Interior of the Viterbi Museum

Interior of the Viterbi Museum (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)


Art and Cultural Treasures Abound at USC — and They’re Beckoning

With four museums and 11 galleries, USC offers an unexpectedly diverse look at the history—and future—of art in L.A.

February 13, 2020 Chandrea Miller

Longtime Trojans know their way around the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. But even students who spend every day at USC might be surprised about the secrets nearby: galleries filled with art and treasured objects.

USC has four museums, and 11 art galleries are spread across USC’s campuses and satellite sites. For Selma Holo, executive director of USC Museums and Galleries, bringing the university’s cultural treasures to light is her most important job. “While many USC museums and galleries are known to the public, there are a select few that visitors might not know exist. But they’re well worth exploring,” she says.

Many of USC’s holdings — from paintings and one-of-a-kind stained glass to sculptures and black-and-white photography — are free for the public to visit. The USC University Park Campus is on L.A.’s museum alley in Exposition Park. Three Metro light rail stations offer convenient access to the community through public transit.

Here are just a few highlights from USC’s art museum and gallery collections.

Sophie Davis Gallery
Sophie Davis Gallery (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The Sophie Davis Art Gallery

Located in the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, this gallery celebrates aging as an art form. With an emphasis on older artists, pieces explore the many stages of life.


Viterbi Museum
Interior of the Viterbi Museum (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The Viterbi Museum

This collection includes art, archival papers and electronic devices that trace the development of modern telecommunications through the story of pioneering engineer Andrew Viterbi PhD ’62.


Love sculpture
“Love” by Robert Indiana; conceived 1966, cast 2000; polychrome aluminum (Photo courtesy of The Ellison Institute) 

Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC

Artwork in the institute’s airy, light-filled lobby captures the center’s inspiring drive to prevent and treat cancer. The institute is located in west Los Angeles near the Metro E line’s Expo/Bundy Station.