As Fires Spread Across Los Angeles, Museums and Galleries Close

The Skirball fire.


As multiple fires spread through Southern California, museums near the affected areas have been taking preventative action to close. No major institution so far has said it has incurred damage, but, as of midday, more than 150 buildings and homes have been destroyed in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, and nearly 12,000 more buildings are potentially threatened by four fires threatening various areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. ARTnews has reached out to institutions and galleries in areas affected by the crisis and will update this story with reports.

The Getty Center closed on Tuesday and remained closed on Wednesday. “We closed the to protect the collections against smoke,” a museum spokesperson said. “All Getty buildings have sophisticated filtration systems, but their effectiveness can be compromised by heavy traffic going in and out of the buildings.”

The Hammer Museum also closed on Wednesday with smoke conditions in mind—”to protect the artwork,” a spokesperson said. “Nothing has been damaged, but the air quality is very bad in Westwood today, so we’re taking precautions.”

The Skirball Center shuttered and said it would remain closed until further notice. In a tweet on Wednesday, the center said, “Our thoughts are with all our neighbors, and our thanks to the first responders working to keep us safe.”

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