Monday, February 16, 2009

The Getty

I recently visited the Getty Museum. The art is wonderful, of course, but for me the architecture is the highlight. Some folks complain that Los Angeles doesn't have decent architecture. It's true you won't find a magnificent historic building on every block in LA, like you will in Paris or London. And some parts of LA are so ugly as to be soul-killing. But we do have great architectural works here. One of them is the Getty Museum.

Architect Richard Meier created a remarkable complex. My favorite thing about it is how the eye is directed. The whole place is about views: up a flight of stairs, around a sinuous bend, across a panoramic garden. Even the tram ride that carries you from the parking lot to the hilltop center is engineered to surprise the eye.

Looking south.

Lines of sight.


A fixed gaze.

Visit the art, but don't miss the building.


pasadenapio said...

I must confess I still haven't been to the "new" Getty! I had a date to go with some friends a couple of years ago but for some reason that I don't remember it fell through.


dive said...

Simply beautiful, Petrea.
Speaking as an architect I cannot see why anyone would complain about LA. It has some of the finest art deco architecture anywhere and some splendid new buildings like this one.

Petrea said...

Ann, you'd love it. We should take a day out of Pasadena and go. It's so easy and so worth it.

Dive, thanks for stopping. I thought of you while I was there and while posting. The other night I met a young woman from Romania who said LA had no architecture. I said, "You haven't been downtown." She hadn't. There's some great stuff there, as you obviously know.

Cafe Observer said...

We went there on opening day. Lucky us. Obviously, it must've been dog friendly!

I'm begining to warm to the new Getty architecture as it ages, and me too.

Petrea said...

C.O., I remember when the Getty was being built how people complained about the construction on the hillside. I didn't warm to it from a distance, but did so as soon as I visited. It's one of the most beautiful modern buildings we have here.

Gunn said...

What a nice and interesting posting.

Petrea Burchard said...

How funny that you found it, Gunn. I have a soft spot in my heart for that last photo.