At Home & Abroad at the J. Paul Getty Museum

During our trip to California, we spent a lovely Saturday at the J. Paul Getty Museum. It was Kaycie’s first time and Caroline’s millionth (this might be a slight exaggeration), and we both loved it! Here’s a bit from each of us about our visit to the Getty.

Kaycie’s Perspective – First Visit

Given the number of times I have been to California, there are still so many things I have not done there. I love trying new things, so I was super excited to visit the Getty Museums.

We started the day at the Getty Villa. We had one of the first reservations of the day and it was nice that it wasn’t too crowded. By the time we were leaving, it was getting pretty busy. This museum is amazing. Walking around the Villa, I felt like I was somewhere in Europe!

Getty Villa Musem--Malibu California

The collection is incredible, and they had some pieces on loan that I loved. You may remember that I mentioned this piece, The Girl with Doves, in our highlights post a couple weeks back.

The Gravestone of a Girl with Doves -- Getty Villa

They also had a really cool exhibition of mosaic art. Caroline and I were inspired and are even going to have our own mosaic art night – we’ll be sure to post more about that later on!

Getty Villa Musem--Malibu California
These were two of my favorite mosaic pieces. They had so many good ones!

We made it through the whole museum in a few hours and then headed out for some lunch and on to the Getty Center. I loved driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and was sad that we didn’t have enough time to stop at the beach!

Pacific Coast Highway--Malibu California
Driving down the PCH!

It took us a little while to get from the Getty Villa to the Getty Center. It isn’t actually that far, but we stopped for lunch and then had a little mishap with the GPS. For whatever reason, the address we entered took us to the backside of the museum, and there was no access from that point. Luckily someone left this nice sign so that we could find our way. It gave us a good laugh and made one great memory!

Getty Museum--Los Angeles California
We were seriously dying of laughter over this!

I was amazed at how big the Getty Center is. With so many buildings full of art, we had our work cut out for us to get through it all.

Getty Museum--Los Angeles California

Both museums offer lots of different guided tours and there is also the option to check out iPods that have videos and commentary about the collections. Because Caroline knows so much about art history, we didn’t use any of those resources, but they are available for those of you out there who don’t travel with an art history extraordinaire.

There were so many amazing pieces that we saw—I particularly like Impressionist art, and the collection at the Getty Center did not disappoint. They had a lot of pieces from Degas, Manet, Monet, and more!

The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light by Claude Monet -- Getty Center
“The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light,” Claude Monet (1894)
Getty Center Money Wheatstacks
“Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning,” Claude Monet (1891)

Another highlight I mentioned in one of our previous posts was seeing Irises by Van Gogh, my favorite artist.

Irises by Vincent Van Gogh -- Getty Center
“Irises,” Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

I will admit that by the end of the day, I was pretty exhausted. But despite being tired, I was proud of us for making it through both museums in one day. I don’t feel like we had to rush either; we were able to take our time and still see everything!

Getty Villa Musem--Malibu California

Overall, my first visit to the Getty museums was such a blast! I loved all of the collections, and the architecture of both museums was breathtaking. I will definitely be going back soon!

Caroline’s Perspective – Frequent Patron

Getty Villa Courtyard

I first visited the J. Paul Getty Museum during my undergrad years at BYU, and I immediately fell in love. The sublime combination of extraordinary art, stunning architecture, and beautiful settings is unmatched. Since then, I visit regularly. I love both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center, and I enjoy seeing my usual favorites as well as the temporary exhibitions.

Getty Center Travertine Stone
I know it’s funny, but I LOVE the travertine stone at the Getty. And I’m still loving my Tieks, too!

I’ll be honest – I don’t get bored visiting the same museum over and over. The Getty collections are simply amazing, and whether I’m seeing one of my favorites for the tenth time or a new piece, I love being there.

Augustus Getty Villa
Portrait Head of Augustus at the Getty Villa, Roman (25-1 BC)

As Kaycie mentioned, the Getty Villa had a temporary exhibition on “Roman Mosaics Across the Empire,” which was amazing. I enjoyed the collection of mosaics from across the empire, and I was happy that we were allowed to take photos in the exhibition. So many great pieces!

Roman Mosaic Getty Villa

I always love taking someone new to a museum that I love, so it was fun to take Kaycie to the Getty Museum for the first time. I was just glad she didn’t die seeing the entire collection with me!

Gentileschi Danae Getty Center
“Danaë and the Shower of Gold,” Orazio Gentileschi (1621-1623). I was excited to see this painting, which is one of the Getty’s newest acquisitions!

If you haven’t been to the J. Paul Getty Museum before, we highly recommend that you go next time you are in the Los Angeles area! If you have been, what are some of your favorite pieces?


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