’Rain Room’ is staying with LACMA for good

Phillip Dane

We’re not quite ready yet to say goodbye to the winter rain that’s turned Los Angeles into a lush, green paradise. And we certainly weren’t ready to say goodbye to “Rain Room,” which closed last week at LACMA after a 15-month run. It turns out, though, that was more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye.”

LACMA has permanently acquired Random International’s popular, rainfall-simulating “Rain Room” installation. RH, Restoration Hardware, which first acquired the piece to put it on public display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, had initially loaned it to LACMA in 2015. But on Monday, the Miracle Mile museum announced it was now part of their permanent collection.

“Since we originally discovered and commissioned the first edition of Random International’s Rain Room in 2012, we knew instantly how special and inspiring this remarkable work of art was and have been overwhelmed with how it has captivated audiences around the world,” said Gary Friedman, RH Chairman & CEO, in a statement. “We are proud to donate the piece to LACMA’s collection, giving it a permanent home and continuing to inspire those who encounter it.”

The museum has yet to announce when we’ll see “Rain Room” again, and instead classifies it as closed “with future exhibitions to be determined.”


That’s good news for anyone who missed out on its initial run at LACMA. The timed ticket exhibition seemed perpetually sold out and greeted 190,000 visitors here in L.A. When it first opened, we set aside the hype and found ourselves completely won over. The installation gives visitors the delusion of being able to control the weather—walk up to the wall of rain and it stops—though it’s the underlying technology that’s always in control. Most importantly, the rainmaking machine consistently churns out a unique experience in a gallery setting: fun.

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