Commonly referred to as the Getty, the J. Paul Getty Museum is based in Los Angeles, and is known around the world for its extensive historic collection of visual art. One of the best ways to take in the impressive art, as well as the architecture and gardens that surround the museum, is by taking a guided tour, as this will help to really bring the museum to life.
The Collection Highlights Tour
The Collection Highlights Tour lasts for fifty minutes, and gives visitors a detailed overview of some of the major works within the museum’s collection. Visitors will usually be taken to four distinct pieces, where your guide will discuss elements of the piece that you likely would have otherwise missed. You will also learn more about what each of the pieces represent, and why they have been created in specific styles, or with the use of certain techniques.
The Getty Museum always has featured exhibitions, and the Exhibition Tours are a curator-led overview of a specific exhibition. This is ideal for those who want some in-depth knowledge on a current exhibition, and will really help you to immerse yourself in that particular style or time period. Currently, the Exhibition Tour’s theme is Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV, and explores the grand tapestries that Louis XIV inherited, collected and had commissioned – an exclusive international loan collection that the museum is currently exhibiting.
The Focus Tour
The Focus Tours are one-hour themed tours of the museum’s collection. The topics that the tours cover change each day, so even if you decide to take the tour each day for a week, you would still learn something new each time.
The Architecture Tour
The Getty Center was designed by Richard Meier, who was inspired by the relationship between the structured grid of the city and the natural elements surrounding it, from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains. The innovative modernist complex of the Getty that Meier has brilliantly created has been widely praised, and the museum’s Architecture Tour is a must for anyone wanting to learn more about the talented architect and his unique design for the museum.
The Garden Tour
The beautifully landscaped gardens of the Getty Villa were inspired by the Ancient Romans, and are a stunning representation of a bygone era. The highly informative 45 minute Garden Tour will take you through the four Ancient Roman gardens, as well as Robert Irwin’s Central Garden. This tour is usually much more enjoyable in the mornings or evenings, as the afternoon sun can often make it quite uncomfortable.
Each of the tours that the museum offers are succinct but extremely informative, and since many of them change on a daily basis, you will be able to learn something new with each visit. In addition to the tours, the museum also hosts a large number of talks and discussions, which are the perfect next step for those who want a more interactive experience after taking a few of the tours.