Wednesday, August 27, 2014

LA for a Day: Visiting the Getty Center

The entrance to the Getty Center

In addition to going to San Diego for Comic-Con, we planned extra days in California so that we could really take advantage of our time there. We had one full free day while staying in Anaheim so we decided to venture to Los Angeles and visit the Getty Center. My uncle highly recommended it, telling us it was a museum on a hill. It sounded like a pretty place and we didn't have anything else we really wanted to do so we decided to go there.


Views of the city and cactus garden from the South Promontory

Before arriving, we knew nothing about the Getty Center. We didn't even know what kind of museum it was which is unusual for our over-researching selves. When we pulled into the parking garage, we learned that it was a $15 parking fee for all day which was reasonable and that we would be shuttled to the museum at the top of the hill. Admission was free so the only cost was really parking and the overpriced lunch we purchased there. We didn't realize we could easily spend the whole day here. In retrospect, we should have packed a lunch to eat out on the terrace. (We did end up having to pay twice for parking because we lost our ticket between paying for it before getting into the car and at the garage exit. With our luck, we promptly found the lost ticket mere minutes after exiting the garage.)

The family activity included making our own masterpieces

The Getty Center is a massive multi-building art museum full of every kind of art you can image. To get better acquainted with the place, the first thing we did was attend a family guided tour which led us through some pastel paintings including the ballerina one which we focused on. The kids answered questions about what they saw and then we were given dot markers to make our own impressionist art. It was a nice introduction to art for them and we were able to better understand the layout of the place.

Enjoying the Family Room

They had lots of scheduled tours and self-guided audio tours, but we decided to just go through everything ourselves. We did take the kids to the Family Room which had some activities and the kids were able to play for awhile while Andrew and I supervised. There was a wait to get in because of the limited amount allowed in, but that made it so it wasn't crowded inside and the kids got a chance to do everything.

Art from the Getty Center including Van Gogh's Irises and pieces from Monet, Renoir, and more

We went through almost every building to see all the different exhibits and were pleased to learn that they have an original Van Gogh as well as other well-known artists' works. Andrew isn't a huge fan of the impressionist style, but he really liked the Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light (the top right painting in the photo above) by Claude Monet.

18th century European decorative art 

My favorite exhibits of everything we saw was either the Ansel Adams exhibition that we were fortunate enough to be there for and the decorative arts in the South Pavilion which featured elaborately decorated 18th century European rooms. I've been an Ansel Adams fan for a long time and it was really cool to see how his style evolved and to read more about him. The decorative arts in the South Pavilion was just spectacular. I enjoyed seeing all the detail on each piece and seeing them all styled in different rooms and settings.

The Central Garden at the Getty Center

The Getty Center featured art everywhere. In additional to the 5 pavilions of artwork, the architecture was stunning and the gardens were absolutely beautiful. The Central Garden was so much fun to wander through. This was definitely a highlight of the day with the amazing landscaping and views overlooking the city.

Structure outside the Getty Center

We stayed most of the day at the Getty Center and we could have stayed longer, but we decided to give ourselves some time to drive around the city before dinner. We drove through the city and saw all the massive movie billboards and glimpses of the Hollywood Walk of Fame concluding that we hated driving through the city. We had dinner that night with my family in Los Angeles which was a great ending to the day.
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