The Getty was a stretch goal for my first conscious, wide awake, intentional visit to Los Angeles. Nowhere near where we were staying closer to downtown LA, we decided at the last minute to take the Lyft ride across town- I mean, how bad could it be? Ummm, it was pretty bad and the epitome of the Los Angeles experience.
Was it worth it? I think I net out just over the line to the side of yes. Perhaps if I made the day of it and planned only to go to The Getty, I could have a greater appreciation for what has been created. I left saying to my friends “thank god these rich people are spending their money on art- someone needs to do it”. No one disagreed with me and yet there was some lingering doubt about whether this was the best way to it.
The Getty is both an oasis and a sterile capsule. Its a temple to art and art education and yet, the architecture seems greater than the contents- which in general I’m ok with but comparing it to the purpose of the Getty, it felt like the balance wasn’t quite right.
Don’t get me wrong, its tasteful, classic yet with modern touches, well landscaped and rich with hidden experiences to discover. The view was incredible and a breath of fresh air from the city experience of Los Angeles below. You could see the ocean and far beyond.
We didn’t have much time for the galleries but did go to see an excellent fashion photography exhibit. It was excellently curated and to have the actual clothes modeled was a nice touch. I imagine the collection to be vast and despite what I had heard about the Getty not being about the art, I actually have to say my experience really differed from that. I would go back for the art and not the architecture.
Would I go back- willing to spend more time to find those hidden gems? It would be a hard sell- with so much culture and life in the city below, the Getty feels like its more dead than alive in terms of connecting art back to the people. Walking away with the impression of the hospital of the future, I felt that maybe the concept of preservation was taking a bit too far.
No matter what the criticism, the Getty is a boon to society- its dedication to art and education is critical, especially in light of our current political climate. I would recommend any who goes, to really take the time to take a long moment to consider this great investment.
Website: The Getty