The Getty Centre
World-class art collection in a fabulous building
Even in LA, buildings seldom come grander, greater or simply costlier than the billion-dollar Getty Centre (http://www.getty.edu), opened in 1998 to showcase the art of the John Paul Getty collection in a stunning hilltop setting. The phenomenally wealthy Getty spent a fortune on Greek and Roman antiquities, French furnishings and European paintings and first displayed them in no lesser thing than a re-creation of a Pompeiian villa on a magnificent site above Malibu (the villa is due to re-open in 2001 to display Getty’s Greek and Roman pieces).
The Getty Centre treasures are plentiful and focus on European art from the Renaissance to the Post Impressionists. Major works by Van Gogh and Monet, and some excellent inter-active reference areas, are joined by some of the world’s best traveling exhibitions. Nonetheless, the fabulous building – arranged in a series of pavilions linked by plazas and terraces with scintillating vistas of LA at every turn – tends to overshadow the art. A visit is hugely recommended.