Sunday, December 16, 2007

Getty Museum: 10 Years on the Hill (Dec. 16, 1997 - Dec. 16, 2007)

Today marks the ten year anniversary of architect Richard Meier's Getty campus perched on the hills of Brentwood.
Christopher Hawthorne in the Los Angeles Times explains:

"The design seemed reflective of Los Angeles architecture in another, almost paradoxical way. If the whole idea of L.A. art and architecture was to ignore the idea of fitting in, to reject slavish conformism, then wasn't the Getty a supreme example of precisely that attitude? Turning its back on the notion that it needed to match the spirit of Los Angeles in some prescribed way -- didn't that make it somehow truer to the city than a row of palm trees or a red-tile roof?"

"Perhaps more to the point, the Getty joined a long line of L.A. landmarks that sit at a dramatic remove from the city around them -- most notably Griffith Observatory and Dodger Stadium and houses by John Lautner, Pierre Koenig, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and many others."

The Getty has not been immune to poor leadership and questionable acquisition policies, but the combination of Richard Meier's buildings and Robert Irwin's garden has created a cultural venue that at times, when the light is just right, reminds me of the Taj Mahal.

LA Times on the Getty


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