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January 1, 2008

Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Over spring break I visited the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. All of the parking is located at the bottom of the hill going about 7 stories down. After parking, all of the visitors mount an electronically controlled white plastic tram that crawls upward through a wooded and angular landscape. Approaching the museum, it appears heavenly and futuristic. Most of the walls have a facade of coral and trilobite laden stone arranged into an offset mosaic of squares. Almost all of the building is white or tan which in conjunction with the nearly 360' view from far above the city, creates an ethereal and modern vibe. The gallery spaces have an organic and somewhat modular design. Also, great effort was made to supply natural light to all of the galleries to reproduce the light with which the works were created.

The works consisted of renaissance to modern paintings, sculptures, photographs and decorative. There were interactive areas that allowed visitors to better interpret and relate to the works. For example, an all white room with 7 sets of: white psuedo-classical chair or bench, suspended LCD screen, video camera. Sitting upon the chair, the video from the camera is instantaneously processed to key out the background making it appear as if the sitter is sitting on exquisite old furniture in the middle of a period room.

A kids room invited children make sketches of works of art, make their own illuminated manuscripts and sit/play in a miniaturized and plastic princess's room.

This museum had a great balance of good views, architecture, modern and historical art, and interactive and gallery format. One of my best museum experiences