J. Paul Getty Museum
LOS ANGELES – The J. Paul Getty Museum, which consists of six buildings around a central courtyard, houses a collection which has grown substantially since Mr. Getty assembled a modest group of European paintings, a distinguished holding of Greek and Roman antiquities, and a significant collection of 18th century French decorative arts. Today the Getty Center houses the Museum’s collection of European drawings, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, from the middle ages to the 20th century; and photography from its beginnings to the present, gathered internationally.
The Getty’s paintings collection is on view under natural light upstairs in the North, South, East, and West pavilions. Though the paintings collection was begun by Mr. Getty himself in the 1930s, it was not until after his death that the collection grew significantly. Today the collection encompasses nearly 450 paintings from 1300-1900, of which about 75 percent are on view. Areas of particular strength include the Northern Italian Renaissance, Baroque painting from Italy and Flanders; Dutch painting of the 17th century; and French painting of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The West Pavilion also houses the Department of Photographs, which expanded its exhibition space from 1,700 to 7,000 square feet in 2006. The department holds one of the world’s preeminent collections of photographs from all over the world, dating from the its earliest days to the present, and has made the Getty, and Los Angeles, an important center for the study of photographs.
Also in the West Pavilion are several galleries devoted to rotating exhibitions of the Getty’s distinguished and growing collection of almost 800 European drawings. The collection traces the history of Western drawing through major sheets by artists such Leonard do Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Van Gogh, and Seurat.
The North Pavilion of the Getty Center is home to one of the most ambitious programs for the display of manuscripts in the world, exhibiting illuminated books on a rotating basis year-round. The manuscripts collection comprises masterpieces of Ottonia, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, International style, and Renaissance illumination found in manuscripts made in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Spain, Poland, and the eastern Mediterranean.
The North Pavilion also houses European sculpture, and was recently renovated to provide a new state-of-the-art home for the collection. The galleries also include selected paintings, drawings and manuscripts alongside the Museum’s collection of sculpture and decorative arts.
In addition to the stunning sculpture on display inside the Museum, legendary film producer Ray Stark and his wife Fran recently donated 28 modern outdoor sculptures now on view throughout the Museum’s grounds. The 20th century sculptures were integrated with the environment and architecture to create a dramatic outdoor art experience, particularly in the new Fran and Ray Stark sculpture garden near the tram departure area at the bottom of the hill.
The East Pavilion is home to the Getty’s French 17th- and 18th-century decorative arts collections—one of Mr. Getty’s particular passions—which ranks among the foremost in the world. Paintings from the collection are also on view in the decorative arts galleries. In addition, the East Pavilion features the Family Room, a place for families with children of all ages to discover a world of wonders, delights, and hands-on activities.
All information according to J.Paul Getty Museum press material.