The largest museum in the western United States, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) holds endless exhibits featuring everything from ancient to modern collections. As I strolled along Wilshire Blvd on my way to meet some friends for lunch, I realized I had some extra time to spare – I decided to take a detour. There are three, free, outdoor installations that I can never pass up at LACMA!

This week’s Secret of SoCal is part one of the LACMA Outdoor Installation Mini Series, Urban Light.

Although I’m sure you have seen Urban Light in social media or online, do you really know the story behind this contemporary art installation? These 202 cast iron antique street lamps have been featured in movies such as Valentine’s Day (2010) and No Strings Attached (2011), as well as a recent episode of American Horror Story.


Restored from the 1920s and 1930s, these 202 street lamps now sit at the entrance of the museum and welcome patrons. The late contemporary artist Chris Burden, started collecting these street lamps in 2000, but was still unsure of what the lights’ final destiny would be. Many of the street lamp’s original homes were right in the Los Angeles area, some of the original lights still being found on Broadway and Sixth.

Whether at night or during the day, Urban Light is always worth a visit. Although I initially only wanted to spend fifteen minutes looking at the lights, I ended up walking around and admiring the small engravings and details for over two hours! The best part about this outdoor exhibit is that it is completely free so you can stop and admire Burden’s work anytime.


Be sure to visit Urban Light to admire the unique characteristics found in every antique street lamp. Check back later this week for part two of the LACMA Outdoor Installation Mini Series.

And remember- Take Care of this Moment.

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