View From the Getty

The rain stopped Saturday just after I and my friend Natasha arrived at the Getty Museum to wander about. It was the first time there for the both of us, and I think both of us had the same reaction: What a lovely museum, and what a lovely place for a museum, too. I snapped the shot of the horizon at some point; it was nice to finally be able to see the Pacific, which I had not seen since I had been here thanks to cloud cover. And the hills were green thanks to all the rain, a thing (the green, that is), which almost never happens in my experience. In all, a cloudy but gorgeous day. It’s nice to be in LA.

23 thoughts on “View From the Getty

  1. The Getty is really nice. It’s much easier to decide to go to The Getty than LACMA (or what-have-you), [even though parking can be more traumatic]. You see, when you go to The Getty, and you get fidgety from looking at wall-art for 2 hours, you go for a walk in the gardens, look out over Los Angeles, sit on a bench and breathe that air that you can’t quite taste (Thank you air-quality regulations!) and then go back in for another dose of art.

    Sure LACMA has gardens, but they’re not actually nice enough to enjoy as anything EXCEPT a break! (and sometimes you still end up smelling the tarpits)

  2. The Getty is a fabulous structure at a great location. Were you impressed by the collection, though? I can think of a dozen less famous museums with much more to offer. I was disappointed.

  3. I hope you got a chance to wander through their collection of Greek & Roman classical stuff; last time I was there they had this enormous bowl with traces of the painted scene still visible on the insides that just took my breath away, and they always have a lot of great sculpture.

  4. @8 Fade: The Greek and Roman stuff is mostly down in Malibu at the Getty Villa. The Getty Center has just about every other kind of art.

    I love the Villa. It is the perfect setting for those beautiful antiquities – or at least that ones that haven’t been repatriated to Greece or Rome.

    Try the Huntington in San Marino some time. That is another fabulous set of gardens and museum galleries and library spread over more than 250 acres.

  5. @9 Lauren: Oh, did they change that recently? I used to go with my Latin/Greek prof in the early ’00s; she’d take both classes to go through just the Greek and Roman section, then the gardens. At the time, she mentioned that the Getty had much more stuff in that vein, but it was all stored. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was in the Villa now. I’ll have to stop there the next time I make it to California, if so; I’ve never been.

  6. It’s sunny today! Yayz! Now you can actually see the green hills of LA with the sun shining on them. A real sight, let me tell you.

  7. I was thinking about you and your visit to the Getty yesterday. Up at my parents’ house (in the hills above the Valley) it was gorgeous, with clouds, but perfect visibility. I fully expected you’d have that exact vista that you captured in your shot.

    As much as I love the architecture of the buildings themselves, my favorite thing to do up at the Center is to hit one of the catwalks or stairwells on the Southern end and just feast my eyes on the views. The ocean, the planes coming and going from LAX, the flow (or not!) of traffic on the 405… I just find it all so mesmerizing. Next time, be sure to stay for sunset, it can be mind blowingly beautiful in the right conditions.

  8. A shot from the ghetto; what a brave thing for you to do. Oh, sorry, G-E-T-T-Y.
    I once went to the original, Roman Villa Getty on Pacific Coast Highway, shortly before they built the new I’ve Got More Money Than You version. Two things stood out in my mind at the old place — the extraordinarily large displays and expensive lighting created for lots of eensy-weensy, teeny tiny pieces of broken pottery. Stuff most people would just throw away. I affectionately called it the Pardon our Shards Room. And I had to give props to the Getty’s Curator of Art Parts for having no shame. The second notable collection was a room filled several alabaster busts of ancient dead people, not one of which had a nose. Was there a bag of antiquarian noses languishing in a closet somewhere waiting to be discovered? Imagine what the Curator of Art Parts could do with those.

  9. Mrs. L @14 wrote:

    [...] a bag of antiquarian noses languishing in a closet somewhere waiting to be discovered? Imagine what the Curator of Art Parts could do with those.

    They would be pretty well worn after all this time jostling within a bag. Were restorations to be attempted, many might be reattached upside down but no one would notice.

    Given the high rate of proboscidean attrition, it would probably be better to sculpt replacements from newer, stabilized gypsum (alabaster).
    After all, new nose is good nose.

  10. I stole a book today from Borders and it was your “Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded”. Thought you might like to know that I think you’re awesome and would like to virtually give you a *high five*.

  11. Went with my sister to the Getty ten years ago, almost to the exact date. It wasn’t so much the art on display, but the entire Getty experience. We felt like cherished guests, as Getty porters held open glass doors for us, and handed Getty supplied umbrellas to us so that we would remain dry as we crossed patios to other glass doors. For lunch, we dined on a delicate salad of mixed greens with pine nuts, cranberries and crumbled blue cheese. In the afternoon, the sun came out, and the rain washed Los Angeles views were pure joy. Your photo brought back happy memories.

  12. If you like the view of the Pacific, be sure to take in the view from atop Mt. Wilson on a smoggy day. You’ll probably be able to see the ocean, but all of LA will look like a vast, brown desert :).

    It’s actually quite impressive. Until you realize you’re going to descend back into it…

    - Mark

  13. Lauren@9 – Yes, the Huntington is wonderful! I was there last April and saw the ‘Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World’ exhibit – 200+ copies of ‘The Origin of Species’ in many laguages were just a small gem in the huge library of science books. It was just stunning.

  14. I used to work for the Getty when I lived in LA. I didn’t work at the museum itself, but for their publishing outfit in a Santa Monica office. But every year they had the Getty employee party that they would throw at the center after hours. Fantastic food, booze galore, a great band, and night views that just plain rocked. Great place for a party, let me tell you.

    Feeling a bit nostalgic now.

  15. I went there with my son and wife when he was 11 and we were walking along, him checking out all of the naked people and he saw a painting with this really skinny dog and he said look at how skinny that dog is and poked it. The painting was older then America and the guards almost took all of us down. Luckily there wan’t any damage but he’ll never live down that story.

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