The Getty Center

Time to Van Gogh to a museum…

Hello everyone! I am back once again, this time to talk about my trip to the Getty over this past week! The Getty is a free (yes free!) art museum in Los Angeles. They have hundreds of paintings in the museum, with a lot of their focus on European works. Technically the Getty has two locations, the Getty Center is the main museum just off of the 405, while the Getty Villa is a mansion in Malibu that houses a lot of Greek and Roman art and architecture. For this week I will be writing about the Getty Center, as I haven’t had the time to visit the Getty Villa yet. The Getty Center is actually on top of a hill in north Los Angeles, meaning that on clear days, you have an incredible unobstructed view of downtown LA to the South and the valley to the northeast.

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This is the view to the north

 

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and here is what it looks like to the south

 

Since the Getty has such an enormous collection of European and American art, they separate the works into different time periods and art styles. This really allows you to stroll through the different exhibits and see the progression of art styles from the medieval to the present. I really recommend taking extra time to just walk around and stop in front of art pieces that catch your eye. What I tend to do at art museums is walk around a room and only really stop in front of works that catch my eye or seem confusing to me. I do this because if I stop and stare at all of the works, I tend to get tired, but if I only stop on the works that inspire me or seem interesting, I can spend more time looking at them and studying them. Again, this is just what I do personally, but if you tend to think art museums are boring or take too long, this approach may work for you as well. Another great thing about the Getty is that they offer free tours about different art styles, periods, and even the architecture of the museum itself. So if you would prefer a more structured approach to the museum, that is available for you as well. I went on a tour about European impressionism (one of my favorite art styles) and the guide was very informative and knowledge about the subject. It was fun to see the painting and then get some more background on the piece and the artist as I was looking at it. Honestly, another plus was the price (everything is free, except for the parking) which is incredible given how big the collection is.

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I really love the movement in this piece

 

The Getty Center has a bunch of really cool aspects to it, including the way you get up to the actual museum. Since the building is on top of a hill, but the parking is at the bottom, the museum gives you two options of how to get to the top; you can walk or you can take their shuttle. Of course I chose the shuttle option, and what is interesting is that the shuttle isn’t a traditional shuttle, but more of a mix between a shuttle and an elevator. After you get to the top, there is a courtyard that has a few statues, and this is a great place to eat while you are visiting! When you enter the museum, you have many choices on which direction you could go, all leading to different exhibits. Because the museum is so huge, I definitely recommend grabbing a map before you head off, just so you know where you are and what pieces will be in the room.

 

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It was the colors and the way the moon is the brightest part of the picture that really caught my eye

 

 

By far, my favorite work in the museum is Van Gogh’s ‘Irises’ I was really excited to be able to go to the Getty and see this work, as Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists. The work is a very special piece, and when you stop and really study it, you see that there is an incredible amount of movement within a piece that may look a bit simple at first glance. This piece was one of the highlights of the guided tour I took part in, so I also learned some cool facts behind the painting. One of the coolest facts is that there are no straight lines in the entire work, which seems impossible at first, but really makes the movement of the piece as a whole come together. Another highlight was the exhibit on photography that was in the basement of the museum. The photographer Thomas Annan, took pictures throughout his life in Glasgow during the industrial revolution. These pictures really gave a personal view into what life looked like during the 19th century in Scotland. It gave me even more insight into how people lived and what the world around them looked like. These pictures were next to others from 20th century Scotland. This means that you can walk from room to room and see how times had changed from the factories to the rise of punk in the 80s. The Getty is also very nice in that they provide so many different mediums of art, so it is not only a museum of paintings, but also of sculptures, photographs and graphic visuals.

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here it is!

 

There are so many beautiful and creative works in the museum, that it would be impossible to talk about all of them, so I will include pictures of a few of my favorites below! That’s it for this week, if you have any requests or ideas for places I should visit, leave a comment below!

 

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In this work, it was the emotion on the peoples’ faces that made me stop

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The scale of this work, with the towering trees and the small birds in the distance was what got me to stop

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I love the realism and the detail that is found in all of the fruits and flowers in this work!

 

 

 

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