There's been a lot of buzz surrounding the Museum of Neon Art's recent reopening — incidentally, there's a lot of buzz inside, too. Originally established in 1981 in a space downtown, MONA bounced around for several years before landing in its new permanent location in Glendale, right across from the Americana at Brand. The placement sort of makes sense. At present, the bulk of the collection on display consists of neon signage advertising long-defunct businesses, some local, others not: Economy Meats, Van de Kamp's bakery and, the centerpiece of the current display, the Brown Derby. It's a glowing, flickering monument to American commerce and a window into a colorful past that we often get to see only in black-and-white images. Besides the main exhibition space, the museum has a large gift shop (I'm kicking myself for not buying the 1988 commemorative calendar, whose dates all jibe with this year's) and a classroom where, for around 500 bucks, neon fanatics can learn to actually bend glass and create their own neon art.
Credit: Gwynedd Stuart