Monday, October 11, 2010
And Getting to the Getty...
Photos of the Getty, taken by me!
This past weekend, I embarked on a strange journey. And though the reasons for said journey were atypical, it was, simply, an enjoyable trip down to Los Angeles. During my down time, I visited the Getty Center, a beautifully designed museum which houses several antiquities of the past. What is immensely interesting about the Getty is the juxtaposition of the contemporary architecture with the antiquity that the architecture helps to exhibit.
Visitors must take a short trip in a tram up to the museum. This isolation of the center makes visitors feel as if they are traveling to a different world or to a different time, capsuled by the large buildings that sit before them upon exiting the tram.
The Getty has a truly unique appearance. The unusual curvature and sharp edges of the buildings can be seen in the photos above. Shallow pools of water edge the stairways and can be found in several nooks and crannies. Pathways are not done in a completely systematic matter which keeps the visit exciting. Visitors simply follow the pathways to run into another section to enjoy. Gardens are not restricted to the ground level but are also on the upper floors. As extensions of the buildings, the gardens become a part of the Los Angeles shrubbery and skyline.
So, visitors, while being air trammed into modernity, are simultaneously being taken to the past.
This juxtaposition beautifully showcases the beauty of the art more so than if the art was standing on its own. The antiquities' modern housing is almost overwhelming due to the buildings' massive scale. This overwhelming feeling can cause visitors to yearn for something from a simpler time and this desire can be easily fulfilled by entering one of many exhibits. For instance, viewing Monet's calming Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning (1891) inside a thoroughly modern building strongly emphasizes the beauty in the old and the new. This large scale contrast can elevate a visitor's appreciation for the housed art.
The Getty Center shows that juxtaposition, when utilized well, can make a design extremely successful and, in this case, can enhance a visitor's experience.