The Getty Center

IMG_6158 I visited the Getty Center recently with my friends. The J. Paul Getty Museum is actually comprised of two locations – the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Center offers a gallery of art ranging from pre-renaissance to contemporary pieces. Located in Brentwood, California, it is a tourist attraction that allows Los Angeles visitors to spend time around the larger LA area, away from the city. It “draws 1.3 million visitors annually” (

Brentwood itself is known as a wealthy part of Los Angeles and, like much of Los Angeles, is comprised of lands sold to white American millionaires in the late 1800s (,_Los_Angeles).

The Getty Center was opened in 1997 after J. Paul Getty’s art collection was moved to it from their pre-established home on his private property in Pacific Palisades, California. The private gallery became the Getty Villa, a representation of the Villa dei Papiri in Italy (

The structure of the Getty Center is a major component of its attractiveness. Sitting on a ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains, one can see for miles across Los Angeles county, including the ocean in one direction and Burbank in the other.  In order to reach the gallery, one must park in the underground lot at the bottom of the mountain and take a hovertrain up. There is also a private helipad.

A large feature of the Center, the Central Garden was also completed in 1997. It includes a multitude of flowers as well as a floating maze in the middle of the waterfall pond.

The museum was involved with a controversy regarding alleged purchase of stolen art. In 2006, all but one of the pieces were returned to their home in Italy. The Victorious Youth remains at the Getty Center, even though Italian officials still make a claim for it (


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