The Getty Center is situated on a 110-acre site overlooking the Los Angeles skyline. The jaw-dropping location is a match (or more than a match) for what’s inside the J. Paul Getty Museum: five museum galleries showcasing pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, and decorative arts; a collection of 19th- and 20th–century American and European photography; contemporary and modern sculpture; and a selection of Greek and Roman antiquities. The collection boasts works by Gauguin and Puryear, and Van Gogh’s Irises, as well as a selection of decorative arts dating back to the 1700s. There’s also an extensive collection of pre-20th century European paintings and drawings from such masters as Titian and Jacques-Louis David, as well as illuminated manuscripts, sculpture and 19th and 20th century photography. The paintings are viewed in natural light, thanks to the computer-controlled skylight windows on the second-floor galleries.
The museum offers a packed schedule of events and public programs, including Friday Night at the Getty, a free-of-charge contemporary performance series featuring music, dance, theater, and spoken-word events. During museum hours, families can visit the Family Room, a place for children of all ages to learn about art together by participating in hands-on projects. The award-winning “GettyGuide” is the portable audio tour on sale for $5 and comes in various versions catering to age group and interest.
The real gem of the Getty Center grounds is its Central Garden, a 134,000-square-foot garden chiefly the work of artist Robert Irwin. More than 500 plant varieties are used to create a masterpiece of greenery that includes a tree-lined walkway descending to a central plaza, stone waterfall, and pool.
Getty Center Information
- Public Transportation: Excellent (Metro Rapid Line 761 stops at the museum’s main gate)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., closed Monday
- Admission: Free. Parking is $15 per car, free after 5 p.m.
- Tours: Getty Center Architecture Tours are 30- to 45-minute tours of the site and its architecture. Tuesday–Sunday 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 1, 2, and 3 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday there is also a 4 p.m. tour. Collection Highlights Tours are one-hour overviews of major works in the museum, Tuesday–Sunday at 11 a.m. Exhibition Tours are one-hour guided tours of a current exhibition, Tuesday–Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Focus Tours are one-hour thematic gallery tours whose topic changes daily, Tuesday–Sunday at 3 p.m.; Getty Center Garden Tours are 45-minute tours of the grounds and Central Garden, Tuesday–Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.; Masterpiece of the Week Talks are 15-minute explorations of a specific object that changes weekly, Tuesday–Sunday at 4 p.m.
- Audio Tours: $5
- Membership: Not available, as the entire museum is funded by the Getty Foundation.