` The Getty Center

The Getty Center, Los Angeles

February 21, 2006.

The Getty Center was designed by the architect Richard Meier. The Getty Garden was designed by the artist Robert Irwin. The two are very different. I suppose technically the Getty Center includes the Getty Garden.

  1. In California winter, one tree, oder?

  2. Actually a row of trees, planted very very carefully.

  3. In between two buildings that exhibit paintings and drawings and sculpture, there is a quiet space with a pool. The rock is travertine, from a quarry near Rome, Italy. The Colloseum in Rome (and many other buildings) are made of travertine.

  4. The hills are in back of the auditorium in the distance. This center pool is a favorite, people gather round.

  5. Grids left to right: the large grid of the walkway connection two exhibition pavilions, smaller windows of the East Pavilion, and the rough rock of the wall. The large boulders are part of the family room - people sit there, kids climb around.

  6. The rocks in the center pool strea mlike lava into the cool blue water.

  7. The flashy center part of the center pool.

  8. Walking down into the garden, and looking over at the buildings.

  9. Rebar trees support flowering vines. That's my tour group clustered near the trees. I went on three tours: Garden Tour, Exhibit Tour of the Leonardo to Titian North Italian Drawings, Architecture Tour. Everything is free, starting with admission. I guess the Getty Trust is endowed.

  10. From the far end of the garden, looking back up the Center. The river of water running down the rocky bowl sounds like a waterfall.

  11. The focal point of the walk down through the garden: a large pool holding a huge maze of flowering azealas.

  12. Those are snowy peaks beyond LA.

  13. It was an astonishingly clear, sunny day in LA.

  14. In the cactus garden, at the far end of the Getty Center. The cactus garden symbolizes the desert of southern California.

  15. Another patch in the cactus garden.

  16. I have never seen so many flower buds on a cactus.

  17. A large metal sculpture near the entrance.

  18. In context, with the hills as backdrop.

  19. Lavender beams with wisteria, only just coming into bloom. This is the only spot of color among the white buildings.

  20. The sinuous curves of the central building. The grid is repeated all throughout the Getty Center.

  21. Inside the central building, looking up.

  22. Geometric form imposed on formless light and shadow.

  23. The arcs of the streams of water in this fountain are counterintuitive - they arc the other way from what you're programmed to expect. This is now the center plaza, in the center of 5 separate but sometimes connected buildings.

  24. The center fountain, everyone's favorite, seen from the second (outdoor) porch of one of the exhibition pavilions.

  25. Rock and water, granite cube, curved glass.

  26. The garden seen from the second floor porch of one of the exhibition pavilions. The azelea maze in the pool of water is enormous. What does it look like to you?

  27. The catcus garden, seen from the side. This view only shows about half of the cactus garden, but you can see the fortress it stands on.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: February 24, 2006