Museum of Neon Art
The Museum of Neon Art is also known as MONA and provides a quirky day out if you have never seen this kind of installation before. Dating from 1981 when it first opened to the public, the museum is dedicated to the preservation of neon works of art, made from neon lighting. To that end you will find items such as neon signs and other works like kinetic art. The museum used to famous in the downtown area of Los Angeles before it moved to its new location in Glendale in 2016. Some of the signature pieces here include neon signs from the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Brown Derby. The Museum of Neon Art encourages learning, curiosity and expression through the preservation, collection and interpretation of neon, electric and kinetic art. Neon is a gateway between scientific principles and artistic expression. Neon illumination integrates electrical technology, creative design, and fundamental concepts of physics and chemistry. The Museum of Neon Art is the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to art in electric media, exhibiting electric and kinetic fine art, and outstanding examples of historic neon signs, for over three decades.
The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) is an institution that exists to encourage learning and curiosity through the preservation, collection, and interpretation of neon art. The first museum devoted to art that incorporates neon lighting, it exclusively exhibits art in electric media, including kinetic art and outstanding examples of historic neon signs. Its location in downtown LA closed in 2011 and reopened in Glendale, California in 2016. The collection includes neon signs from the Brown Derby and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The museum was founded in 1981 by Lili Lakich and Richard Jenkins. For over 20 years Kim Koga was executive director, overseeing crucial moves of the institution and finding it a home in Glendale. In 2020 Corrie Siegel was appointed as executive director.
In addition to exhibitions and tours, the museum offers introductory classes in glass bending held in the museum’s state-of-the-art studio. Serving Glendale and Southern California communities through inclusive on- and off-site programming. MONA was founded as a 501 non-profit art museum in 1981, by artists Lili Lakich and Richard Jenkins in downtown Los Angeles. Their intent was to create an awareness for historic neon sign preservation and to showcase this electrifying contemporary art form. After several relocations, (Universal CityWalk, Grand Hope Park and the Historic Core), the museum successfully negotiated a permanent home in the city of Glendale, where it anchors the southern end of the Arts and Entertainment Corridor. Throughout its 30+ year history, MONA has fostered an awareness of historic neon signage through its LUMENS project with the City of L.A. and its popular bus tour, the Neon Cruise™. MONA has witnessed the rise and fall of neon used by the sign industry and the current resurgence of neon used by creative artists and commercial designers today. The MONA facility in Glendale has a classroom on the premises where visitors can watch skilled neon craftspeople fabricating and processing the neon tube and take hands-on classes to learn this fascinating art form.
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