The J. Paul Getty Museum is one of my favourite places to visit in Los Angeles. Features of the permanent collection include pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, decorative arts and 19th and 20th century American and European photographs. Details of the most current exhibition can be found here.
The Getty Museum not only houses artwork, but is a piece of art in its own right.The museum sits at the top of a hill in the Santa Monica mountains and most visitors arrive at the museum by a computer operated tram. Upon arrival you will notice the white signature buildings designed by architect Richard Meier. Meier chose to use travertine stone from Bagni di Tivoli, Italy and based the design with 30 inch squares. Some of the stones have fossilized leaves, feathers and branches. To learn more about the architecture of the Getty Museum, daily tours (45 minutes) occur at 10:15 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm.
The other major highlight of the museum is the central garden designed by Robert Irwin. A stream runs through a landscape of various flowers and plants, reaching a "floating maze of azaleas". There is also a section with birds of paradise that come alive as the sun is setting. For more details on the gardens at the Getty Museum, join the daily tours of the gardens (45 minutes) which occur at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
The Getty Museum also contains a Research Center and occasionally runs studio and gallery courses for the public. Free lectures and performances also occur at the museum complex. Click here to find out more.
So the next time you visit LA, don't forget to pay the Getty Museum a visit. It is a truly spectacular place and the best thing is it comes with no price tag!
You can get there by the Metro Rapid Line 761. Alternatively parking is $15.
If you have time, visit the Getty Villa in Malibu as well, but admission is granted with pre-booked timed-entry tickets which are available online. Visit the website for more information.