Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Getty Museum

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city of Los Angeles, the Getty Museum offers more than just beautiful panoramic views. It also features a diverse collection of art, incased within intricately designed buildings surrounded by sculpted gardens and landscaping.
I had the pleasure of visiting The Getty Museum while in Los Angeles this past Friday on an unusually cooler, windy day.
We rode the shuttle bus on the way up, skipping the line for the train, which offered a more spectacular view, but promised a longer wait. We decided to save the train ride for the trip down the hill. What I first noticed, besides the sweeping vistas, was the architecture of the museum. Built from travertine, a beige colored, textured, fossilized stone, the immense buildings absorb the morning sun, making the stone emit a warm glow.
As you move through the museum grounds you find that the landscaping is the crown jewel of the Getty Center. Gardens of many varieties surround the museum. With a huge swath of prickly pears, aloes, and countless other cacti species, the cactus garden, located at the south end of the museum is impressive. But most impressive is the huge Central Garden, a 134,000 square foot wonderland featuring over 500 varieties of plant material. The path leads you down through a winding stream, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers, ending as the stream cascades into a reflecting pool with a floating maze of azaleas.
Some of the permanent exhibits that are housed at the Getty include ancient illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, photography and oil paintings. I must admit that most of my time was spent admiring the outdoor areas. Next time I visit, I will spend more time exploring the many galleries.

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