Getty Center


Getty Center

The Getty Center in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, USA, is the current home of part of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The museum's permanent collection includes "pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs" [http://getty.edu/visit/see_do/art.html Art on View (Visit the Getty).] Retrieved August 22, 2008.] . Among the works on display is the painting "Irises" by Vincent van Gogh.

The Center, which opened on December 16, 1997 [http://www.getty.edu/about/10years.html The Getty Center: Reflecting on 10 Years.] ] , is also well-known for its architecture, gardens, and view (overlooking Los Angeles). Besides the Museum, the Center's buildings house the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the administrative offices of the J. Paul Getty Trust which owns and operates the Center.

Location and history

The purchase of the land upon which the Center is located -- a campus of 24 acres on a 110 acre site in the Santa Monica Mountains above Interstate 405, surrounded by 600 acres kept in a natural state -- was announced in 1983Moody, Lori. In the home stretch - half-finished Getty Center nearing landmark status. "Daily News of Los Angeles", April 18, 1995.] . The top of the hill is 900 feet above I-405, high enough that on a clear day it is possible to see not only the Los Angeles skyline but also the San Bernardino Mountains to the east as well as the Pacific Ocean to the westMorgenstern, Joe. Getty opens mammoth hilltop center to public. "Wall Street Journal" (Eastern edition), December 16, 1997.] [Hardy, Terri. Covering all angles - "preview" a coveted assignment. "Daily News of Los Angeles", December 10, 1997.] .

In 1984, Richard Meier was chosen to be the architect of the Center [Miller, Daryl H. Meier: centering on a landmark. "Daily News of Los Angeles", December 20, 1987.] . After an extensive conditional-use permit process, construction began in August 1989 [Construction under way on Getty Center. "Los Angeles Times", August 13, 1989. ] .

The construction was significantly delayed, with the planned completion date moved from 1988 to 1995 (as of 1990)Muchnic, Suzanne. Catching up with the Getty Center. Art: A look at the $350-million Getty Center in Brentwood as it moves toward a 1995 completion date. "Los Angeles Times", October 22, 1990.] . By 1995, however, the campus was described as only "more than halfway complete".

The Center finally opened to the public on December 16, 1997 [Sullivan, Deborah. Getty's message to the world: come on in! "Daily News of Los Angeles", December 17, 1997.] . Although the total project cost was estimated to be $350 million as of 1990, it was later estimated to be $1.3 billion [Muchnic, Suzanne. Five years of the Getty; Isolated? Elitist? L.A. makes the Getty its own in surprising ways. "Los Angeles Times", December 15, 2002.] .

Architecture

Richard Meier has exploited the two naturally occurring ridges (which diverge at a 22.5 degree angle) by overlaying two grids along these axes. These grids serve to define the space of the campus while dividing the import of the buildings on it. Along one axis lie the galleries and along the other axis lie the administrative buildings. The primary grid structure is a convert|30|in|mm|sing=on square; most wall and floor elements are convert|30|in|mm|sing=on squares or some derivative thereof.

The buildings at the Getty Center are made from concrete and steel with either travertine or aluminium cladding.

Throughout the campus, numerous fountains provide white noise as a background. The initial design has remained intact, however benches and fences have been installed around the plaza fountains to discourage visitors from wading into the pools. Some additional revisions have been made in deference to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The north promontory is anchored by a circular grass area which serves as a heliport in case of emergencies, and the south promontory is anchored by a succulent plant and cactus garden.

The museum has a seven-story deep underground parking garage with over 1,200 parking spaces. An automated three-car tram takes passengers to and from the museum.

Museum

The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum on display at the Getty Center includes "pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs". The paintings include:
* "Arii Matamoe" (The Royal End) by Paul Gauguin (1892). The Museum's director, Michael Brand, stated that the purchase of the painting was “one of the key moments in the history of our collection” [Wyatt, Edward. [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/arts/design/12gett.html Getty Museum buys a seldom-exhibited Gauguin.] "New York Times", March 12, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2008.] . The literal translation of the Tahitian words of the title are "noble" and "sleeping eyes," which implies "death" [J. Paul Getty Museum. [http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=310277 Arii Matamoe (The Royal End).] Retrieved August 26, 2008.] .
* "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh (1889). The Museum purchased the painting in 1990; it had sold for $53.9 million in 1987 [Kimmelman, Michael. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE6DC1F3DF931A15750C0A966958260 Getty buys van Gogh "Irises," but won't tell price.] "New York Times", March 22, 1990. Retrieved August 26, 2008.] .
* "Portrait of a Halberdier" by Pontormo (1528-1530) [J. Paul Getty Museum. [http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=945 Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?).] Retrieved August 26, 2008.] . When the Museum bought the painting for $35.2 million at an auction in 1989, "the price more than tripled the previous record at auction for an Old Master painting" [Reif, Rita. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE6D81E3CF932A35755C0A96F948260 Old Master auctioned for record $35 million.] "New York Times", June 1, 1989. Retrieved August 26, 2008.] .
* A copy of "Portrait of Louis XIV", which measures 114 x 62-5/8 inches, by the workshop of Hyacinthe Rigaud (after 1701) [J. Paul Getty Museum. [http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artObjectDetails?artobj=582 Portrait of Louis XIV.] Retrieved August 26, 2008.] .

The five museum galleries, called pavilions, are North, East, South, West and the Changing Exhibit pavilion. The artwork is displayed throughout the pavilions chronologically: the North houses the oldest art while the West houses the newest. The first floor galleries house light-sensitive art, such as illuminated manuscripts, furniture or photography. Computer-controlled skylights on the second floor galleries allow paintings to be displayed in natural light. The second floors are connected by a series of glass enclosed bridges and open terraces, both of which offer views of the surrounding hillsides and central plaza.

Central Garden

The convert|134000|sqft|m2|sing=on Central Garden at the Getty Center is the work of artist Robert Irwin [http://www.getty.edu/visit/see_do/gardens.html Gardens (Visit the Getty).] Retrieved August 23, 2008.] . Planning for the garden began in 1992, construction started in 1996, and the garden was completed in December 1997 [ [http://www.getty.edu/news/press/arch/cntrlgrd.html The Central Garden (Getty Press Release).] Retrieved August 23, 2008.] .

Irwin was quoted as saying that the Central Garden "is a sculpture in the form of a garden, which aims to be art" [Wilson, Karen C. The Getty Center Museum quality Center's largest 'exhibit' will surely grow on visitors. "San Diego Union-Tribune", November 30, 1997.] . A tree-lined walkway descends to a plaza, while water in a stream criss-crosses the walkway, continues through the plaza, and goes over a stone waterfall into a round pool. A maze of azaleas floats in the pool, around which is a series of specialty gardens. More than 500 varieties of plant material are used for the Central Garden, but the selection is "always changing, never twice the same".

Getty Research Institute (GRI)

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) is "dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts" [http://www.getty.edu/research/institute/ About the Research Institute (Research at the Getty).] Retrieved August 23, 2008.] . Among other holdings, GRI's research library contains about 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogs; special collections; and two million photographs of art and architecture [ [http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/library/index.html Research Library Overview (Research at the Getty).] Retrieved August 23, 2008.] . GRI's other activities include exhibitions, publications, and a residential scholars program. At the Getty Center, GRI is located to the west of the museum.

Getty Conservation Institute (GCI)

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), which is headquartered at the Getty Center but also has facilities at the Getty Villa, commenced operation in 1985J. Paul Getty Trust. [http://www.getty.edu/conservation/institute/ About the Conservation Institute.] Retrieved August 24, 2008.] . It "serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field" and "adheres to the principles that guide the work of the Getty Trust: service, philanthropy, teaching, and access". GCI has activities in both art conservation and architectural conservationAdams, Eric. The Getty's conservation mission. "Architecture", December 1997, vol. 86, issue 12.] . Its offices are north of the museum.

Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation awards grants for "the understanding and preservation of the visual arts" [Getty Foundation. [http://www.getty.edu/foundation/about.html About the Foundation.] Retrieved September 18, 2008.] . In addition, it runs the Getty Leadership Institute for "current and future museum leaders" [Getty Foundation. [http://www.getty.edu/leadership/ The Leadership Institute.] Retrieved September 18, 2008.] . Its offices are north of the museum.

J. Paul Getty Trust

The J. Paul Getty Trust oversees the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, Getty Research Institute, and J. Paul Getty Museum. Its offices are north of the museum.

Photographs and visitor information

Panoramic view looking south

Additional images

Visitor information

* The Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California, west of the San Diego Freeway and north of the Santa Monica Freeway.
* Parking is $10 per car, and "reservations are neither required nor accepted."
* The Metro Rapid public transportation bus line 761 "stops at the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard."
* The Center is closed Mondays.
* Admission is free.For more information, visitors should consult the Getty web site [ [http://getty.edu/visit/hours/index.html Hours, Directions, Parking. The Getty Center Los Angeles and The Getty Villa Malibu.] Retrieved September 10, 2008.] .

References

For further reading

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See also

* Getty Conservation Institute
* Getty Foundation
* Getty Research Institute
* Getty Villa
* J. Paul Getty Museum
* J. Paul Getty Trust

External links

* [http://www.getty.edu/ J. Paul Getty Trust official website]
* [http://academic.reed.edu/getty/ Architecture of the Getty Center] (800 photographs categorized by location and by subject of photograph)
* [http://www.landliving.com/articles/0000000048.aspx Gardens of the Getty Center] (LandLiving.com)


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