Find information on the J. Paul Getty Museum, including the Getty Center and Getty Villa.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, an architecturally unique cultural complex devoted to the visual arts, is divided into two California locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Getty Museum visitors can see works by famous artists, such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Rembrandt and Monet, as well as special collections including photographic exhibits and an illuminated Italian manuscript display.
The Getty Museum contains a research institute and art conservation center, among other institutes, making it far more than a simple art museum. The Getty Conservation Institute is involved in international art preservation projects. In some ways, the Getty Museum more closely resembles a college campus or a park.
Visitors to the Getty Museum can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding ocean, mountains and desert. The museum's architecture, by Richard Meier, is controversial, with some praising its sleekness and others criticizing its corporate feel. According to the Getty Museum's official Web site, the museum goes beyond merely presenting works of art -- it also interprets them through its educational programs, publications and performing arts.
According to the History Channel, the Getty Museum received more than $1.2 billion upon the death of J. Paul Getty, an American who became wealthy in the oil industry. By 2000, the endowment was worth $5 billion. Getty originally opened the museum in 1954 in his home to display his personal art collection. His home, located on a Malibu bluff, became the Getty Villa. The Getty Center, which cost $1 billion to build, opened in 1997. Uniquely, the Getty Center was built without public money, according to PBS.
The focus of the Getty Villa is art and culture from the ancient civilizations of Greece, Etruria and Rome. The Getty Villa was designed to resemble Italy's Villa dei Papiri, which was buried in the Mount Vesuvius eruption. The villa attempts to capture the classical civilizations by featuring plants and landscaping that would have existed in the ancient world.
The artifacts within the villa range in origins from 6,500 B.C. to 400 A.D. The Getty Villa, which was renovated in 1997, also features galleries with changing exhibits, such as coins and sculpture, and an open-air theater. It houses the famous "Victorious Youth," a rare Greek sculpture made of bronze.
The Getty Center houses a collection of Western art. While the Getty Center contains 44,000 artifacts, only about 1,200 are available for viewing. Visitors can see new exhibits in six rotating galleries. Vincent van Gogh's beloved masterpiece "Irises" is one of the most famous works at the Getty Center. Visitors can see sculptures, pre-20th-century European paintings and drawings.
Martin Puryear, an American artist, developed a bronze and stainless steel sculpture for the Getty Center that remains permanently on display, as the center intertwines modern and traditional art. The 45-foot statue, called "That Profile," stands on six thin legs.
Visitors can also see "Central Garden," by Robert Irwin, an environmental artist and sculptor whose goal was to make a garden that was actually a sculpture. The "Central Garden" is divided into three sections: a stream garden, a bowl garden and a plaza. The "Central Garden" includes cascading water and an azalea maze.
The hours for the Getty Center and Getty Villa are as follows:
The Getty Center:
The Getty Villa:
Both museums are closed on New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is free to both museums, but the Getty Villa requires an advanced, timed ticket.