Each exhibition at this modern, spare and expertly-curated museum, opened to the public in 2002 by local art collectors Robert and Arlene Oltman, provides an in-depth history of a single facet of the state, from Latino graffiti culture in Los Angeles to the logging industry's late 19th-century golden age in Mendocino County to the Depression's Dust Bowl Migration of farmers from Oklahoma and Texas to Central California.
Parking in the museum's ground-floor covered lot is free, but you'll probably be tempted to spend some money in the small gift shop, stocked with whimsical action figures, hand-printed greeting cards, jewelry and prints by California artists like Mike Giant, Irving Norman and Millard Sheets. Be sure to visit the third floor, where a 4,000-square-foot rooftop terrace allows you to sigh over a gauzy-soft view of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Attend both PMCA and the nearby Pacific Asia Museum in the same
day and receive 50% off admission at the second museum when you present
proof of entrance.
The museum is walking distance from Metro Gold Line: Memorial Park Station. The best route to take by transit: Bus: 267/264, 687/686, 690, 10, 256.