Art and a View: The Getty Museum's Brentwood location is must-visit attraction in L.A.
Far more than a museum, The Getty has not only become an L.A. icon but also defies the city's stereotypes. It is the kind of gathering spot rare in a city that made urban sprawl fashionable, and pulls it off in the context of world-class architecture — something more plentiful in L.A. than the city's East Coast detractors like to admit. The buildings' modern design, by architect Richard Meier, bridges nature with culture.
While the art collection is world-class, the scenery surrounding the galleries is equally impressive. Set on 110 acres atop the Santa Monica Mountains, the site boasts magnificent views of the city, ocean and rolling coastal hills. The spectacular gardens include more than 500 types of plants. Most importantly, the massive travertine-clad complex boasts an endless collection of art that encompasses Impressionist masterpieces, Greek antiquities and a stunning collection of gilded furnishings from the height of the French monarchy. Among the Getty's most noteworthy holdings: Van Gogh's "Irises," Monet's "The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light," and original photographs by masters such as Man Ray and Alfred Stieglitz. Saturday evenings, The Getty stays open into the night, and a sunset dinner at the museum's exceptional full-service restaurant combines innovative contemporary American cuisine with awesome views of the metropolis.