Art at the Getty
The works of art displayed in the pavilions at the Genter Center in Los Angeles at any one time represents only a small portion of J. Paul Getty's collection. Rooms are filled with statues, furniture, books, photos, paintings and decorative items. While the Getty Villa focuses on displays of works of antiquity, most of Getty' acquisitions of medieval through modern art are housed at the Getty Center.
The Getty Center website describes the different galleries and collections like this (writing is copied from the website, photos are mine):
"The galleries at the Getty Center are housed in the Museum's five exhibition pavilions, plus the Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery.
The East Pavilion features primarily 17th-century Baroque art, including Dutch, French, Flemish, and Spanish paintings as well as sculpture and Italian decorative arts dating from 1600 to 1800.
The South Pavilion houses 18th-century paintings and the majority of the Museum's European decorative arts collection, complete with elaborately furnished paneled rooms, dating up to 1800.
The West Pavilion features sculpture and Italian decorative arts of the 1700s through 1900, as well as 19th-century paintings.
The North Pavilion presents paintings dating up to 1600. The plaza-level galleries that house Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts are closed for renovation. They will reopen with a new thematic installation in late 2009.
The Exhibitions Pavilion features changing exhibitions."
Paintings from each century are rotated on a regular basis. I have a couple of favorite paintings that I enjoy viewing on each visit, and I rush into the room to see if they are on the walls. (I tried to copy the portraits from the website and couldn't do it, but here is a link to sweet little Maria Frederike painted by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard.)
In the West Pavillion, you can see original paintings by Monet, Manet, and van Gogh and many other Impressionist artists. Irises is on permanent display and I am always amazed that I can stand only one foot away from that beautiful oil painting! (If I get any closer, the guard will come up and ask me to step back a little.) Another gallery contains display cases filled with brilliantly sketched and painted illuminated manuscripts. I wander through those rooms, gazing at the intricate and detailed writing and drawing and wish I knew how to read Latin.
I could stroll day after day through the pavillions and never tire of reading the descriptions of the works and sitting for a while to concentrate on one particular portrait or sculpture. Realistically, I can spend one or two days in a year there. I hope I live to be a very old woman, so I can return again and again and again.
So much beauty, so little time!