Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Getty Center

The Getty Center is in Brentwood, not to be confused with the Getty Villa in Malibu (see previous post.) It was founded by the same guy, J.P Getty.  The $1.3 billion center, which opened on December 16, 1997, is known for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. The center sits atop a hill connected to a visitor's parking garage at the bottom of the hill by a three-car, cable-pulled tram. The museum draws 1.3 million visitors annually. This branch of the museum specializes in "pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs". Among the works on display is the painting Irises by Vincent van Gogh.  The Getty Center's estimated 1.3 million visitors annually make it one of the most visited museums in the United States.

We visited the museum on a Saturday night for a special event, Saturdays off the 405.  It was crowded but still was able to see some of the exhibits.  The highlight of the visit was seeing van Gogh's Irises and seeing the sun set on LA.  You can see a near 180-degree panoramic view of Los Angeles looking south from the Getty on an exceptionally clear day. It's a great museum that is free so I don't see why everyone wouldn't try to go while in town. Parking will run $15 but is free after 5pm.  Otherwise try street parking in Bel Air for free and walk.

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