A Quick Guide to The Getty Museum!

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getty_museum1Avid art lovers would know about the Getty Centre located in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California in the United States. It’s the former home of the late J. Paul Getty (1892-1976) who was an oilman and art enthusiast.

What makes the Getty Museum stand out is it’s vast collection of historically important artworks; it currently owns legendary impressionist painting Irises by Vincent Van Gogh (pictured below), a portrait of a Halberdier by Pontormo (1528–1530) and a copy of Portrait of Louis XIV by the workshop of Hyacinthe Rigaud (after 1701).

The Getty also features European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs and the best part is all of this is available to view for free!


The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance. To fulfill this mission, the Museum continues to build its collections through purchase and gifts, and develops programs of exhibitions, publications, scholarly research, public education, and the performing arts that engage our diverse local and international audiences. All of these activities are enhanced by the uniquely evocative architectural and garden settings provided by the Museum’s two renowned venues: the Getty Villa and the Getty Center.’ source

Besides the museum, the center includes the Getty Research Institute (contains a research library with over 900,000 volumes and two million photographs of art and architecture), the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the administrative offices of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Centre also features a 134,000-square-foot Central Garden created by artist Robert Irwin and stunning architecture designed by Richard Meier.

Getty_MuseumIn 2009 The Getty Centre ushered in a staggering 1,153,903 visitors and in 2006 the Getty Villa in Malibu CA reopened to display Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities arranged by themes including Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and the Theatre, and Stories of the Trojan War, Roman-inspired architecture and gardens. Its collection consists of 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD.

Have you been to the Getty Museum or would you like to go one day? Feel free to leave your impressions and comments below.


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Image sources: Wikimedia, Yale Commons, trippinontheweekend


  • Preston L. Bannister
    October 1, 2014 - 2:29 am · Reply

    From the above, I gather this was an exercise, and you have not yet been to the Getty?

    First, there are two entirely separate Getty museums, the larger Center (pictured above) and the smaller Villa. The Villa is focused mainly on Roman art (and is generally in the form of a Roman Villa). They are two entirely distinct destinations.

    While it is in theory possible to get to both museums via mass transit … this is Los Angeles. You are better off driving, and so will pay to parking. So not quite free, but not expensive.

    The newer Museum is a very, very, *very* nice building. The collection of Art is substantial. The lighting in many of the galleries is … terrible. Old works were painted in ages where light was from fire or sun – warmer light, and warmer colors. Light in many of the galleries comes from skylights – blue and cold. Lacking warmer colors, paintings lack the warmth the artist intended. In addition, high mounted works are … shiny … with reflected light.

    How they can spend so much money, and make such a basic error in presentation … is a mystery.

    Been the both museums, and twice to the Center (about a decade between). Was hoping for improvement on the second, much later visit, and was disappointed.

    If you are near Los Angeles, I recommend a visit to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), which is in the same general area as the Getty. The buildings are not as expensive, but the collection is at as extensive, and the presentation is better.

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