out a video I made of our trip!)

Eventually, we made our to the Metropolis II exhibit, a whirling art piece with 1001 handmade die cast cars and trains moving at extremely fast speeds. There was a bit of a line to see it, but it was well worth it…the kid thoroughly enjoyed watching the cars whizz by!

Although we didn’t make it over to the ancient art side (we’ve seen it before), we could have totally spent a few more hours looking around the museum. Instead, we were both getting a little thirsty and decided to hit up one of the nearby food trucks for a snack.

Because I knew le kid still had energy to burn, we walked over to the La Brea Tar Pits, a museum that houses prehistoric fossils found in tar deposits in Los Angeles. Although we didn’t go into the museum, we sat outside and le kid quickly made a friend, and they played while I swapped parenting tips with his mom.

All in all it was a WONDERFUL way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  We not only had a great time, but our entire excursion was FREE (my kinda day!).

Do you have a favorite museum in your city? Share!