Exterior – Getty Center Tram – Los Angeles
SHE (Angelino, short in stature, thirty-something) stands with her friend in the line for the free tram. The sun is shining brightly as it does every day in the City of Angels. Her FRIEND (smiling, happy, camera in tow) is chatting about sights she wants to see while she is in town.
The Getty Center rests high above the city and offers an impressive art collection and even more impressive views. The admission price is ZERO which includes the galleries, gardens and tours which is why SHE brings all her out of town guests here. The cost to park is $15.00 but it is worth it.
The free tram arrives and they board. The glass sided train glides up the sweeping hillside to the complex and already the riders are gasping. Los Angeles stretches out before them seemingly endless. They reach the top and walk through the main building which houses the gift shop, information booth and tour times.
SHE knows her way around and leads her friend to the latest photography exhibit.
EXTERIOR – GETTY CENTER – LATER
The two women walk along the complex while her friend is busy snap, snap, snapping away with her camera. The Center is in itself a permanent exhibition. Ever direction they look is a picture, a snapshot of the enormous grid of Los Angeles, the San Gabriel mountains and the Pacific ocean. The buildings seem to belong to the Santa Monica hill side they rest atop as much as the natural landscape. Architect Richard Meier designed the center to highlight the nature and visual aesthetic of Los Angeles.
SHE leads her friend down to the gardens. They walk along the winding paths.The central garden encompasses a 134,000 square foot design that features a tree lined walkway. They take their time here. The gardens offer a kind of peace from the hectic city which is sometimes hard to find.
INTERIOR – GETTY CENTER – EVEN LATER
The friends continue to make their way through the exhibitions. The design of the galleries allows for sun shine to illuminate the buildings and the passage ways through the buildings. The permanent collection features pre-20th-century European paintings and drawings, 19th & 20th century photographs and contemporary art and sculpture.
SHE tries to visit a few times a year to see the traveling exhibitions. The museum offers a free multimedia player called The GettyGuide to give visitors a more detailed look at the exhibits. There is information about the over 300 works of art in a variety of languages. Information oriented towards children is included as well.
SHE realizes that when people think of Los Angeles they do not think of art or culture. Unfortunately, they come to Los Angeles to visit the beaches or amusement parks and then neglect to look deeper. They walk along the costumed performers and trash littered streets of Hollywood or along the Santa Monica pier. They stick to the images they seen on thousands of movie screens but the sheer size of the city scares them from truly exploring.