Everything You Need To Know About The New Marciano Museum


A rapidly approaching opening date (May 25!) has been set and tickets are now available online for the much-anticipated Marciano Art Foundation. Here's everything you need to know about L.A.'s latest foray into Serious Art (and check out the gallery above for a preview of some of the works that will be featured in the museum's inaugural exhibit Unpacking: The Marciano Collection).

The Who: The Marciano Art Foundation was established by Maurice and Paul Marciano, two of the four brothers who founded Guess, to create a permanent exhibition space for and grant public access to their massive private art collection. "After several years of frenzied buying," the brothers ran out of space "to display their growing art collections," according to the New York Times.

The Landmark Building: The Marciano Art Foundation is housed in an opulent former Masonic temple on Wilshire Boulevard. The landmark Millard Sheets-designed Scottish Rite Masonic Temple sat empty for years before being acquired by the Marciano brothers for $8 million in 2013. Renovations were helmed by the ubiquitous L.A.-based architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY, who is seemingly everywhere at the moment—at least in the city's white-hot art world (see also: the new Christie's space in Beverly Hills, the forthcoming Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in the Arts District).

Fun fact: L.A. art-star Alex Israel actually acted as an accidental real estate broker for the space, according to the Wall Street Journal:

[Israel] spotted a for-sale sign on the temple a few years ago and insisted the collector take a look. “I said, ‘Wait, before you buy anything else—you have to check out this building on Wilshire,’ ” Israel says. “ ‘It’s unlike any other space.’ ”

Free Admission: Though there were initial fears that the space would be private and open by appointment only, the Marciano Art Foundation will join the Hammer Museum in Westwood and the Broad downtown as part of L.A.'s growing collection of free museums. The museum will be open to the public from Thursday through Saturday. Wednesdays will be reserved for school groups, and the museum will provide transportation reimbursements for all L.A. County public school visits (learn more about booking a school visit here). Advanced ticket reservations are required, and can be reserved online by setting up a free account (which takes less than 30 seconds) on their website. Get your tickets for June here. Tickets for July will be released on June 1 at 1 p.m.

Hours are as follows:
Thursday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday to Tuesday: CLOSED

Getting There: The museum is located at 4357 Wilshire Boulevard, right across from the Wilshire Ebell Theatre (a few blocks west of Crenshaw at the edge of Hancock Park). The site is easily accessible via Metro bus on the 20 line (get off at Wilshire/Lucerne) or the 720 Rapid (get off at Wilshire/Crenshaw). Free parking is also available on their lot, accessible off of Lucerne Boulevard, and is limited to two hours. Visitors must have a reserved ticket to park. Because of parking restrictions in Windsor Square, carpooling, rideshares and public transportation are highly encouraged.

The Exhibition Space: The museum will have about 55,000 square feet of exhibition space, which, according to William Poundstone's excellent art blog LACMA on Fire, is bigger than both the Broad (50,000 sq. ft.) and that of Grand Ave. MOCA (28,000 sq. ft.).

The Collection: The Marciano collection's focus is on acquiring principal works by mid-career and emerging artists, with a special emphasis on L.A. artists. A representative told LAist last year that the Marcianos are particularly interested in L.A. artists, and that over the years they have collected works by locals such as Ed Ruscha, Alex Israel, Sterling Ruby, and Mike Kelley, all of which will be shown at the museum. There are more than 1,500 pieces by over 200 artists in the collection, dating from the 1990s to the present, according to a press release. The collection, which a rep for the museum described as "ever expanding," will be shown to the public through rotating, thematic exhibitions.

Current Shows: The museum will open with two inaugural exhibitions: the first West Coast institutional solo show of Jim Shaw entitled The Wig Museum will debut alongside Unpacking: The Marciano Collection, a focused presentation of the collection's holdings organized by curator Philipp Kaiser (former director of the Museum Ludwig and former senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles). A museum rep told LAist that Unpacking will be "the first public exposure to this fantastic collection," and billed the Shaw show as a "long overdue show for a local artist."