The Marciano Art Foundation formally opens on a limited basis (three days a week) to the public this Thursday, May 25.
“This is a dream come true and a long time coming,” said Maurice Marciano in his welcoming remarks to the media at a press preview last week. “We love this city and we are inspired by Los Angeles artists. We wanted to open a space where we could give them a forum to express themselves.”
“There’s something thrilling about entering the old Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard in Windsor Square,” reported the LA Weekly in its review of the museum and opening exhibits last week.
And it is a very cool space.
The Marcianos have endeavored to create a modern art space inside a historic building formerly home of the secretive fraternal order of Masons. Architect Kulapat Yantrasast, of wHY Architecture, has sensitively transformed the more than 100,000 square foot building designed by Millard Sheets in 1961.
Details of the building are preserved and even celebrated, in the new design, but the space seems vastly brighter and more open than old photos of the original building indicate. There’s even a room dedicated to the Masonic artifacts left in the building, which offer interesting insight into the Masons.
Admission to the museum is free, but reservations are required and must be made online in advance. Parking, which has always been an issue for the neighborhood, is free in the 200 or so spaces on the property. And, in a note of deference to its neighbors, the museum’s website explains:
“Free parking is available on our 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.”
On Sunday, the museum welcomed neighbors and guests to a fancy barbecue and preview. Founder Maurice Marciano, architect Kulapat Yantrasast, and museum deputy director Jamie Goldblatt Manné (a native Los Angeleno who grew up playing in nearby Fremont Place) were on hand to welcome everyone.
While we were there, we saw the museum’s next door neighbors, Francine and Ian Jack (whose daughter Lauren is the exhibits manager, but we’ll talk about that in another story) and former neighbor Jamie Bennett, who told us they were so pleased to be celebrating this wonderful re-use of the former Scottish Rite Temple after enduring almost 15 years of aggravation with illegal uses after the Masons left the building in 1994.
The Buzz also saw Diane Dicksteen, Myrna and Rudy Gintel, Judy and Richard Zeller, Caroline Labiner Moser, CD4 Chief of Staff Sarah Dusseault, Sue Gilliag, Wendy, Zoe and Larry Guzin, Katie Jones and Anne Brilliant at Saturday’s barbecue.
The Marciano Art Foundation
4357 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Thursday 11am – 5pm
Friday 11am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Open to school tours Wednesday from 10am – 4pm. Find out more about school tours.
Closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Closed on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.