I came in search of Christian art on Holy Thursday and found some high above the 405 parking lot. I'll say it now: I'm hopelessly biased toward the Huntington, but it cannot be denied that the Getty has the more extensive and wide-reaching collection and the better views. This sidetrip was, without a doubt, far superior to class. But it's just so freaking busy! There's no such thing as quietly pondering the interplay of light, shadow, and subject when you're stepping on busloads of kids and listening to 30 foreign languages a minute. The museum is famous for its labyrinth, but in reality the whole place is just one big labyrinth, designed to allow the visitor to completely lose himself in a raptured state of mind. It's an island of white travertine rising above a sea of scrub brush on an LA mountaintop, and indeed stepping off of the tram and into its massive courtyard does elevate the spirit a bit. And there are more than a few steps to climb. And yet for all the effort everywhere you turn you find something beautiful, something thought-provoking, or something just plain strange (for this last point that's usually the architecture of the place itself.) For the benefit of the uninitiated, there are several galleries each covering a swath of history, ranging from before 1700 to the present day, as well as a selection of photographic works and furniture. Hand illuminated Byzantine Bibles, stained glass, and holy ornaments are to be found in one, while furniture, romantic portraiture, and landscapes are to be found in another. A "terrace" containing a deceptively large selection of photographic art (including a lovely Ansel Adams exhibit) is also to be found hidden off of the main cafe deck. And everywhere you look there seems to be a view - whether it's a gorgeous vista or a precious work of art. They have a wide array of food and drink to offer, including wines and beers. But because of the impossible lines that proliferated at all hours of the day (and the fact that I prefer to enjoy my artwork while sober) I did not partake and therefore cannot comment on their quality. The scope of the complex is positively massive, befitting the extensive collection of art that resides within. An intriguing blend of modern architectural sensibilities and eons old stone, for what it lacks in comforting welcoming quality it more than makes up for in distinction and energy. Like any great gallery, the Getty invites a spirit of adventure and exploration. It may at times feel a little sterile, and the surroundings a bit spartan for some of the more opulent and religious artwork contained within the collection, but its breadth and the promise of more discoveries around the corner make that shortcoming an easy one to overlook. The crowds, however, are insane. Even on a Thursday. You have been warned.
My girlfriend took me on a date here for my birthday (yes we are that kind of couple). I loved it and could have spent hours in their reading all of the information. They have paintings from many of the famous serial killers including the world famous John Wayne Gacy clown painting, victorian era autopsy and burial tools, crime scene photos, taxidermy animals, an actual severed head, and more. I imagine some people may be turned off by the more gory exhibits but if you have even spent an hour on reddit nothing here should surprise you that much. Instead take in the information on natural death, and the terrible murderers/psychopaths who pervade society. Aside from the picture of the smiling couple mutilating a corpse I would take my mother here.
Trilby's Svengali was a character of fiction. Conversely, Marc Breed, has captivated a generation with such a unique and engaging personality that we've allowed him the ultimately luxury of a true freedom. The Art he has created, as a result of this, only seems odd; in that we view it while tinged with envy. That we in Cleveland possess such a close-up look, should be a source of extreme pride. For we may live vicariously through his artistic rampage among us. -Dr. Stanley Workman, Art History, Professor Emeritus http://artistmarcbreed.blogspot.com/