Public Art in Beverly Hills
With some of the most acclaimed public artworks on display and a bi-annual art show that selects a new piece each year to be showcased on city grounds, Beverly Hills is the destination for art lovers. To enrich the cultural lives of its residents and visitors, the city continually collects a wealth of world-class art by way of the Fine Arts Commission. In addition, a Public Art Ordinance is mandated by the city, requiring developers to either purchase a piece of art for their property or donate to the Fine Art Fund.
More than 80 pieces of art adorn public spaces throughout the city. Below is our list of the top places to visit to experience art in Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills Art Show
Following over 50 years of tradition as one of the most popular art events on the West Coast, four blocks of historic Beverly Gardens Park the weekend of May 18 & 19, 2024 will once again brim with artists from throughout the United States at The Beverly Hills Art Show. Arts and crafts are original, ranging from the traditional to the very contemporary in various mediums, including watercolor, paint, jewelry, sculpture, photography, mixed media and pottery. All featured artists staff their booths so they can provide details on and the inspiration behind the works they create.
Beverly Gardens Park
Take a stroll through Beverly Gardens Park and you’ll quickly find yourself running into an impressive collection of public works of art. Not far from the Beverly Hills Sign & Lily Pond are Roxy Paine’s Erratic, a texturized stainless-steel boulder that addresses the disconnect between natural process and human order, and Tony Smith's Playground, which experiments with simple, three-dimensional geometric shapes initially fabricated from wood or cardboard, then combined and enlarged to create drama through scale. Barry Flanagan’s The Drummer, a whimsical bronze motif of a rabbit, is located in front of the Beverly Hills Sign & Lily Pond. There's also Takeaway by Tom Friedman, a 14-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture of a man with takeaway boxes balanced on his head. Also on view along the park are Henri Alfred Marie Jacquemart’s Hunter and Hounds, donated to the City by Willis D. Longyear, one of Beverly Hills’ pioneer residents who intended the piece to be a memorial to his son, who had died fighting in World War I, and Jaume Plensa’s Endless V, addressing the condition of humanity in a world enmeshed in technology and embracing eight languages, including English, Spanish and Hebrew.
Beverly Hills City Hall
Presiding over the city’s civic life since 1932, Beverly Hills City Hall has been a beloved local landmark designed by architect William Gage. Beautiful in pictures but even more stunning in person, explore the center’s terrazzo floors and intricate ceilings as you view several public works, including Joan Brown’s Center Obelisk, a mosaic tower depicting a seagull in flight above green palm trees, Charles Arnoldi’s Home, located south of the Beverly Hills Public Library and Ai Weiwei's Iron Root, which conveys the complexities and intricacies of trees. The piece is made of rust-covered cast iron, reminding viewers of a natural wood color, while at the same time evoking a feeling of being human-made.
Burton Way and Rexford Drive
Carefully make your way to the Burton Way grass median and you will instantly spot Sisyphus, a bright red modern steel sculpture salvaged from tank drums, giant pipes, steel beams and other huge metal forms unified by a single color by Alexander Liberman. This piece was a gift donated by the husband of the city’s former mayor, Vicki Reynolds. A few yards east of Sisyphus is William Kentridge’s World on its Hind Legs, the only major outdoor sculpture by Kentridge in the U.S. The three-dimensional work is meant to be observed from all directions, providing viewers “moments of dynamic abstraction and moments that appear to be almost two-dimensional,” as stated in an article by Beverly Press. Next, head to Rexford Park, where you will find Baile Oakes’ Spiral of Life, which embraces nature in its sweep and gentle grace, as well as in its unadulterated employment of redwood.
The Golden Triangle
Set between Santa Monica Boulevard, Canon Drive and Wilshire Boulevard is The Golden Triangle, a grid of seven smaller commercial streets that encompass the business district of Beverly Hills. Catch a perfect photo opportunity with one of the sculptures by street artist Mr. Brainwash. His sculpture, Beverly Hills is Beautiful, located in Beverly Canon Gardens just outside The Maybourne Beverly Hills, along with Life is Beautiful, located on Rodeo Drive, and another work, Beverly Hills is Life, on South Santa Monica Boulevard and Camden Drive.
Viewers can also admire Unconscious by Franz West, located at the “Gateway” of Beverly Hills at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive. The orange looping ribbon-shaped sculpture shaped like a charismatic worm integrates three seats to encourage conversation, socialization and interaction.
To discover more art and culture in Beverly Hills, view our Happy Trails self-guided walking tour.
Revised January 16, 2024