Photograph by KAYE NICOLE Gallery Art Walk
Belgium born artist Lieven Van Hulle says his love for chrome, vintage items and neon led him to seek out a new home for his recycled vintage neon creations at the Museum of Neon Art.
Visit the Museum of Neon Art on 4th Street between Spring and Main, and you’ll find an epi-center of foot traffic during Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk.
Ever since French inventor Georges Claude displayed the first neon lamp to the public (almost one hundred years ago to this day), people have been drawn like moths to the electronic art pieces made from hollow glass tubes filled with various gases, glowing bright from being exposed to an electric discharge.
More popular in its early days for the outside advertising of car dealerships and gas stations, over time, neon lights would become an illuminating fixture in almost every kind of store window or custom made marquee.
The Museum of Neon Art in Downtown holds some of the oldest neon marquees in Los Angeles, the oldest dating back to 1935. Depending on the glass composition, the working range of glass is from 1600’ F to over 2200’F making the creation of neon art meticulous, dangerous and sometimes even deadly.
The Museum gets most of its artwork from donated sources, many times people who realize their worth, offer the pieces to the Museum instead of just dumping the pieces when a building gets dismantled. Usually these vintage pieces are not for sale but restored and put on display inside the museum.
Contemporary art pieces are placed in the gallery on consignment. Those wanting to purchase the “eclectic electrics”, may contact the artists direct with their inquires.
The Museum of Neon Art also host classes, tours, music events, and a gift shop, offering members special discounts off purchases and entry fees. Entry is free during Art Walk from the hours of 12pm – 2pm.
This month the Museum features, “Recycled, Reclaimed and Reinvented” the Neon Art of Bill Concannon and friends a must see for anyone interested in supporting the art form.
By Kaye Nicole
The Museum of Neon Art
136 W. 4th Street