A Five-Star LA Art Trip

By Bonnie Jensen and Carmen Mahood, Docents, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (August 2018)

“Life was meant for good friends and great adventures” might be the motto of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) docent travelers who take our art education worldwide. The FAMSF Docent Council offers docents, family and friends the opportunity to expand our understanding of art through shared experiences locally, nationally and internationally. An appointed docent serves as Travel Coordinator to design surprising and enriching, often unfamiliar, monthly art adventures. Pack your love of art and join us on our recent annual overnight trip to Los Angeles.

We began at the Annenberg Space for Photography where we viewed the Library of Congress exhibition of classic American photography. It featured the first “selfie” done in 1839, a signed photo of a young Harriet Tubman, and very moving photos of Abraham Lincoln before his Presidency and another shortly before his assassination.
The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Broad to see a comprehensive Jasper Johns exhibition that included his iconic American flags. Johns’ art influenced many of the postmodern artists. It had us questioning the meanings of symbols and the preconceived ideas that many of us bring to contemporary art. As Johns said, “One hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least, in the work.”

LA Art Trip 1

             Three Flags, by Jasper Johns

In the early evening we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA. Their permanent collection of contemporary art is stupendous.
On our second day we were off in our comfy bus to The Marciano Art Foundation housed in a former Masonic temple in the heart of LA. It features contemporary art predominantly from the 1990’s to the present. Google works by artists Olafur Eliasson, Jennifer Guidi, Kaari Upson and Damián Ortega and prepare to be amazed.

LA Art trip 2

   FAMSF Docent group in front of the Marciano Art Foundation

Sculpture by Alison Saar and iPad art by David Hockey at LA Louver gallery in Venice Beach took our breath away.

LA Art trip 3

              Figure holding cotton, by Alison Saar

Our grand finale was a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway past the Santa Monica pier to tour the landmark mid-20th century Eames House in Pacific Palisades, nestled in a eucalyptus meadow overlooking the ocean.

LA Art trip 4

                 Entering the Eames