Art Appreciation


The Getty Museum in LA is one of my favorites. Even before our son moved to the West Coast, my husband and I would stop there any time a project landed us in the vicinity.  We enjoy the Getty’s permanent collection of paintings (and their illuminated manuscripts and photographs are beyond compare), but what draws us is the aura of this magical city on the hill, its gleaming white marble buildings, designed by Richard Meier, and its fantastic gardens, created by artist Robert Irwin. The Getty grounds are full of surprises, with stairways leading to sudden, spectacular vistas, and paths that end in secret gardens. We thought we had discovered every delight over our years of visits, so we were quite surprised to uncover an entirely new perspective when we visited with our three-year-old grandson—the Getty as the world’s best playground! While his Mom and baby brother strolled, we took turns pursuing him up and down staircases, flying along sweeping lawns, hovering as he clambered up the railings, plucking him from forbidden flower beds, and catching him as he slid down the boulder benches. He inspected all the sculpture, especially liking the “rocket ship” in the main plaza when he got off the tram. He went with his grandfather, who is a painter, on a whirlwind tour of the main galleries, and they collapsed on a bench near the Canaletto and watched light beams playing on the ceiling. It was exhilarating and exhausting for all of us!  We did get to wander on our own through the amazing traveling exhibition of Turner's late work, and those famous turbulent skies looked peaceful after the tornado of our grandson.