From vintage animated neon signs to electric fine art, the museum is the only place of its kind and completely devoted to neon art.
With nearly half a dozen exhibits yearly, MONA’s latest collection of work is guaranteed to be a favorite, possibly the most fun of them yet. After all, what says popular culture better than an all-American liquor store sign? Not a whole heck of a lot.
The museum’s latest exhibit: Neon on Tap: A Historical Retrospective of the Great American Beer Sign, features nearly 30 neon signs. These 30 signs range from classic and antique to funky and modern. Two highlights among the signs is the Hofbrau animated sign from Oakland, and the Grand Prize, an art deco sign from a brewery in Texas owned by Howard Hughes.
In addition to the various exhibits and the display of artist’s work, MONA also offers Saturday night guided bus tours of neon signs, movie marquees and permanent installations of contemporary neon art through Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. The narrated tours, developed by the museum in 1985, point out historic and aesthetic dimensions of the works and serve as guides to the history of Los Angeles in the 20th century.
MONA also offers Sunday morning classes for those looking to create their own neon art. Through these classes, students will be given the opportunity to design and fabricate their own illuminated artwork.
MONA is a non-profit, cultural and educational organization, which exhibits documents and preserves contemporary fine art in electric media and outstanding examples of neon signs. Founded in 1981, MONA is the only permanent institution of its kind in the world.
The Museum of Neon Art is located at 501 W. Olympic Blvd., in Los Angeles. Hours: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.; second Thurs. of the month, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, call (213) 489-9918 or visit www.neonmona.org. Price: $5, $3.50 seniors and students, children under 12 free, free to all second Thurs. of the month, from 5p.m.-8 p.m.