Getty Museum, Los Angeles

For a beautiful view of the Los Angeles skyline + a nice art museum and garden to boot, there’s no other place than The Getty Museum in Brentwood. The place is far out from the city center: there are no direct buses there; we got lost and had to walk more than a mile in the hot Californian sun before we finally found it. But the hassle was worth it. 🙂

Founded by wealthy American industrailist J.Paul Getty, the museum is perched on a hill and is accessible via funicular train. It houses art, manuscripts and sculptures from all over the world, particularly 19th and 20th century European/American works, as well as medieval pieces.

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The grounds are pretty huge. Other than the museum, there is also the Getty Research Institute and a Central Garden. There is also a Getty Villa under the same umbrella of museums, but located in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood. I wanted to visit that too but it was too far 😦

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Layout of the Getty Museum/GRI.

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The courtyard. Water features were turned off as California regularly experiences drought and it’s best to conserve water.

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Inside the massive museum, we made our way through hundreds of art pieces. The gallery was quiet and patrolled by strict-looking curators. Some pieces are not allowed to be photographed… I wish they had clearer indications in each room because we got told off (rather rudely lol) by the staff every time. How am I supposed to know which rooms allow photography and which don’t if there aren’t proper signages? >-> (I wasn’t using flash either coz I know how sensitive some pieces are towards light).

I’d just admire the art pieces, but then you wouldn’t be reading this post with pictures lol.

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Many beautiful European paintings from the 16th century to early 20th century. This was a time when ‘art’ meant drawing subjects that are detailed and discernible – as opposed to a splash of paint across canvas that any two year old can do. Sorry, I can’t figure out why people call that ‘art’ (art critics out there will probably kill me).

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Exiting from the gallery, there is a windy patio where visitors can get an amazing view of the whole of Los Angeles. Cloudless blue skies!

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A very interesting sculpture lol.

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Went back inside for the cool, air-conditioned comfort. Here are some fluffy guinea pigs.

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The galleries have seats where you can chill and view the paintings. There is so much detail in each picture that you can literally stare at a wall for half an hour and discover new details with each passing minute.

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There was a fun and interactive area where visitors can draw stuff. The room had several paintings and sculptures for reference, easels, tables and low stools. The museum even provides paper and sketching materials for free. Now that’s what I call a world-class art museum.

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Work by visitors. I’m guessing some are from art students – super creative and amazing.

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I tried my hand and failed miserably. Ended up drawing manga lol.

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Moving on to another section of the museum, where they had art tools on display. Here are some of the raw ingredients used to create different coloured inks.

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When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing – the fact that all these were handmade. Painstakingly carved and crafted by someone. Which might have taken months or years. The power of the human mind, imagination and skill.

I think while machines have made things more convenient, it has also limited people and made some of us lazier lol.

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It was such a bright and sunny day! Would have been a shame not to visit the Central Garden.

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The garden has a spiral pool in the center, with patterns formed from flowery shrubs.

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A small ‘river’ flows from the museum to the lower gardens below. The place has the feel of carefully ‘curated’ plants made to look like art – like a Japanese bonsai garden.

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The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90049

Admission: Free

  • Gallery and Garden Hours: Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
  • Closed Mondays

Getting There 

Take Metro Rapid Line 761, which stops at the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard

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Author: Luna

Bibliophile/foodie. Drop me a line at erisgoesto@gmail.com

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