Tour Descriptions

LACMA docents offer a variety of tours every day the museum is open. Topics change daily; please see the calendar for specific listings. You can also check the daily tour schedule posted in the Ahmanson Building, Level 2, or pick up a copy of Today at LACMA at the museum ticket office.

Starting in July tours will meet at the Smidt Welcome Plaza ticket office or at the LA Times Central Court ticket office. View map.
All guided tours are free with museum admission.

Public Tours

In Focus Tours | 1 pm
Explore several related objects in LACMA’s collection. This 20-minute talk will highlight one artist, style, or movement.                                                                                                                                                        

Spotlight Talks | 1:30 pm
These 15-minute talks focus on a single work of art in the collection.                                                                                                                   
Gallery Tours | 2 pm and 3 pm
Learn about a single area of the collection, gain insights into a special exhibition, or discover highlights of the museum in one of these 50-minute tours. Gallery tours are also offered at noon on Saturday and Sunday, and at 4 pm on holidays and Free Tuesdays (the second Tuesday of each month).                                                                                                

The following descriptions give a sample of the types of works that may be presented during a tour:

American Art
Explore America's rich artistic heritage from colonial to modern times. Through portraits, landscapes, sculpture and decorative arts, see how such periods as the American Revolution, Western expansion and industrialization helped shape the art and culture that is uniquely American.                                                                                                                    
Art of the Ancient World
Immerse yourself in the world of the cradle of civilization through archaeological finds, sculpture, silver and clay vessels, painting, royal wall reliefs, and even an Egyptian sarcophagus. Trace the beginnings of Western culture, from examples of the earliest writing through the illusionistic sculpture of the Greeks and Romans.                           
Art of China and Art of Korea
Become acquainted with these sophisticated ancient cultures in our newly reinstalled galleries. View the outstanding collection of paintings, sculpture, porcelain and calligraphy and learn how styles, materials, and subject matter developed over millennia, from Neolithic jade carving to contemporary photography. The impressive Korean collection began with a gift of ceramics from the President of the Republic of Korea in 1966.                               
Art of the Islamic World
Gain a deeper understanding of Islamic civilization with a tour of the museum's comprehensive collection. The cultures and traditions of the Islamic world, from Spain to Central Asia, can be seen in beautiful glazed ceramics, inlaid metalwork, tiles, calligraphy, and illustrated manuscripts.                                        
Art of Japan
Immerse yourself in Japanese culture and art by exploring the outstanding collection of painting, netsuke, ceramics and prints in the Japanese Pavilion. The gracious atmosphere of the galleries enhances the viewing experience as you tour the museum's collection of works dating from 3000 B.C. to the present.                               
European Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Art
Discover the breadth of LACMA’s diverse collection, which is particularly strong in 17th-century Dutch painting, works by French and Italian Baroque artists, and French 19th-century painting. You’ll also find magnificent costumes and decorative arts installed among paintings and sculpture. Among the many masterpieces you may see are a rare painting by Rosso Fiorentino, Rembrandt's Raising of Lazarus, and Cézanne's Sous-Bois                      
Latin American Art
Discover the complex worlds of Latin American art from ancient Mesoamerica and the Colonial period to the present. The great cultures of Mexico, Central and South America and their influence on contemporary art may be examined on one of the Latin American art tours.
Modern & Contemporary Art
Examine the work of 20th century artists including Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti. Consider how important art movements, such as Cubism, German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism, shocked the world. During tours in BCAM, encounter brilliant examples of contemporary art from LACMA's constantly-changing installations. Gain insights into the work of such artists as Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, and Richard Serra.                                

Special exhibitions of photography, from the medium's invention to the present, will be interpreted during these 20-30 minute In Focus tours.               

South and Southeast Asia
Delve into the religious beliefs of the region through encounters with Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu sculpture. Works from throughout the region are literally highlighted in a dramatic reinstallation of LACMA’s South Asian sculpture. Particularly noteworthy are early paintings, sculpture, and furniture from Tibet and Nepal. Spectacular jewelry, decorative arts and painting from India, Thailand, and Vietnam are also on view.                                  
Highlights of the Museum | LACMA Architecture + Art
This tour is an overview of the museum—its architecture and collection. Learn more about the history and transformation of the LACMA campus as you stroll across the equivalent of two city blocks. Special attention is given to the architects Renzo Piano, who designed BCAM and the Resnick Pavilion, and Bruce Goff, who created the Pavilion for Japanese Art.                                 
Highlights of the Museum | Art of the Americas
Discover LACMA’s robust collection, which spans the history and diversity of cultures across the Americas. See exceptional examples of painting, sculpture and decorative arts from the United States as well as splendid works of jade, stone and pottery from pre-Columbian cultures of West Mexico, the Olmec, and Maya. The tour also includes works from the Spanish Colonial and modern and contemporary Latin American artists.                                   
Highlights of the Museum | Ancient to Modern
Art from a wide range of cultures is installed in the Ahmanson Building. In one tour, compare and contrast the art of Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, from prehistoric times to our own century. Masterpieces from each of these cultures demonstrate the impact of cross-cultural connections spread through trade and increasing travel.                                    

For information about group tours, please visit Group Services. Interested in school tours? Learn more on how you can bring your class to LACMA