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When in LA, modern art fans must pay a visit to the MOCA. The Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, houses a collection of modern pieces in Los Angeles. You’ll find modern paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media pieces in its collection and rotating exhibitions.
MOCA has three locations: MOCA Grand in downtown Los Angeles, MOCA Geffin in downtown LA’s Little Tokyo, and Double Negative, a work of land art near Overton, Nevada. The museum’s main location is MOCA Grand, so that’s the campus we’ll focus on here.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
The MOCA was established in 1979 when a group of local philanthropists, collectors, and government officials came together to bring a contemporary art museum to Los Angeles. Many local figures, including then-mayor Tom Bradley, philanthropist Eli Broad, artists, and galleries worked together to bring the museum to fruition.
Today, the MOCA describes itself as the only artist-founded museum in LA. The museum’s collection is made up of about 7,000 contemporary pieces created after 1940.
Tickets and Hours
General admission to the MOCA is $15.00 (and that ticket is good for both MOCA Grand and MOCA Geffin). There are discounts for students and seniors and children are free. If you have an LA Metro TAP Card, you can get two tickets for the price of one. Additionally, admission is free every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (However, according to the LA Times, admission to the MOCA will soon be free.)
The MOCA is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Tuesday. The museum is also closed on Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), and New Year’s Day (January 1).
How to Get to MOCA
The MOCA is on South Grand Avenue near West 3rd Street, just down the street from The Broad. To get to the MOCA, you can drive or take public transportation, but public transit is the better option. This way you don’t have to deal with traffic and parking downtown and you can get a discounted ticket with your TAP Card.
The nearest underground metro station is Civic Center / Grand Park. This station is served by both the Metro Red Line and Metro Purple Line. This station is only .3 miles, or about an eight-minute walk, from the museum.
There are also several bus stops nearby, like the Grand and 3rd stop just outside the museum.
If you prefer to drive, there are a couple options for parking. Keep in mind that parking is often limited downtown and you’ll always have to pay.
You can park at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (111 S. Grand Ave.), which costs $9.00 with validation from MOCA. The entrance to this parking garage is on 2nd Street in between Grand Avenue and Hope Street.
Another parking lot you can use is at California Plaza (351 S. Olive St.). Prices for this lot vary. You can enter this lot from Olive Street or Lower Grand Avenue between Kosciuszko Way and 4th Street.
Finally, there is also metered street parking in the area.
The MOCA is located at 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Rules and Tips
As with any museum, there are rules in place to respect and protect the art. Here are a few things to keep in mind while visiting the MOCA.
- Food and drinks are not allowed in the galleries or auditorium.
- Never touch the art.
- Be courteous of other visitors and only talk on your phone outside of the galleries.
- Large personal items and backpacks must be checked in at the welcome desk.
- No smoking inside the museum or within 20 feet of the door.
- Service animals are allowed in the museum, but pets and emotional support animals are not.
- If you wish to take notes or sketch, pencils are allowed. However, you can’t use ink, charcoal, markers, or oils.
If you’re a fan of contemporary art, the MOCA is a great museum to visit in downtown Los Angeles. Hop on the metro, spend some time wandering its galleries, and then explore some more of the downtown area. Cheers!