Raindrops And Renaissance at The Getty In LA
"When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do"
It’s only fair to evolve into your high-class, formal glove-wearing alter ego when you visit the Getty in LA. You must stand tall, read every placard, and nod thoughtfully as you walk with fingers intertwined behind your back. You must pretend like you know what you’re doing.
That’s the mentality I had whilst walking across the meticulously crafted stepping stones on the Saturday before Andrew’s twenty-first birthday, passing women in tall black heels and men with suave fitted jackets. It was absolutely freezing outside (for California, anyways), and rain was starting to drizzle before we’d even entered our first exhibit.
As I’m sure anyone can tell from reading our blog, Andrew isn’t an avid partier. He is the type of person, like myself, who finds comfort in the quiet places. His perfect day would probably involve being productive or learning something exciting. I mean really, what more could you expect from someone that throws back podcasts like cocktails from an open bar. Needless to say, I wasn't at all surprised when he declined the typical coming-of-age Vegas bender and chose to spend the evening eating bagels and jumping in puddles with me at an art museum. I think we’re a match made in heaven.
I’d never been to the Getty, and Andrew had only been once back when he was a just a bean sprout, so this day trip was practically begging to be checked off our bucket list. We promptly packed our bags, slid on our figurative gloves, and headed out the door.
One of the greatest things about the Getty is that it’s free! Set aside fifteen bucks for parking and you’re in. They make it free because they know they can reel you in with their eleven dollar soups! I highly recommend that you bring your own snacks, or at least pine from outside the cafe window then move on.
But honestly, this museum should have an entrance fee because it is absolutely gorgeous, and full to the brim with mind-bending artwork. Once inside, you’ll find anything from modern photography to Rembrandts: from goofy metal statues to delicate renaissance sculptures. The entirety of the Getty was actually designed to be an art piece in itself, so walking in between it’s looming walls and under it’s abstract arches can be an awe-inspiring experience in itself. The Getty also features a lovely cactus garden, and an even larger garden that was sadly roped off due to the rain the day we visited.
The rain was the cherry on top of our adventure that day. Andrew and I hadn’t planned for anything but sun, so our shoes were soaked and our bodies dripping. Thankfully the Getty left out a slew of complimentary umbrellas, but we didn’t figure that out until it was far too late. That wasn't the museums fault though; we stood up on the roof and appreciated the gloomy view, rain speckling our cheeks, knowing full well how icy we would get later on.
Plus, the rain gave us an excuse to take our sweet time as we meandered through the exhibit halls. The History of Alchemy exhibit was temporarily visiting the Getty, so we were lucky enough to see ancient manuscripts, textbooks, and diaries all documenting the human mind and it’s desire to understand the world. The human condition is far more interesting to study than most would assume! We were also taken back in time by the sketch exhibit, only featuring first-drafts that will remain forever unfinished. We saw busts, bronze, and bellies galore while wandering through the many adjacent rooms full of irreplaceable masterpieces. One of my favorite pieces was Jean-Désiré Ringel D'Illzach’s giant bronze and copper vase, adorned with multiple intricately sculpted snails attempting to climb to the top. I was also very fond of Luisa Roldán’s Saint Ginés de la Jara, a life sized sculpture of a man draped in an incredibly intricate robe. His hands and feet were sculpted with meticulous detail, and his robe shimmered magnificently with gold embroidery. I couldn’t even begin to take in all the history, talent, and imagination stored in that mammoth building. You could spend years studying there and never scratch the surface.
After walking in circles for hours Andrew and I decided it was time to head home. We managed one last soggy loop to appreciate the architecture, then finally hopped on a rickety tram down to our car. It gently bumbled down the hill as we laughed about whatever we always laugh about together. Everything, I guess.
Visiting the Getty is truly an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re moved most by the unfathomably beautiful art, the architecture, the gallant people, the experience, or maybe even the pricey soup, this museum forces you to wonder and dream. Art is infamous for doing so. Though honestly, what stuck with me most was standing in the rain, looking over our city, and laughing with the only person that truly inspires me to dream. Happy birthday, Andrew.
Thanks for reading about our silly adventures! We hope you enjoyed, and let us know your favorite museum in the comments!