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Driving north up the 405 in LA, one can see a big building perched high on the hill overlooking the roadway. It’s impressive by any standard and includes a number of buildings, not just one. It’s hard to miss, those white structures up there, but what is it? In Los Angeles, it could be anything… but in fact, it’s The Getty Center.

Opened in 1997 after a ten-year construction period, The Getty Center is located on 110 acres in the hills above Los Angeles. The history of J. Paul Getty’s legacy here at The Center and also at The Getty Villa located in Malibu, CA is interesting and well-worth the read (click here). (I had visited the Getty Villa several times in the early 1980s during my training as a master woodworker to view the different types and styles of furniture throughout the years but have not been back there since it reopened after major renovations in 2006.)

The Center is free, although parking is $15, and once you’ve situated your vehicle in the parking structure at the base of the hill, a computerized tram will transport you to the top. Now you’re ready to be off to roam around the complex… but first, do yourself a favor and pause just inside the main door to view the orientation film. Since it was my first visit to The Center, it helped me figure out where to go first (and second, third, and fourth) and it might help you in navigating the exhibits and grounds; it gives you an really nice overview of what’s to come in your visit.

Several tours are offered including the Architecture, the Gardens, and an Overview of the Collection, as well as a number of specific tours relating to a particular exhibition or a part of The Center. I went on the Garden Tour; the guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and entertaining, and it was a great tour of the main garden, along with the background and history of its installation.

View from high up in one of the galleries; that’s the 405 way down there! The onshore mist hung around almost all day so the views of the city were limited but the weather was cooler 😀
French Tapestry: The Empress Sailing (1697-1705) Size: approximately 12′ x 10′
Closeup near the far lower right corner of the tapestry The Empress Sailing
Overlooking the Gardens – the dark pink area is made up of blooming azalea plants located in a pond of water. Several ducks call the azalea garden home and on occasion are visible swimming among the flowers
Goblet, late 1500s/early 1600s, possibly Netherlandish
Iris, 1889, Vincent van Gogh
La Promenade, 1870, Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Still Life with Apples, 1893-94, Paul Cézanne
The Eternal Feminine, 1877, Paul Cézanne

Footed Bowl, about 1500, Venice, Italy

The Azalea Garden in the pond

My friends, Cyndi and Jane, and I enjoyed our day here at The Getty Center. Cyndi packed a delicious picnic lunch which we ate at a table in the shade of some trees in a quiet corner of the grounds. Along with bringing your own food, there’s a café on the grounds, as well as a gift shop.

No matter what tour you choose, or none at all, no matter what part of The Center you’re able to see in your visit (it would be difficult to see the entire place in one visit), I think spending a day at The Getty Center is a must for anyone visiting Los Angeles. My only wish is that I had visited more than once while I was in So. Cal. Ah well, it’s on my list to go again the next time I’m in that area.

Maybe next time, you’ll go with me!

Until then…

Links to check out:

The Getty
Visiting The Getty Center and the Getty Villa
About The Getty

Check out the all my pics from The Getty Center here

The Getty Center
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8 thoughts on “The Getty Center

  • May 16, 2017 at 11:22 am
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    Thanks much, a wonderful presentation. This is a place we have always
    wanted to visit, but never seem to find the time when we have been in So.Cal. Some day!

    Reply
    • May 16, 2017 at 8:20 pm
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      The Getty Center is amazing, Lorna! So much to see. I had no idea it was as comprehensive as it is!

      Reply
  • May 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm
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    Breathtaking. I have been in the LA/SoCal area a few times over the past few years and wasn’t aware of The Getty Center. It’s on the list, Lois. Thanks.

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    • May 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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      Add to your list The Getty Villa in Malibu, if you can swing it. It’s free as well ($15 parking) but requires reservations to get in. I really want to see the updated version some day!

      Reply
  • May 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm
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    Onward and upward! Beautiful , thank you for sharing!!

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    • May 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm
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      Hi Jean! So happy to see you here! I’ve missed you! I hope you are well, as is Anika ♡

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  • May 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm
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    What a beautiful and historic place to spend the day!

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    • May 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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      Quite spectacular, Kathy. Mr. Getty left quite a legacy re: the world’s art. I’m so glad he did 😀

      Reply

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