Location: 1200 Getty Center Drive Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310) 440-7300.
The Getty Museum at the Getty Center is
one of the finest museums in California and perhaps, the world. Sometimes simply
called "The Getty", this Los Angeles free admission museum is one of the best
free tourist attractions in California, and in the world. Perhaps that is why it
is so popular with tourists from around the globe who come daily to gaze at the
stunning scenery that surrounds the massive complex overlooking the Santa Monica mountains,
Pacific Ocean, and downtown Los Angeles.
The museum was built in the
Santa Monica mountains near the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles.
Built from the ground up based on the architectural design of famed architect
Richard Meier, the Italian travertine campus of six buildings is organized around a central arrival plaza.
1.2 million square feet of beige-colored, cleft-cut, textured, fossilized
travertine was used in the project that includes curvilinear design elements and natural gardens
that soften the grid created by the travertine squares. The 16,000 tons of
travertine were mined in Bagni di Tivoli, Italy, 15 miles east of Rome. Split along its natural grain,
Meier and his staff worked for a year with the Bagni di Tivoli quarries to
invent a "guillotine" process that would result in a rough textured finish,
including fossilized leaves, feathers, and branches in many stones. Travertine
panels cover not only the retaining walls and the bases of all buildings, but
also serve as paving stones for the arrival plaza and Museum courtyard, and on
indoor walls in transitional spaces between galleries.
Meier positioned buildings along a natural ridge in the hilltop to comply
with neighbors' requests that the complex be no more than two stories above
grade. To accommodate and preserve nearby views, buildings are built into the
ground and are linked with subterranean corridors. Architect
Richard Meier sought to design the new complex so that it highlights both
nature and culture, creating a synchronistic, organic whole.
Things to see:
Five exhibition pavilions, plus the Getty Research Institute Exhibition
Gallery comprise an amazing display and array of art. And best of all, you CAN
take pictures with hand-held cameras (flash not allowed) in permanent galleries
and many other locations of the museum.
17th-century Baroque art that includes Dutch, French, Flemish, and
Spanish paintings as well as sculpture and Italian decorative arts dating
from 1600 to 1800 is located in East Pavilion.
18th-century paintings and European decorative arts collection, complete
with elaborately furnished paneled rooms, dating up to 1800 in South
1700s through 1900, as well as 19th-century paintings, sculpture and
Italian decorative arts are located in
1600 Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts are located on the
Permanent Collection - An amazing and priceless collection of pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; 19th
& 20th century American and European photographs; East Pavilion 17th-century Baroque art
of Dutch, French, Flemish, and Spanish paintings; sculpture and Italian
decorative arts dating from 1600 to 1800; 18th century paintings; furnished paneled rooms
dating up to 1800; Italian decorative arts of the 1700s through 1900; 19th-century paintings; Neoclassical, Romantic, and Symbolist sculpture; paintings dating up to 1600; medieval and Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts
are a mere sampling of what is on display.
With a fine art collection representing
great painters over a 500-year span, sculptures, photographs, and a variety
of media, this mega-museum is a cultural Mecca. The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international
cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts of
the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation
Institute, and the Getty Grant Program. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty
programs are based at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
The Central Garden - is a 134,000-square-foot outdoor space
created by renowned artist Robert Irwin. Features include a natural ravine with
waterfalls and tree-lined walkway.
Where to eat: Cafe at the Getty Center is a sit-down restaurant
offering lunch and dinner menus, and Sunday Brunch. Sandwiches, salads, wraps,
hamburgers and other such foods are served at lunch. A more casual counter
service at Garden Terrace Cafe features outdoor dining overlooking the Getty
Gardens. Several coffee carts are located on the grounds of The Getty.
Where to stay: Hotel Angelino is a four star hotel, famous for
its unique building shaped like a column rising into the air. Visible from
the 405 - San Diego Freeway, it is adjacent to the Getty Center. If
you want nice and close, stay there. It is the only hotel right next to the
Getty. Also nearby are UCLA and Westwood and Santa Monica beaches a 10 to
15 minute drive.