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A Guide To The Getty Center

August 28, 2010 2:22 PM

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The Central Garden of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California

The Central Garden of the Getty Center in Los Angeles (photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Central Garden of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California

The Central Garden of the Getty Center in Los Angeles (photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Getty Center, located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, is one of two locations of the John Paul Getty Museum (the Getty Villa in Malibu is the other). The Getty Center in LA first opened in 1997 to make the expansive art and antiquities collection of John Paul Getty (December 15, 1892 – June 6, 1975) accessible to the public. The museum’s stated goal is “to further knowledge of the visual arts and to nurture critical seeing by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of the highest quality.” Visits are absolutely free and in addition to the art, the Getty Center offers spectacular views (like the one above), dramatic architecture and tranquil gardens. Here’s a quick guide on planning your visit, popular exhibitions and other places to check out before or after your visit to the Getty Center. – Nicola A. Menzie

Getting There

Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(enter via the main gate on North Sepulveda Boulevard)
(310) 440-7300
(310) 440-7305 (TTY line for deaf or hearing-impaired)
More Info
E-mail: visitorservices@getty.edu

The Getty Center is accessible via public transportation on the Metro Rapid Line 761, which stops at the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard.

Parking is available for a $15 fee, but is free after 5 p.m. on Saturdays and for all evening public programming and other special programs scheduled after 5:00 p.m. Those on motorcycles can park at no charge at all times. Bicycle racks are located by the elevators. A free tram ride takes visitors from the parking lot to the main area of the Getty Center, which treats riders to a wonderful view of the museum’s grounds.

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Visitors walk toward the Research Institute building at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

Visitors walk toward the Research Institute building at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Business Hours

Tuesday–Friday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Monday: Closed

The Getty Center offers free admission and no reservations are required.

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Before You Go

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to explanations about the view by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as they meet for lunch at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to explanations about the view by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as they meet for lunch at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Guido Bergmann/AFP/Getty Images)

The Getty Center is on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains not far from the San Diego Freeway. The location offers breathtaking views of the Los Angeles landscape.

In addition, outdoor spaces include fountains and a variety of trees a cactus garden to the south and the Central Garden, which houses more than 500 varieties of plant life.

Inside, visitors can take in European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and European and American photographs. There is also a selection from the special collections of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, which is connected to the Getty Center.

See: The Getty Center Event Calender

For more information on exhibitions at the Getty Center view the organization’s online gallery.

The Getty Center is home to a restaurant (reservations are strongly recommended) and cafe. There are also picnic areas at the Getty where visitors can eat their pre-ordered gourmet picnic lunches.

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More Than Art

A bronze sculpture titled "Funerary Geniuses" by the French artist Barthelemy Prieur is seen on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California

A bronze sculpture titled "Funerary Geniuses" by the French artist Barthelemy Prieur is seen on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

In addition to exhibiting art, the Getty Center hosts panel discussions, free lectures and conferences. There are also regular dance and music performances and film screenings at the Center.

One particular summer program that seems to be very popular is “Saturdays Off the 405″ — where visitors can enjoy live music via a DJ and a cool drink while enjoying the casual atmosphere of the Getty Center.

There are also free events for the family involving garden concerts, workshops and special tours. Check out the Getty Center’s Family Fun Center for details.

The Getty Center offers studio and gallery courses taught by professional artists. Fees vary and tickets can be purchased on the Center’s website.

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Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav performs at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav performs at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Staying Connected

Keep up with the Getty Center on Facebook or Twitter.

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What’s Nearby

West Restaurant & Lounge

West Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles, California

West Restaurant & Lounge (photo credit: http://www.westatangeleno.com)

170 North Church Lane
Penthouse Level, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 476-6411
http://www.westatangeleno.com
About three minutes away

After your tour of the Getty Center, treat yourself to a night of fine Italian dining at West Restaurant & Lounge. If you’re making the trip Sunday morning, finish off the afternoon with the West’ Pacific Skyline Brunch where you can enjoy live jazz, an interactive bar and views of the LA skyline ($35, $14 for children under 12).

Bel Air Bar & Grill

The Bel Air Bar and Grill in Los Angeles, California

The Bel Air Bar & Grill (photo credit: http://www.belairbarandgrill.com)

662 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-5544
www.belairbarandgrill.com
About four minutes away

Bel Air Bar & Grill may be a little pricey, but this friendly neighborhood spot is a hit when it comes to Contemporary American cuisine. Patrons can choose between indoor our outdoor dining and a menu featuring pasta, delectable BBQ ribs and the popular seared Ahi tuna.

The Skirball Cultural Center

skirball center102318254 A Guide To The Getty Center

The Skirball Cultural Center (photo credit: http://www.skirball.org)

2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-4500
www.skirball.org

Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 12:00–5:00 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The Skirball Cultural Center, billing itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions in the United States, encourages visitors to consider how Jewish heritage fits into the American landscape — this is done through exhibitions, film, performances, readings and other programs.

It may be more economical to stop here first on a Saturday before visiting the Getty Center to take advantage of Getty’s free parking. Also, exhibitions at the Skirball Cultural Center are free to the public on Thursdays, otherwise expect to pay $10 for general admission ($5 for kids, $7 for seniors and students).

Must See: Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America exhibition

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