Los Angeles, January 14, 2007 - While in L.A., we sampled the local culture, but we also sampled some Culture-with-a-capital-C at the Getty Center, a fairly new and fairly humongous art museum on a hill overlooking the city. It's an odd place: there's an exit off the freeway that leads you to a multi-level underground parking garage, then once you park, you take an elevator up to a tram station, and wait for a driverless tram to take you up the hill.
The center itself is like an office park on steroids: large shiny silver-and-travertine modernist buildings connected by massive plazas and gardens. All with great views of the ocean and the city, although we were told we were extremely lucky to be there on such a beautifully clear (and cold) day. The views are usually far more limited.
As for the art, fortunately it's mostly non-modern. But there's not much of it. It's a surprisingly small collection compared to the size of the building (or maybe we're spoiled by going to the Met and the Louvre). I suppose the Getty Foundation spent all their money on the building and didn't have much money left over to fill it. Which is okay with us; after a while, all the old paintings kind of run together. Connoisseurs, we're not.
(More pictures of the Getty Center and our L.A. trip are here, if you're interested.)