The Getty Center

June 14, 2008

The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr., Los Angeles 90049-1681
Tues.-Thurs., Sun., 10am-6pm; Fri., Sat., 10am-9pm
Parking is $5., Museum admission is always free.
(310) 440-7300, FAX (310) 440-7748
Web site,

Toss your preconceptions aside, the Getty Center is like no other art museum. As matter of fact, it’s a super art mall. This hilltop complex is a series of separate distinct small museums and related structures connected by covered walkways and open plazas; there are also outdoor patios with café seating, and a myriad of fountains. It owes more to Lalaland suburbia than Richard Meier & Partners, the architects, would like to admit. It’s Fashion Island Mall, Hearst Castle, and LACMA (LA County Museum) combined. 
Main Entrance Exterior
Irwin Lower Garden, Isalnd
Exterior Dining,The Getty Center Plaza
Gallery Oveview 2

This new art center dispenses art information and technology very efficiently. While it does show the public its collection, it doesn’t do it as efficiently or simply as most other museums. 
The Getty Deck Gardens, Grand Overview/West LA
That being said, when you visit California – don’t miss it. The Getty Center, with outstanding views overlooking LA, exquisite interiors filled with art, and the fluidity Robert Irwin’s intriguing garden, result in a wonderful experience for most visitors.

Before your visit, plan carefully. Consider traffic even if you are not driving because the only way to the Getty is on I-405 – perhaps the most congested freeway in California. If you do drive you may have to make a parking reservation; however parking reservations are no longer required on weekends, but it costs $5, cash only. Call (310) 440-7300. Hint: try to make hotel reservations in West Los Angeles preferably along Wilshire or Sunset Blvd., so you can take those streets to I-405 and bypass I-10 and I-405 traffic. Check the Getty's Web site for up-to-the-minute information and bus/taxi directions. 

Elevator from Garage

The Garage 
Try to get there early in the morning or later in the afternoon to get a parking space if you’re visiting on a weekend. Otherwise, you must make a parking reservation.

Elevator from Garage

The Tram
The tram is the most direct way to get to the museum. It’s a short, nifty ride, however the lines may be long and slow. If you’re fit and the weather is good, walk up the hill to the main entrance – it's less than a mile but remember it's all uphill.
The Line to the Getty
Boarding the Getty Monorail
Getty Monorailall.jpg
To the Top of Getty

The Main Museum Entrance
Main Entrance

If you are interested only in viewing art, 
stop and load up on printed maps 
and explanations of the gallery layout 
because the museum’s traffic patterns 
are confusing. 

The Plaza

Irwin Garden, Grand Overview

North View, 2

However if you are taken with the exterior and the California light and air experience, walk through the plazas to the Robert Irwin Garden or check out the schedule for architectural tours of the building complex.
If you do not want the hassle of scheduling tours just enjoy the views and gardens at your leisure.

Robert Irwin Garden
All visitors enthusiastically embrace this amazing conglomeration of flora, rocks, water and man-made elements. The design and creation of the Central Garden were entrusted to the distinguished contemporary visual artist Robert Irwin. Irwin, a member of California's "light and space" movement of the 1960’s, has created a garden design that has aroused intense interest in both the art world and among gardening enthusiasts. Irwin has playfully termed his creation "a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art." These photographs reveal the constant care plus imagination that went into the creation of each aspect of the garden, from the bridges, handrails and lighting fixtures to the huge boulders, azalea rings and waterfalls that make a visit to the Getty Central Garden an inspiring experience.
These photographs are presented as you would view the Irwin Garden form its source, a fountain that is carved from the Getty Plaza above the gardens. The last few pictures are of the terrace gardens, which were not designed by Robert Irwin.
Irwin Fountain

From the Fountain Through Rocks

Irwin Rock Garden, Upper

Irwin Rock Garden, Upper 2

Irwin Rock Garden, Upper 3

Irwin Rock Garden, Upper, Overall

Irwin Rock , Upper

Irwin Garden, Overview

Irwin Garden, Midway Before the Waterfall

The stream that originated from the fountain, 
cascades over boulders through vegetation 
and funnels into an aqueduct that 
subsequently flows over a waterfall 
into an incredible lagoon.

Irwin Garden, Overview All
Irwin Garden Waterfall
Irwin Garden, Waterfall and Island
Irwin Lower Garden, Isalnd
The Getty Center, West from the Garden
Irwin Garden, Grand Overview
Irwin Garden, Lower Walkway
Irwin Garden, Lower Walkway 2

The Other Gardens, Fountains And Plazas
The Long Fountain

This is where the mall element 
is most evident. Either enjoy the 
array of espresso bars, cafes, 
outdoor patios, and inviting 
fountains or just head inside 
to any of the galleries or information 
centers and soak up some culture.
Plaza and FountainView of Small Fountain and Children

Exterior Dining,The Getty Center PlazaThe Plaza, Overall

Most of the other gardens are on terraces of the main museum structure. They are quite interesting and offer great views of Los Angeles.

The Getty Deck Gardens, Cactus
The Getty Deck Gardens, 2
The Getty Deck Gardens, Grand Overview 2
The Getty Deck Gardens, Grand Overview/West LA

We will take a look at the Pavillions, its interior design and above all the Getty collecton in our next edition.


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