Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Getty museum

Not to be confused with the Getty Villa, the Getty museum (same rich dude benefactor, same type of art) is on top of the mountains that overlook west Los Angeles.

I'd been meaning to go for a while, but every time I had a plan to go it rained, and since it has gardens I preferred to wait for a dry day.  True to habit, it rained again last Friday, but since I only have a couple of weeks left in L.A., I figured I'd better go.

The rain and fog made for interesting conditions for seeing the buildings themselves- usually they are surrounded by a spectacular view (so they say, I couldn't verify), but today the landscape dropped away at the edges of the complex, disappearing into rain and thin fog.  It was kind of surreal.  The architecture is beautiful, so here are some photos of the buildings.  They're very well laid out so that you catch interesting little views of the buildings and of the scenery (on days it's visible) at every window and passage.

You park part way down the mountain (it would be very hard to get to this museum by bike or on foot), and then this trolley takes you the rest of the way up the mountain to the museum:


Here are some photos of the various pavilions of the museum.  The curves on the entrance pavilion remind me of the museum of Civilization in Ottawa:









I would have loved to have had lunch at the cafe below- if it hadn't been raining!


 Here's one of the gardens as seen from a terrace:

The art is mostly European stuff.  They have some furniture on display too, set up to look like rooms from a European palace.  I liked the piece below, it looks like it has it's own movers built right into it:


This is a reproduction of a tomb cover from somewhere in Germany, it shows the dead woman and her baby breaking out of the tomb for resurrection... weird, but cool!


Here's one of the interesting beds they have on display- huge, yet quite short in the lying-down direction.  People were littler back then.  It's wired to the ceiling too, I guess in case of earthquakes:


They had interesting displays on manuscripts, and on how bronze statues are cast, among other stuff.  I really enjoyed it- I'm usually lukewarm on the European stuff, but this museum has short, readable write-ups posted beside each painting or artifact, so you don't need a degree in art history or any sense of pretension to know what you're looking at, and what's interesting about it.

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