Beverly Hills offers countless opportunities to view art and learn about the city’s history, whether in a gallery or strolling Rodeo Drive.
The free variety of artistic and natural marvels encompass 100-year-old parks, street pop art and the city’s beloved Greystone Manor.
With a public art ordinance requiring developers to either purchase a piece of art for their property or donate to the Fine Art Fund, and an arts commission dedicated to bringing world-class work to the city, Beverly Hills is a destination city for art-lovers.
Since 2015, more than 70 pieces have been chosen to adorn the city landscape, and most of them can be viewed by way of walking tour.
“Life is Beautiful”
In the Golden Triangle between Santa Monica Boulevard, Canon Drive and Wilshire Boulevard sits the perfect photo opportunity. “Beverly Hills is Beautiful,” a work by street artist Mr. Brainwash, rests in Beverly Cañon Gardens.
Mr. Brainwash, whose real name is Thierry Guetta, is a protégée of artist Banksy. Mr. Brainwash debuted “Life is Beautiful” in 2008 on Sunset Boulevard, and as part of Beverly Hills Open Later Days’ summer kick-off in August 2019, Mr. Brainwash unveiled “Beverly Hills is Beautiful” and two other sculptures that were added to the city’s public art collection.
Bold art pieces stating “Life is Beautiful” and “Beverly Hills is Life” are located on Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. Passersby are encouraged to snap photos with the cast resin sculptures.
“Peace and Love”
The 1960s were all about peace, and who better to represent peace than musician and Beverly Hills resident Ringo Starr.
The famed Beatles drummer donated “Peace and Love” to Beverly Hills in 2019. The 1,500-pound sculpture of a hand making a peace sign was installed in Beverly Gardens Park and now offers art-lovers a chance to flash a smile and their own peace sign.
“We want to be a city of love and peace,” then-Mayor John Mirisch said when the piece was installed. “This symbolizes that.”
“Torso” was commissioned by the Rodeo Drive Committee to function as the centerpiece for the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.
Introduced in 2003, the Walk of Style honors style legends for their contributions to the worlds of fashion and entertainment. Honorees are presented with permanent plaques featuring personal quotes and signatures, which are then embedded in the sidewalks along Rodeo Drive.
Crafted from aluminum blocks by sculptor Robert Graham, “Torso” stands 14 feet tall. Graham’s work typifies the almost anatomically exact rendition of the female figure.
The city boasts 10 public parks with offerings ranging from tennis courts to historic mansions. Whether sitting in a manicured courtyard or meandering along a paved trail, the city provides a park for all.
Beverly Gardens Park
The city’s most iconic park offers 1.9 miles of greenspace and a photo opportunity with the Beverly Hills sign. Developed in 1907 and expanded in 1930, the park stretches across 23 blocks and accounts for nearly one quarter of the city’s public park space. A multimillion-dollar restoration project in 2014 brought pet-friendly amenities and flat pathways for joggers.
The park contains four water features, including a lily pond at Canon and Beverly drives, four pergolas, two rose gardens and two cactus gardens. Also featured are several sculptures such as Yayoi Kusama’s “Hymn of Life: Tulips,” a collection of 20-foot steel tulips.
Greystone Mansion & Gardens
Purchased by the city in 1965, Greystone Mansion & Gardens offers sprawling acres and a step back in time.
The property was first owned by Edward Laurence Doheny, one of the first people to strike oil in Los Angeles. Construction on the Doheny Estate, which started in 1927, took three years and cost more than $3 million.
In 1955, the family sold the mansion to Henry Crown, who never moved in and instead rented the property to film studios.
Now, the 18.3-acre site functions as a public park. Tours of the mansion are currently closed, but visitors are free to roam the gardens.
The park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and in 2013, was designated as Beverly Hills Local Historic Landmark No. 4.
Will Rogers Memorial Park
Located at 9650 Sunset Blvd., Will Rogers Memorial Park opened in 1915 as the first municipal park in the city. The space originally was named Sunset Park, but in 1952, the city renamed it after entertainer Will Rogers, who was appointed as the first honorary mayor of Beverly Hills in 1926.
The 5-acre park sits across from the Beverly Hills Hotel. In 2015, its fountain was named after Margaret J. Anderson, who built, owned and operated the hotel for more than 100 years and donated the land to the city in 1915.
Now, the park includes rose gardens, a dragon tree and a pond with fish and turtles.
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