What's the average amount of time a museum goer looks at a work of art?
Studies vary, but if your best guess is "on the short side," you're 100% right. And if you were to look at every work of art in every museum that is going to waive its admission on Saturday, Jan. 25, as part of the annual Museums Free-for-All, that amount of art-looking time would be much, much shorter.
We'll estimate it at .00984 seconds per painting or sculpture. Or .00983? Call it brief.
So, no, do not zip around to all 20 Southern California institutions intending to eye everything they offer on Jan. 25, the better to make the most of all that freeness. But could you pick two, or even three museums, and focus in on a few of their best-known or most offbeat pieces?
You bet. Could you look at the Serigrafi exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, a historic truck at the LA Fire Department Museum, and the quirky, inside-a-gallery ski lift at the Santa Monica Museum of Art? All in a day? And be better for it? Richer in spirit? Could you or could you not?
"Could" is the correct answer here.
Focus is the key on an overwhelming, free! free! free! day such as this. Sure, some people might try for all 20 museums, or the bulk of 'em, to say they did it, but loving on one or two is the more satisfactory route.
Oh, but this is important: Parking fees apply. So things'll get free when you step through the museum doors, and only then. Not when you enter the garage or lot. Good? No steam exiting your ears or anything over this? Yay.
For the full and expansive and colorful list of all the institutions that want to save you bucks during LA Art Month, you only need to give a looksie here.