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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, is the current home of the J. Paul Getty Museum as well as a research institute, conservation institute, grant program, and leadership institute. The museum opened on December 16, 1997. It is owned an operated by the J. Paul Getty Trust.
The Getty Center, designed by architect Richard Meier, is the $300 million flagship museum of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the largest arts endowment in history (at over $3 billion). It has a seven-story deep underground parking garage with over 1,200 parking spaces. It is located on a hill in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California overlooking Interstate 405 and is open to the public for free (although there is a charge for parking). The Getty Center is high enough that on a clear day, it is possible to see the snow at Big Bear as well as the Pacific Ocean and the entire Los Angeles basin. Much of the buildings and grounds are made of travertine. Other parts are made of white or beige enamel plates. The design is based upon a 30 inch grid with all wall and floor elements composed of 30 inch squares or some multiple of it. (The smallest elements are 7.5 inch floor tiles.)
The galleries are housed in four separate two story towers which sit on a main three-story building which is closed to the public. Central to the design is a main entry hall, with a circular design which mediates the 22 degree angle between the grid of the gallery buildings and the grid of the administrative buildings to the North.
The north axis is anchored by a circular grass area which serves as a heliport in case of emergencies, and the south axis is anchored by a cactus garden.
A grand central staircase in the entry hall lures visitors to the second floor galleries which display paintings using natural light from computer-controlled skylights. The second floors of the four gallery towers are connected by glass enclosed bridges offering views of the hillsides and of the central plaza. Numerous outdoor terraces and balconies allow visitors to stop and appreciate the views.
The first floor galleries house light-sensitive art, such as furniture or photographs. The sequence of these gallaries are interrupted by various lobbies which invite visitors to return to the central plaza.
Throughout the design, numerous fountains provide white noise as a background.
The initial design has remained in tact, except that benches and fences have been installed around the plaza fountains to discourage visitors from wading in the pools and fences close off the entry ramp to discourage skate boarders.
An automated, three-car tram takes passengers to and from the museum.
The museum collects and exhibits classical sculpture and art, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture, decorative arts, and photographs. In respect to Getty’s collecting intentions, the museum does not generally collect 20th or 21st century art, with the exception of photography.
In 1974, J. Paul Getty opened his first museum in a re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum on his property in Malibu, California. In 1997 the museum moved to its current location in Brentwood, and the original Malibu museum, renamed the "Getty Villa", was closed for renovation until recently.
The Getty is involved in a controversy regarding proper title to some of the artwork in its collection. On 20 November 2006, the Director of the museum, Michael Brand, announced that 26 disputed pieces were to be returned to Italy. The Museum’s previous curator of antiquities, Marion True, was indicted in Italy in 2005 on criminal charges relating to trafficking in stolen antiquities. True is currently under investigation by Greek authorities over the acquisition of a 2,500 year old funerary wreath. They have recommended she face felony charges.. True has responded that she is being made the ‘fall guy’ for practices which were known, approved, and condoned by the Getty’s Board of Directors.
 Central Garden
The 134,000-square-foot Central Garden at the Getty Center is the work of artist Robert Irwin. The design of the Central Garden re-establishes the natural ravine between the Museum and the Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities with a tree-lined walkway. The walkway traverses a stream planted on each side with a variety of grasses and gradually descends to a plaza where bougainvillea arbors provide scale. The stream continues through the plaza and ends in a cascade of water over a stone waterfall into a pool in which a maze of azaleas floats. Around the pool is a series of specialty gardens, each with a variety of plant material.
The process of creating the Central Garden began for Irwin in 1992, when he started working with Harold M. Williams and Stephen D. Rountree of the J. Paul Getty Trust in consultation with Richard Meier. Irwin also worked closely with Richard Naranjo, the Getty’s manager of grounds and gardens, and the landscape architecture firm of Spurlock Poirier, in finalizing all facets of the garden.
 Construction schedule
- Spring 1996 Begin grading on the reflecting pool and chadar wall
- Spring 1997 Complete grading for remainder of garden;
- Begin construction of stream
- Summer 1997 Complete construction of stream;
- Install bridges and walkways;
- Begin irrigation and first plantings;
- Complete planting and installation of final details
- December 1997 Garden completed;
- Getty Center opens to the public
(Botanical name – Common name)
- Platanus acerifolia – ‘Yarwood’ London Plane
- Lagerstroemia indica – ‘Muskogee’ Crape Myrtle
- Helichrysum petiolatum – Cudflower
- Cotyledon orbiculata – no common name
- Kalanchoe – various species
- Tibouchina urvilleana – Princess Flower
- Geranium psilostemon – Cranesbill
- Cannas – no common name
- Bougainvillea – no common name
- Muhlenbergia rigens – Deer Grass
- Festuca mairei – Maire’s Fescue
- Hydrangea macrophylla – Garden Hydrangea
- Iris species – no common name
- Rosa species – Floribunda roses
- Tulips, South African and Mediterranean Bulbs – no common names
- Tropaeolum malus – Garden Nasturtium
- Erigeron karvinskianus – Fleabane
- Sempervivum tectorum – Hen and Chicks
- Penstemon species – Beard Tongue
- Salvia Species – Sages
- Cosmos species – no common name
- Three varieties of Southern Indica Rhododendron
Detailed information about the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection at the Getty Center is provided on GettyGuide, a suite of interactive multimedia tools available at the Museum, as well as on getty.edu. At the GettyGuide stations in the Museum, visitors can get information about exhibitions, play with an interactive timeline, watch videos on art-making techniques, and more. Also available at the Museum, the GettyGuide audio player features commentary from curators and conservators on over 300 works of art. With GettyGuide on the Web, one may browse the Museum’s collections and bookmark works of art to create a customized tour and printable map. More information about GettyGuide can be found on getty.edu.
- Admission: Free
- Parking: $8.00
 Additional images
Cactus Garden perched on the edge of the Getty Center, with West Los Angeles in the background
The Getty Center, seen from a hill in Bel-Air
Westwood skyline, as viewed from the Getty Center; Downtown Los Angeles is on the horizon.
- ^ Davis, Mike (March 1992). City of Quartz, First Vintage Books edition, New York: Vintage Books, p. 76. ISBN 0-679-73806-1.
 See also
 External links
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to:|
- J. Paul Getty Trust official website
- Architecture of the Getty Center (800 photographs categorized by location and by subject of photograph)
- Google map & aerial photo of Getty Center
- Gardens of the Getty Center (LandLiving.com)
Categories: 1997 establishments | 1997 architecture | Los Angeles area museums | Art museums and galleries in the United States | Photography museums and galleries | People museums in the United States | Museums in California | Museums accredited by AAM | Research institutes