Family Travel, History & Culture, United States

Palm Springs Art Museum – A Gem in the Desert

April 4, 2015

Palm Springs Art Museum – A Gem in the Desert

The excited chatter and arm-tugging were the first signs I had picked a winner. Museums are tricky with children and for some, a visit to the museum is as welcome as a trip to the dentist. This was not the case at the Palm Springs Art Museum in California, USA.

Sculpture Garden

After a delicious lunch al fresco in the welcoming sculpture garden seated next to Jim Dine’s Twin 6’ Hearts[1], we entered the modern building in downtown Palm Springs, home to major collections including modern, contemporary as well as Native American art.

Jim Dine Twin 6' Hearts Sculpture Garden Palm Springs Art Museum

Jim Dine, Twin 6’ Hearts

Inside the Palm Springs Art Museum

Right from the start, the giant playful canine in the main lobby – Yoshitomo Nara’s Your Dog[2] – set the tone for a joyful exploration of the museum.

Yashitomo Nara's Your Dog Exhibit Palm Springs Art Museum

Yashitomo Nara, Your Dog

Antony Gormley’s Apart X[3] captivated my attention, and while I was pondering and photographing, the boys were checking out the surrounding displays.

Metal block figure by Antony Gormley called Apart X in the Palm Springs Art Museum

Antony Gormley Apart X

Climbing the stairs, I altered my course to move around an old couple resting on the bench. Something caught my attention – the people weren’t moving – at all. Duane Hanson’s Old Couple on a Bench[4] is fascinating. I hope I’m not the only person that thought they were real.

Life-like Old Couple on a Bench by Duane Hanson Palm Springs Art Museum

Duane Hanson, Old Couple on a Bench

Once upstairs, Erwin Wurm’s Fat Car[5] drew the children like a magnet.

White and puffy fat car by Erwin Wurm Palm Springs Art Museum

Erwin Wurm, Fat Car & Robert Therrian, No Title (stacked plates, butter)

LA pop artist Robert Therrien’s No Title (stacked plates, butter)[6] made us laugh and feel a little dizzy as we circled the display.

Don’t miss The Last Outpost[7] by Llyn Foulkes, a mixed media assemblage along with a thoughtful poem about the journey from boyhood to old man.

Llyn Foulkes The Last Outpost a cowboy inspired mixed media assemblage

Llyn Foulkes, The Last Outpost

While the Palm Springs Art Museum is family-friendly and approachable, the collection is serious with works from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg, Antony Gormley and Ansel Adams. The Palm Springs Art Museum is fabulous – go see it! Your kids and even a reluctant spouse will enjoy it.

Travel Tips

  • The Palm Springs Art Museum, located at 101 Museum Drive in old Palm Springs, features a free community day on the second Sunday of every month and admission is complimentary every Thursday from 4-8 p.m.
  • You may also want to visit the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Centre at 300 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. We received a $5 discount on our tickets at the Palm Springs Art Museum after visiting the Architecture and Design Centre.
  • Teens between the ages of 13-19 might be interested in the TeenStudio Projects art classes. Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum website to learn more.

Footnotes:

[1] Jim Dine, American, born 1935, Twin 6’ Hearts, patinated and painted bronze, edition 2/6, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Gift of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr., © Jim Dine, 94-2008

[2] Yoshitomo Nara, Japanese, born 1959, Your Dog, 2002, fiberglass, edition 4/6, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Gift of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr., © Yoshitomo Nara, 18-2011

[3] Antony Gormley, English, born 1950, Apart X, 2003, mild steel blocks, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Gift of Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr., © Antony Gormley, 95-2008

[4] Duane Hanson, American, 1925-1996, Old Couple on a Bench, 1995, polychromed bronze and mixed media with accessories, edition 2/2, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Muriel and Bernard Myerson, © Estate of Duane Hanson / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, 2-1998a-c

[5] Erwin Wurm, Austrian, born 1954, Fat Car, 2001, metallic paint, Styrofoam and polyester, edition 5/8, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Donna MacMillan, ©Erwin Wurm, 2014.93

[6] Robert Therrian, American, born 1947, No Title (stacked plates, butter), 2007, plastic, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Contemporary Art Council, Donna and Cargill MacMIllan, Jr., and funds derived from a previous gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Maslon, © Robert Therrien, 13-2011

[7] Llyn Foulkes, American, born 1934, The Last Outpost, 1983, mixed media assemblage, Collection Palm Springs Art Museum, Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Contemporary Art Council, 1989, © Llyn Foulkes

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Amanda Keeley-Thurman April 12, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I love Palm Springs, but I have never been to the art museum. I will have to check that out the next time I am in town.

  • Leave a Reply


    JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
    Receive exclusive travel tips, the best stories, and monthly travel inspiration delivered to your inbox.

    First Name
    Email address
    Secure and Spam free...