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In the past several weeks, the reading room at LACMA’s Balch Art Research Library was conspicuously missing what you would expect to find there: shelves full of books. As the books made their temporary home in the less-than-cozy basement of the adjacent former May Company Building, this unassuming, tucked-away corner of the Bing Center received a significant dose of elbow grease.

The renovation was in part a measure to address the mounting problem of space constraints in the library. The books are currently being reshelved into newly installed compact shelving units, which will help accommodate the library’s collection of over 200,000 books, periodicals, journals, and other art-related resources that reflect and contextualize the museum’s encyclopedic collections. In addition to being functional, the refurbished library space beautifully evokes the green turf of the sculpture garden, the Los Angeles sunlight, and the clean lines of Donald Judd’s Untitled (for Leo Castelli), planted mere steps away from the reading room.

Balch Research Library Before

 Balch Library: Before and After art  %tag

Balch Research Library After

In addition to being one of the best locations on LACMA’s campus to enjoy Alexander Calder’s Three Quintains (Hello Girls), the renovated library is now also home to the new Art + Technology Lab, a space dedicated to hosting programs, discussions, and other activities related to this initiative. Artists grants were just announced last week, and we’re looking forward to hosting them in this shared space.

 Balch Library: Before and After art  %tag

Alexander Calder, Three Quintains (Hello Girls), 1964, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Museum, Council Fund,