Ever since we moved to California, I’ve been trying to get out and really explore my new home state. Sometimes that involves places we have never been before and sometimes it involves returning to places we have previously been and trying to see them with new eyes. So it was with our visit to the Getty Center.
About the Getty Center
The J. Paul Getty Trust has two properties in greater Los Angeles. The Getty Center and the Getty Villa. We have been to both before at a time when we didn’t live in California. So we knew a little bit of what to expect. If you haven’t been, the most important thing to know is that both locations are as much about the locations themselves as they are about the art and artifacts that they contain. If you enjoy architecture and art — you should love both. And if you LOVE architecture and art, go with the knowledge that you will probably want at least a half day or even a whole to explore. There’s just so much to take in! And it’s a bit spread out.
How to get to the Getty Center
Any Lyft or Uber can easily get you there. There’s even a dedicated drop off and pick up area at the Center to make it easy.
If you’re driving yourself, you’ll want to make your way towards the intersection of Getty Center Drive and Sepulveda Boulevard. The Center is located in the hills between Brentwood, Bel Air and the extensive state park lands between Los Angeles and Malibu [such as Will Rogers and Topanga].
Once you arrive into the land that the Getty Center is on you will have to immediately park. From the parking structure you can walk up the hill which is a distance of just over a mile in part shade/part full sun, or you can wait and take the next tram to the complex on top of the hill. Admission is Free but parking is $15.
Exhibits at the Getty Center
When we decided on the fly to visit this month, I was excited because of two temporary exhibits that they currently have.
The Center is currently featuring an exhibit on Egypt and one on fashion photography. Both were so interesting to me but because I am a photographer who was very inspired by Avedon and other early fashion photographers, I think that was the exhibit that I loved the most. I could have stayed all day!!
Advice for visiting the Getty Center
Like I said before, leave ample time to visit! You’ll want more than you think if you really like architecture, art and history. Getty is curated so well and there’s nothing that will really bore you from the grounds to the exhibits themselves.
Plan to eat at the Center as well because the food is good! Since it is, there’s no need to burden yourself with snacks that you then just have to carry around all day. I had a sublime bowl of aromatic chicken pho and Danté thought their hamburger was delicious.
Mentally and physically prepare yourself for the heat! There’s not a lot of shade when you’re outdoors at the Center. And since it’s California, on top of a hill with nothing to block the sun from baking the property — it can get really hot!!
I took all of these photos at the Center with my Sony RX1 RII and I chose that camera because it’s light and easily portable. If I had to do it over again, I’d pack my Sony a7R II with the 16-35 f/2.8 lens that would enable me to more easily capture some of the most expansive architectural moments. I truly love the buildings of the Getty Center!