The Getty Center is located in Los Angeles and houses the main Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the administrative offices.
The Museum has 5 Pavilions. The Exhibition Pavilion houses traveling collections of art while the other 4 Pavilions house the permanent collections. You can find the oldest art collections at the North Pavilion while the newest collections are located at the West Pavilion.
The art collections are extensive and diverse. It includes paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, decorative arts and photographs. Some of the artists represented are Monet, van Gogh, Renoir and Munch.
Tip: before your start your exploration of the center, watch the video tour. You can also watch the same video at: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/videoDetails?cat=4&segid=10.
The center’s architecture itself is a piece of art nestled on top of a hill with great vistas. The courtyards between the buildings are filled with ponds and fountains. The Pavilions are connected by glass-enclosed bridges and open terraces.
Tip: Grab an audio tour device at the reception desk. They have audio tracks in several languages. Most pieces of art have a number next to them. When you punch the number on the device you will be rewarded with a brief description and highlights about the object.
From the main plaza you can walk down a tree-lined walkway to the central garden. A stream crisscrosses the walkway and goes over a waterfall into the center pond.
For families with kids, don’t forget to visit the activity center where you can create art with your children. All materials are provided free of charge for your enjoyment.
You can try the Café style dining with a menu that includes sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas and pasta, tacos and burritos, and grilled items. Wine and beer are also available.
For a full-service dining experience, with a view of the Santa Monica Mountains, go to the restaurant. The menu is a fusion of Mediterranean and California cuisine.
If you prefer, you can have a picnic on the lawn adjacent to the Central Garden or at any of the Getty Center's public seating areas. You can also pre-order a picnic lunch from the Café at the Getty’s website.
Admission and Parking:
A large parking structure is located at the bottom of the hill and costs $15. Entry to the center is free. No reservations are needed.
Once you park, you will ride a tram to the top of the hill where all the center buildings are. The tram ride itself is part of the fun for families with children.