The Long Beach Museum of Art isn't big, but that's great. Unlike some L.A. museums that daze visitors, this one doesn't overwhelm with quantity, and it rarely disappoints. Concise solo and group shows by contemporary American and European artists are paired with exhibitions drawn from the museum's collections of 20th-century paintings, watercolors, pottery and pioneering video art. The combination makes the museum worth repeat visits. It doesn't hurt that the museum occupies a landscaped bluff overlooking a mile-long beach with the Queen Mary and Catalina Island in the distance, or that Claire's — the museum café in a turn-of-the-century beach house — has outdoor seating and a decent wine list. 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, 90803. (562) 439-2119. —D. J. Waldie

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