The Getty Center, California

An Incredibly Powerful, But Also Gentle Aspect Of Human Life

The time has come again to temporarily take our eyes off of natural art and direct our view towards that created by man. To a layman, something as everyday and simple as a coffee mug could be called art, but to the trained eye – only the most unconventional and unique pieces deserve the prestigious title. Whether it’s a painting, a sculpture or architecture, art today exists in countless forms. However, the artistically gifted who have a genuine talent and manage to use it during their lifetime are seldom found. Unfortunately, such is the fate of a number of great artists.

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On the other hand, their legacy is something that the rest of us “mortals” live to enjoy. From the most beautiful paintings and the most intricately woven tapestries to incredible life-like sculptures, art in any given form somehow manages to ennoble any and every space in which it stands (or is hung on a wall). As you probably know, this is one of the main reasons why it represents one of the most lucrative businesses, in which revenues and commission fees are often measured in the millions, and sometimes even billions. But more importantly – art serves as a legacy of the creativity and vision that often adorn only a small number of human beings. It is in that sense that various works of art can be considered milestones in the never-ending process of human evolution.

Of course, since art has many forms and no two human beings are the same, over time many works of art have been created. They still are, mind you, which only adds to the problem. The problem in question is – what to do with them? Well, since art is nothing unless it’s on display and exposed to the admiration of others, it seems like a reasonable solution to put it in museums. This is something you all know very well; like an age-old solution to an age-old problem, if you will. You probably also know that there are a number of museums around the word that feature some of the most impressive art collections ever created. It is exactly one such museum that we’d like to bring to your attention.

Art That’s Both On The Inside As Well As On The Outside

The Getty Center officially started its life in 1997 in the City of Los Angeles, California. Primarily a campus of the Getty Museum, the Getty Center also features other programs of the Getty Trust. Probably some of the first things people think about when you mention the Getty Center to them are views overlooking Los Angeles, gardens and finally, architecture. Speaking of architecture, one of the characteristic architectural features of the Getty Center is the manner in which one reaches it. Namely, once you arrive at the visitors’ parking garage located at the bottom of the hill on top of which the Getty Center sits, you’ll probably be surprised. A cable-pulled cliff railway (also known as a funicular) will be waiting to take you up to the Center. We dare you to say that such originality doesn’t blow your mind?

The Getty Center manages to attract more than 1.3 million visitors every year. It is specifically located in a neighborhood of Los Angeles called Brentwood. In fact, the Getty Center is only one location of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The other one can also be found in Los Angeles, but in the neighborhood called Pacific Palisades. Its name is the Getty Villa.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what kind of art can be seen in the Getty Center, since it is, after all, part of a museum. Well, you’ll have a chance to enjoy 19th- and 20th-century European, Asian and American photographs, as well as decorative arts, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, drawings and paintings dating back from pre-20th- century Europe. The collection of the museum located in the Center features gardens and terraces in which outdoor sculptures are displayed. Additionally, the Center also has a large Central Garden as a part of its collection that was designed by Robert Irwin. Among the works of notable world artists featured in the Center’s collection, Irises by Vincent Van Gogh is one you’ve probably heard about.

The Getty Center – One Of The Best Sources Of Inspiration

The overall design of the Getty Center is the brainchild of architect Richard Meier. It includes a number of provisions specifically intended to be used in cases of emergency, such as fires and earthquakes. In addition to the Center itself, the campus is also the home of the J. Paul Getty Trust, The Getty Foundation, The Getty Conservation Institute, and the GRI (or Getty Research Institute).

The permanent collection of the Getty Center includes decorative arts, sculptures and paintings. It is arranged and displayed by artist’s nationality and era in different galleries spread across Getty Center’s four pavilions. The West Pavilion includes 19th-century paintings, as well as Italian decorative arts and sculpture between the 1700’s and 1900’s. You’ll also be able to see Symbolist, Romantic and Neoclassical decorative arts and sculptures. The South Pavilion is where you’ll have a chance to see the greater part of the European decorative arts collection of the Museum, as well as 18th-century paintings. Paneled rooms dating up to 1800, which have been elaborately furnished, are also on display. The East Pavilion houses Italian decorative arts and sculptures dating between 1600 and 1800. It is also where you’ll be able to see Spanish, Flemish, French and Dutch paintings, and generally Baroque art from the 17th-century. Finally, the North Pavilion displays Renaissance and medieval decorative arts and sculptures, as well as a number of paintings dating up to 1600.

Considering the vast collection of art that can be seen and enjoyed in at the Getty Center, as well as the Getty Villa, you would need a pretty good reason to say that you’re not interested. Art certainly has a way of exalting a man, not to mention the effect it’s known to have on inspiration. So, if you want to feel inspired, exalted and generally better about yourself than you do in your everyday life, a visit to this museum (or any museum, for that matter) might not be such a bad idea.

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