On our last full day in LA, a small group of us went to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). With some students and staff having already visited the museum on the trip and saying how good it was, along with several enthusiastic “you MUST go to LACMA”’s prior to travelling, we thought it would be a nice way to wind down the trip. ‘LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes nearly 130,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art’; including the work of Kandinsky, Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, Magritte, and Miró. A particular highlight was getting to see Chris Burden’s Metropolis II: a large kinetic sculpture, consisting of moving cars and trains whizzing around tracks through an intricately constructed city made of steel and aluminium, along with both Lego and Jenga style blocks. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos in the Picasso exhibition, but I made sure to take plenty of photos and videos of Burden’s sculpture, which is powered up several times a day.
In the evening, we met up with Alissa and Steve for a debrief. It was great to discuss as a group all of the exciting things we had discovered during our different archival explorations. For example, one member of the group had been fortunate enough to have been able to organise an interview with one of the performance artists he was studying, after discovering that the librarian he was collecting his items from at the archive was good friends with her! The debrief was also a really useful opportunity to think about what we would like to do next; both in terms of the immediate future with our writing, but also long-term. This experience has really made it clear that I would like to continue working in archives, both within a research capacity, as well as a potential career. I intend actively maintain a connection with the Margaret Herrick Library and the Warner Bros. Archive, and see what opportunities they might have in the future!