The Getty

The Getty Center is a billion-dollar collection of buildings, including an art center, the Getty Museum, and the Getty Trust’s other programs. In 1954, the museum began in J. Paul Getty’s own home in the Pacific Palisades. It is a highly famous tourist attraction that is also admired by locals. The collection was moved in 1974 to a part of J. Getty’s home that was modeled after an Italian villa and specifically designed for his pieces. Shortly after, in 1976, J. Paul Getty passed away from congestive heart failure, and the Getty Trust inherited the property in order to run the museum.

Eventually, the museum outgrew its location and was moved to better accommodate travelers from Los Angeles. The current location in the Santa Monica Mountains was declared in 1983 to be accompanied by its “natural state” and cost $733 million to move. The price value of the property was estimated to be $3.853 billion in 2013, although it regularly fluctuates. That doesn’t even include all of the works of art! The architect that was picked to design the property was the leader of the modern architecture movement himself, Richard Meier who is also noted for his designs of the Church of God the Merciful Father in Rome, Italy, the Frederick J. Smith House, and the Douglas House.

Construction of the property did not begin until 1989, four years after its original start date, and was done by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company. The completion date was pushed from 1988 to 1995, but when the year came, it was still halfway from being done. It wasn’t until the end of 1997 that it was finally opened to the public. The villa was closed following the opening of the center to be renovated. After it was completed, it reopened in 2006 to showcase works from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Over the years, the center has seen some financial hardships and has been investigated by the California Attorney General for the president’s alarming spending practices that were revealed in a series of articles published in the Los Angeles Times in 2005. It was concluded that the trust had broken no laws, and therefore no charges were pressed. Over 200 staffed positions were cut in 2008 and 2009 due to difficulties with finances. Ironically, the trust was up to $6.4 billion in 2006, dropped by almost $2 billion by 2009, but recovered by 2013 sitting at $6.2 billion.

The Getty Museum is one of the most visited museums in the United States of America, with an estimated annual 1.8 billion visitors. There are several prominent works on display at the museum, including Arii Matamoe by Paul Gauguin, Irises by Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of a Halberdier by Pontormo, and a copy of Portrait of Louis XIV.

Anyone interested in visiting The Getty can do so by traveling to 1200 Getty Center Dr in Los Angeles, CA 90049. The center is open from 10 AM until 5:30 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. Those who would like to speak with a representative can call (310) 440-7300.

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Map from The Getty to CreatedHair by Amy Gibson

Map from The Getty to Universal Studios Hollywood