Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of

« | Main | »

Levitated Mass: Classic Ballyhoo in Classy Museum

According to the LA Times, “crowds virtually stampeded” the June 24 debut of Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “Mass” is a 340-ton boulder, and its impressive title suggests that at least some of the crowd expected to see it floating in air, an amazing illusion aided by the mysteries of art.

Levitated Mass.In fact, “Levitated Mass” can more accurately be titled “Big Rock Straddling Concrete Trench.” There’s a thrill in being able to walk under a big rock, especially in a rock-deprived California megalopolis. But it’s also likely that “Levitated Mass” wasn’t exactly what all of the stampeding masses had expected.

Triggering a “Stop the car!” fever pitch is an art of tourist attractions, sometimes dismissed as kitschy by those who visit places like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. But just getting people to stop isn’t enough. You have to leave them satisfied, even if what you’re selling, whether it’s a Levitated Mass or a Man Killing Clam, isn’t quite as amazing as its name suggests.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art had this back-end covered, too. According to the LA Times, the museum director himself cut the ribbon to the trench with a pair of “gold-handled scissors” (comically oversized?), and the “famously reclusive” artist stood at the trench exit, shaking hands and signing tickets.

Levitated Mass is a permanent addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Visit any time — but you can also be bouldered-over by other, less-hyped levitated masses at places such as Bluff Dwellers Cavern and Rock City.

Sections: Attraction News, Tourism News 2 Comments »

Levitated Mass

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, on the northeast corner of Wilshire Blvd and S. Fairfax Ave. Levitated Mass is on the north side of the Resnick Pavilion.
M, Tu, Th 12-8, F 12-9, Su 11-8 (Virus outbreak may affect access to attraction. Call to verify.)
Save to My Sights

2 Responses to “Levitated Mass: Classic Ballyhoo in Classy Museum”

  1. david Says:
    June 30th, 2012 at 2:41 am

    THANK YOU !!! Geesh.. I havent seen it yet.. but.. umm levitation ? Umm no. Whats the deal.. how ridiculous. Big rock .. small wall.. big whoop…lol

  2. Craig S. Thom Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Sea Shell City is still worth a stop, if there’s time after the detour to the crucifix.

Recent Posts


Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now!

June 1, 2020

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada (Jun 1-7, 2020)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings