Monday, September 21, 2015

California Part 2 - The Getty Center


Well, paint me impressed. 

California 2015

The Getty Center is one of the two campuses that make up the Getty Museum and Trust. I didn't know much about it except that art was there; so when my father the artist suggested we visit while in California I trusted his advice. He reads everything at the library including travel books, so he would know.

The girls thought we were going to the SPAghetti museum. An understandable assumption.

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The Getty Center sits on top of a large hill that overlooks a lot of Los Angeles. It was built in the 90s after J. Paul Getty left his fortune and art collection to be used "for museum purposes". According to Wikipedia, $1.3 BILLION dollars was invested in the creation of this place. It's HUGE. PLEASE click here real quick to get an idea of the vastness of this museum. You have to see it from this aerial view to get an idea. What's more: it's free to the public. That's right, you pay for parking {which for my family of 5 ended up being $3/person} and admission is free.

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You park and ride a special hovertrain up the side of the mountain hill to the Getty Center where--I don't know how many, SEVERAL--buildings make up what I can only describe as America's Louvre! It's like the Louvre in that it would take you more than a day or two to see everything there, and also because it houses an impressive collection of art. I probably saw not even 2% of it, unfortunately, but what I did see was enough to make it feel special.

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I couldn't believe how massive this place was. I couldn't believe the fine art I saw. I couldn't believe it was free. {Our own great Denver Art Museum only recently made itself free to children so we can afford to go more often.} Art is important, and it's priceless. The Getty gets that.

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{Thanks, dad, for suggesting another gem of a stop on our trip.}

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As I said, you couldn't possibly see ALL the art here in one day--especially not with three little ones in tow--and we didn't have a ton of time. What we did see, in the European art building, was impressive.

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We stepped out of the sweltering heat into a building that was gorgeous modern pavilion on the outside and Marie Antoinette's home on the inside.

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Dismantled and reproduced European interior design masterpieces.

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I need to go back to see what all the other buildings housed inside, if they were all as delightful as this.

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Not your typical IKEA furniture. {I don't even want to think about how many Allen wrenches this one would take.}

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All types of art. All photographable except for photography and a few select pieces. I wish I could share all the art I saw with you.

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The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola, Canaletto
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Dance before a Fountain, Nicolas Lancret
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The Painter in His Studio, Pietro Longhi
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This Edgar Degas painting you may recognize...Dancer Taking a Bow.
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Here's another fun thing we learned, the Getty Center was an amazing work of architecture with the sort of budget that allowed the architect, Richard Meier, to have a field day. We were told that part of the design of the Getty Center was to position the amazing buildings to frame the city of Los Angeles when you looked out from the Getty. The views, so to speak, are part of the art here.

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Bouguereau is one of our favorite artists... this is A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros (a.k.a. the Greek Cupid)

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Van Gogh's famous Irises. Never thought I'd see this in the flesh.

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Édouard Manet's Le Printemps (Spring) and Claude Monet's The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light, respectively.
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We got tired from the heat and the walking around and stopped for lunch at the Getty Center cafe, and the food was really good. {Best tuna melt I've ever had.}

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We were excited to meet my cousin and family that afternoon, so we didn't spend as much time as we might have at the Getty. Still, we had time to browse the gardens a bit.

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Did I mention it was blistering hot? I think it was around 101 that day, I was like a vampire seeking shade.

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It was like a beautiful, humid oven.

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The place looks and feels so expensive {and it was} that you so appreciate that it's free to the public. What a worthy way to spend $1.3 billion dollars, to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors, and to share art freely with the world. {The world needs art.}
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We skipped the family & kids area, because we didn't have much time, but the Getty Center certainly welcomes children and we saw school children on field trips.

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My mom wants one of these in her yard:

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When we realized we had to leave to meet up with my California family we took the hovertrain back down the side of the hill and bid the Getty Center goodbye. But I certainly hope to go back someday. And if you ever find yourself in Los Angeles, you should visit too.

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Thank you to everyone who makes the Getty Center a dream come true for art lovers and children!

Cheers,
Heather

See more of our California 2015 trip:
Part 1 - Santa Monica Pier
Part 2 - The Getty Center
Part 3 - Erickson Family
To Be Continued...



2 comments:

  1. Oh, Heather! This place looks absolutely amazing! Ok, adding this to my bucket list! Believe it or not, this crazy gal who loves vintage junk and wine out of a solo cup LOVES art. My dad collected Salvador Dali paintings and my sister and I inherited his love of the quirky surrealist artist. Yay! Another thing you and I have in common!

    ~Erica

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    Replies
    1. Erica, somehow I'm just not suprised you love art too! You're a vintage collecting goddess and you're awesome, so it goes with the territory. Hold on, did your dad collect ORIGINAL Salvador Dali's or prints? Either way, that's awesome!

      I'll have to remember your appreciation of surrealist art when I'm out at quirky antique malls and thrift shops...

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