Art on a Hill
The Getty Center, LA
Review by Ross Anthony

Huge slabs of stone, so flat, so hard, perfect, uniform, nearly mechanical, toned, accented with Egyptian like bricks, rough earthy. Monument-like openness, air, invitation. The structure itself is warm welcoming despite its concrete. In fact, I felt happy as soon as I stepped foot into the museum. Take that back, as The Getty Center, LAsoon as I stepped onto the 4.5-minute tram that takes guests from the parking lot to the museum.

Unlike most art museums, the Getty hosts its works of art in several structures separated by open air. The works hang on walls of varying height, curious window and light locations, that frame the works gorgeously, and the museum frames those structures handsomely as well.

I must say, the lot itself is at least as aesthetically luring as the objects it hosts -- okay, more so. Further, the contrast of the more classic works with the modern feel of the Getty also provides another flavor for the goer.

But, as a matter of increasing subjectivity, the works that highlighted my visit included: The full color pre-press hymnals, baroque grandfather clocks, dense colorful (like fireworks) flower garden, and the magnificent mountain views down into the LA area valleys.

As for food -- don't worry, the Getty has three levels of choices: snack, cafe, restaurant. We went for the cafe and enjoyed a juicy chicken sandwich -- really very good and an open face split hot dog, currently $4-6. Oddly, you take a number pedestal, plop that on your table and await the delivery. The poor servers are forced to scan the cafe for the number while holding the dishes; I challenge the museum to find a better more creatively fun method.

Oh and btw, parking was $5 and a bit of a hassle - still, well worth it. I suggest spending an evening to see the place both before, after and during twilight.

  • The Getty Center, LA. Copyright © 2002.
  • Produced by the J. Paul Getty Trust and Richard Meier.

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:55 PDT