When I have free time while traveling in greater Los Angeles, I love to visit the Getty Center — well worth a full day’s visit, especially if you’ve never been there before. There’s no admission fee but you have to pay $15.00 to park for the day (so if you’re dropped off by a friend, the entire day would be a freebie). There’s a large parking structure adjoining the 405 Fwy in Sepulveda Pass and from here visitors takes a tram uphill to the Getty Center. The tram/funicular ride takes just a few minutes and when you exit you enter a beautifully crafted world of art and architecture. I enjoy walking the meticulously maintained grounds and taking in the ever changing views of its amazing buildings, lovely gardens, and panoramic views of the L.A. basin extending from downtown to the Pacific Ocean!
The Getty Center, funded by the J.P. Getty Trust, is situated atop a hill in Brentwood (in the Santa Monica Mountains). The Center sits on 24 acres of a 100 acre site and was built at a cost of US$1.3 billion. It opened to the public in late 1997. The Getty Center is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, attracting 1.3 million visitors annually. The other location is the Getty Villa in nearby Pacific Palisades.
While the Getty Villa features ancient Roman and Greek art, the Getty Center features pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts (e.g. furniture). There’s a fine collection of photographs and a nice collection of modern outdoor sculpture around the grounds and gardens of the complex.
The Getty Center was designed by architect Richard Meier and also is home to the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Trust.
Here is a brief glimpse of the treasures of the Getty Center
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)