Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Just the Facts, Ma'am
What: The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center
Where: 1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Hours: Tues-Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-9, Sun 10-5:30
Cost: Free Admission, $10 parking
Why: European and American Art, beautiful gardens, outdoor patio, wine, soul-expanding view of Los Angeles
More Information: Getty Website
My first (and so far, only) trip to the Getty Center happened purely by accident. I happened to mention to my friend Nora that I had been meaning to go for quite a while, and next thing I knew, we were sidling up the side of a mountain in a tram.
Oh yes. For all you folks who don't know, the Getty Center sits high in the Santa Monica Mountains, and is only accessible by the trams that relay between the Center and the parking lot below. Those of you who have a fear of heights, beware: it is a pleasant, safe, and steady ride, but the trams do travel up the literal side of a literal mountain. Literally.
Once Nora and I reached the Center, I was awe-struck by the enormity of it, the curved architecture, the smooth white stone of it all. The Getty Center is so much more than an art gallery, a fact which we proved that day by never actually setting foot inside the building, except to get lunch.
Needless to say, my report on the art gallery will have to wait for a future post. Today I will tell you that the Getty also boasts a variety of gardens. Wandering the grounds I discovered the cactus garden, set strategically on the edge of a cliff, the spears and spines of the cacti standing out against the Los Angeles skyline. We also admired plants engineered to resemble trees when grouped together and discovered a maze of shrubbery planted in what had been designated a "wishing pond" by several guests with loose change.
Like most museums, the Getty Center has a cafeteria. But oh yeah, this one sells bottles of wine.
I think that must have been where the time went . . . into the bottle of Chardonnay that kept us company on the outdoor patio, overlooking the soul-expanding view of Los Angeles.
What I Missed
The Art Gallery of course! I will be back for that, so expect an update on the Getty in the future.
The Getty Villa
Well, I didn't really miss it, because it's in a different location. But it's another beautiful branch of the Getty Museum, and it's on my "Must Explore" list. If you're interested, the link posted above takes you to the Getty Museum web site, which includes information for both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.
As always, if you have anything to add, please don't hesitate to comment!