Celebrate All Things Neon at the Museum of Neon Art

Neon lights bring to mind the glitz and glamour of show business, seedy late nights on the Las Vegas Strip, and retro businesses doing their best to get customers through the door. In 1981, a collection of artists decided that the neon lights of the world were an underappreciated art form that deserved their own museum. Thus, the Museum of Neon Art—or, MONA—opened its doors in Los Angeles. In 2014, MONA relocated to a spacious permanent home in Glendale, California.

Glendale Museum of Neon Art

Photo by Flickr

Neon enthusiasts can spend hours wandering the halls of MONA viewing giant neon frogs, blinking burlesque dancers, and an enormous glowing eyelash curler. Visitors can view numerous iconic vintage neon signs, such as a luminescent cowboy from the 1930s. MONA also hosts contemporary neon art exhibits that feature paintings with neon flourishes, interactive pieces such as a collection of neon plasma wands, and glowing sculptures such as a neon waterfall.

MONA is home to an extensive collection of neon artifacts, such as a certificate for a plasma patent that played a vital role in the development of neon technology. Visitors can view neon clocks, vintage photos of famous neon advertisements, and equipment that was used to construct some of the earliest known neon signs.

Museum of Neon Art
Glendale, CA

Photo by Flickr

History lovers can attend classes at MONA which teach attendees how to care for and refurbish vintage neon signs. MONA has several exhibits dedicated to historic neon signs—such as a giant luminescent coffee cup from the 1930s. Visitors can learn about the history and development of neon signs in America and watch artisans create new pieces and lovingly restore existing ones.

The sheer amount of vibrant color at the Museum of Neon Art is enough to lift your spirits for weeks after you visit. No tour of California is complete without an afternoon spent enjoying MONA’s jubilant luminescence.

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