The Getty Center is a museum you can't miss. With lofty skylights and original architecture, it is one of the best museums in ... More
The Getty Center
The Getty Center is a museum you can't miss. With lofty skylights and original architecture, it is one of the best museums in Los Angeles. The center stores a multitude of art, sculpture and photographs from Europe and America. You can also check out old manuscripts and decorative arts here. Highlights of the year consist of Italian manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits and Shrine and Shroud: Textiles in Illuminated Manuscripts, to name a few. Set aside a day for this museum, its Central Gardens and popular restaurant are sure to leave you breathless with their beauty. Check website for details.
There is the charm of the old Getty museum in Malibu and then there is the new Getty museum… The “new” experience begins with having to make a parking reservation and the irony of the news that you get to pay fifteen dollars for your “free” experience of visiting the Getty. You can’t just show up! You can’t just go there today on a lark. You must “plan” your Getty experience.
My first glimpse of the new Getty itself was disconcerting. As we drove up the freeway from LA, looking upward to the starkly bald and un-enchanting hills ahead, my eyes were greeted by what seemed certain to be warehouse, a very imposing warehouse. As we got closer we could see that it was a very fine warehouse indeed, of what seemed to be imitation bleached stone. Realizing that the warehouse was, in fact, probably the Getty Museum, and that the stone might be real, I was tempted to think it fortress-like, though it was so barren and box-like that my imagination failed to make the leap.
The parking entrance is just inches off the freeway and it is perfectly organized. Perfectly! John Paul would be extremely proud of the parking experience. Immerging from the garage, after about a ten minute wait, one is trammed up to the warehouse. This heightens the sense of anticipation. Exiting the tram there is an immediate sense of intimacy with several hundred other visitors. Perhaps several thousand, I’m not sure. Anyway, I felt like I should be looking for Space Mountain.
Retreating to the gardens, the view of Los Angeles was impressive. Here is a view worth literally hundreds of millions of dollars. Clearly much better looking down than looking up. No joke! So what did the marvelously high-paid architects do with this spectacular hundred-million-dollar piece of real estate? They dug a hole, a huge grand daring bowl, at the very peak of and very edge of the mountain. Therein they built a “garden”. From that garden you have a perfect view, not of Los Angeles, but of the sky and some of the warehouse. From that bowl garden you would never know Los Angeles existed.
In addition to the exhibition space there are a surprising number of very impressive buildings for administration. Oh, I almost forgot. There are wonderful paintings in the Getty painting warehouse-amusement park. I think I saw a Cezanne there. I’m not sure. Somehow I wasn’t in the mood. But the parking is perfectly organized.
I went yesterday and I love this place but this visit left me feeling like I did not want to go back. I went with a couple of friends and we were looking at the stained glass and conversing about the Virgin Mary and one of the persons who monitored the room came up to us and (in a patronizing fashion) told us that unless our conversation was about the painting, we were going to have to take it outside because the conversation was loud and that if it was about the piece of art, he would be glad to answer any questions which left us dumbstruck because we were conversing about the art, we weren't that loud, and everyone around us were involved in their own conversations. He could have said that in a less offensive manner.
Later I was in a room with paintings and since I had a cold, my throat was dry as usual and took out my water bottle to take a sip, another of their employees rushed up to me and said, "There's no drinking in the Gallery!" Again, I would have had no problem with this if he had phrased it in a different manner, such as, "excuse me, I'm sorry but drinks are not allowed in the gallery."
I've never been subjected to so much rudeness on my previous trips to the Getty Center.
The Getty Center is fabulous and beautifully designed, but I'm sorry to say it's a tribute only to the past, and does not share it's contemporary bones with artist of it's time, other than some token sculptures. I feel the "Center" should allow visiting shows of great modern and contemporary works to be displayed.
After I sat on a bench in the garden my daughter noticed I was covered with spiders. My son described it as an experience of "Indiana Jones proportions." My family knocked spiders off my back and shoulders and took them out of my hair. I went into the ladies' room and found some more. It was like a nightmare. Then, the audio gadget I rented for $5 didn't work and they did not refund my money. (They admitted it's a common complaint.) The art was nice.
I have been to world class museums around the world (Metropolitan in NYC, The Prado in Madrid, The Louvre in Paris) but the Getty totally holds up. The architecture alone leaves you breathless. The white, the hills, the travertine - I was blown away. You will not be disappointed with the art collection either. Enjoy!
The Getty is definitely worth seeing, it is a gorgeous place with a great location and view. It's also a good place to take kids..and the added perk..aside from parking it's free to get in! This is by far one of the best things around that people could experience for free.
Everything about the Getty Center is wonderful. THe art and the building itself is worth the trip, and fun can be found for all ages.
It's best to book a reservation if you want to eat at the resturant, but don't bother. The staff is snobby, the food is sub-par and overpriced. For the same vew while dinning head to the cafeteria at suset, and watch as they lift the blinds. They offer a wide varitey of food.
Kids will enjoy the outdoor gardens and activities.
Wear shoes for walking, and bring a coat if you plan on visiting in the evening, coat and bag checks are available.
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