The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles has three functioning locations in L.A.: the MOCA Grand Avenue downtown, the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo, and the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.
The main location, MOCA Grand Avenue, houses upwards of 5,000 contemporary artworks (from 1940 forward). Here you’ll find works by de Kooning, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Rothko, and more, as well as high-profile traveling exhibitions (recently Louise Bourgeois, which originated at the Tate Modern in London and traveled to the Guggenheim Museum in New York).
The Geffen Contemporary building was originally used as a temporary space for the collection in 1983. An old 1940s hardware store renovated by Frank Gehry, the space proved to be an excellent exhibition space and continues to be utilized as the museum’s space for large-scale sculptural works and installations, and as a gallery for works by lesser-known artists.
The Design Center, opened in 2000, presents new work, exhibition programming (in its 384-seat theater), and showrooms of traditional and contemporary furnishings.
Educational programming takes place at all three locations and includes excellent free programs, such as First Sundays are For Families workshops, which are drop-in programs featuring hands-on activities for all ages. The second Sunday of each month is reserved for teens invited to join TOCA (Teens of Contemporary Art) in free exhibition explorations and art workshops.
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA) Information
- Venues: MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 South Grand Avenue; Geffen Contemporary Art at MOCA, 152 North Central Avenue; MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue
- Public Transportation: Good for all locations. MOCA Grand (easily accessible from Metro Rail – Silver Line and several buses at Grand Avenue/3rd Street; or a 7-minute walk from the Red Line at Pershing Square). The Geffen (steps from Metro Rail – Gold Line at the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, and buses 30, 40, 42, 445, 730, and BBB10 at Temple Street/San Pedro Street). The Pacific Design Center (a short walk from buses 4, 105, 305, 550, 704, and 705 at Melrose Avenue/Santa Monica Blvd.)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: MOCA Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary Art at MOCA Monday and Friday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday. MOCA Pacific Design Center Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Monday
- Admission: MOCA Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary Art at MOCA regular admission $10, seniors (65+) and students $5; free admission at MOCA Grand Avenue and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA every Thursday 5–8 p.m. MOCA Pacific Design Center free
- Tours: Free. MOCA Grand Avenue and the Geffen Contemporary Art at MOCA offer tours throughout the day as a part of museum programming
- Membership: Basic membership is $75 annually and includes unlimited free admission for two, discounted weekend parking for MOCA Grand Avenue, invitations to all members’ openings and behind-the-scenes tours.