Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Getty Mansion

The Paul J Getty Museum is a beautiful place in Southern California.  You have to pay for parking, admission is free and how often is something worth while really free?  It’s an amazing example of modern architectural genius (I learned that from the architectural tour).  If you live in Southern California you’ve probably visited the Getty.  If you haven’t it’s time to take a day and see what you’ve been missing.  Planning a visit?  If you aren't coming with young children add the Getty to your list of places to visit.  (Young children on vacation aren't going to enjoy the museum unless they are already museum fans.)  Stick to Disneyland, Aquarium of the Pacific, Lego Land and the other attractions available for young children.

In addition to the Getty off the 405 freeways, there is the Getty Mansion off the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.  This mansion was built in the 1960’s and patterned after ancient Roman architecture.  It houses the roman and ancient antiquities collections. 

You turn off of the PCH onto a long driveway that winds itself up the hillside.  There are garden lined walkways with views overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  It is a beautiful location.  Every direction you turn you are presented with something beautiful.

 Every statute has an unexpected detail that astounds me.  To see the creativity and the artistic talent of people that resulted in these marvels is a privilege.  These works of art have survived centuries and we have been given the opportunity to see them in person.  I particularly like the wings on the feet of this statute.

The walkways have tile inlays brought over from ancient Rome.  I love the flower in the center of this tile square.  There is a peaceful quality to spending time outside looking at the gardens.  This hallway is outside and runs along the main outdoor garden area.  There are statutes every few feet nestled in greenery.  

After you've wandered around the Mansion and the gardens, spend some time in the gift shop.  This is also where you'll find a small cafe.  Right outside the gift shop is a fountain/pond with flowers floating among the lily pads.  This is the perfect backdrop for a photo.  We recently visited the Mansion with some friends.  The Mansion opens at 10 am (my kind of place-as I am not a morning person).  We arrived about an hour early and sat on the beach chatting and knitting while we waited for the Mansion to open.  Go visit if you haven't had the chance.  You won't regret it.  (Make sure to get tickets in advance-reservations go quickly).

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