Impressionism is an art movement that began in Paris, France in the latter part of the 19th century, in which the artists tried to capture light and the world as they saw it without being constricted by the artistic rules of the time. Champions of Impressionism are big names of the art world: Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Mary Cassatt included. The Impressionists moved the easels out of the studios and to the open air, where they could experience their surroundings fully.
In Los Angeles, there are several opportunities to appreciate Impressionist art. Consider the following places when you want to enjoy bright paintings in light colors, delivered with quick and short strokes by the artist, as if not to miss the moment.
Norton Simon Museum
Hours: Mon: Noon- 6 p.m.; Tues: Closed; Wed-Thu: Noon – 6 p.m.; Fri: Noon – 9 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Noon- 6 p.m.
$10 adults / $5 seniors / free for under 18, students with ID, and museum members
One of the founders of Impressionism, Edgar Degas particularly enjoyed the subject of dance. Several of his paintings, sculptures, and drawings depict dancers. The Norton Simon Museum has over one hundred works of art by Degas, next to paintings by other Impressionist greats like Monet and Renoir.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Hours: Mon-Tues: Noon-8 p.m.; Wed: Closed; Thurs: Noon – 8p.m.; Fri: Noon – 9 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
$15 adults / $10 seniors and students with ID / Children free
Mary Cassatt was an American artist who lived most of her adult life in France and became friends with the members of the Impressionist movement, in particular, with Degas. Her paintings depict women, quite often in their function as mothers. As part of its European Collection, LACMA displays Cassatt’s “Mother About to Wash her Sleepy Child,” next to the work of other Impressionists like Renoir and Pissarro.
Hours: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$10 adults / $5 seniors and UCLA alumni with ID / Free for under 17, students with ID, veterans, military personnel and for everyone on Thursdays
The Hammer Museum belongs to UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture. As part of the collection that honors the museum’s founder, the Armand Hammer Collection provides a look into the major movements of the latter 1800s, with Edgar Degas’ works representing Impressionism.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Hours: Mon: Closed; Tues-Fri: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Sat: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sun: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free admission / $15 parking
Alfred Sisley liked painting landscapes and doing so outdoors. He chose not to paint figures and was pleased to remain part of the Impressionist movement during his entire career. He was French by birth and lived in France most of his life, but always retained British citizenship. The Getty Collection contains his 1875 painting entitled “The Road from Versailles to Saint-Germain,” along with other important works by Impressionists Monet and Renoir.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Hours: Mon: Closed; Tues – Sun: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$9 adults / $6 seniors, students with ID, and ages 6-17 / free for under 6 and members
Impressionism got its name from Claude Monet’s painting “Impression, Sunrise.” Monet, quoted as saying: “Color is my day long obsession, joy and torment,” was the most prolific of his group at painting on the canvas his perception of his surroundings, rather than simply copying the landscape. Just a couple of hours from Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art houses several Monet pieces, including “Waterloo Bridge,” “Charing Cross Bridge,” and “Villas a Bordighera.”
Related: Best art galleries in Los Angeles
Dena Burroughs lives in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. She is also the LA Arts Examiner.