Monday, November 22, 2010

Get to the Getty

It was Baby's day out -- even though my Baby is now a 25 year-old woman -- and she wanted us to go to the Getty Museum.

Good idea; we were two people who just wanted to surrender ourselves to the serenity of art and achieve a blissful state of enlightenment . . . that is, until we turned into the Getty parking lot and our sensibilities were assaulted by a swarm of bee yellow school buses. I could just imagine unruly kids running around ruining our day by making noises as annoying as vuvuzelas.

Undeterred, we trudged onward and upward. Literally. The five-minute horizontal tram ride from the lot elevated us out of our dread, and transported us on a cushion of air to a place that was like another world. The architecture of the place was stunningly symmetrical, which lends itself to a certain symmetry, and we all know symmetry soothes the savage beast. Symmetrically.

The Making of a Bronze Sculpture exhibit was fascinating. It had never occurred to me how sculptures were made and that they started with an iron skeleton. From Foundry to Finish is a must-see if you ever get to the Getty.

We stopped for some fine dining at The Restaurant. Yes, that's the name of it. For all the creativity in and around the museum, I guess they opted for simplicity when naming the restaurant.

Still Life Photography was next, and I found it intriguing how artists pose everyday objects to portray some meaning bigger than their sum total. I think I could do that (and by "I could do that," I mean watch someone else do it). We also saw some medieval and renaissance paintings and decorative arts, which I can never get enough of. The older the art, the more I like it. How they make a 700 year-old painting look like new I'll never know. They should have a tour on that. By the way, we opted not to take any of the organized tours, but you have the option of that, or the GettyGuide do-it-yourself map, which is printed in every language, in large print, and in Braille.

Also at The J. Paul Getty Museum (not the one in Malibu, mind you), admission if free! File that under Things You Could Have Told Me Yesterday And I Would Have Been There Sooner. It's also one of the few museums where you can take pictures of the art as long as you don't use flash photography.

If you ever visit L.A., make sure you get to The Getty Center and explore the splendor that is its 750-acre expanse. This is me crossing Number 118 off of my Bucket List.

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