The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

Not many museum visits begin with a tram ride up the mountain. But the Getty in LA is anything but your usual museum.  In 1984, architect Richard Meier won the coveted commission, and in 1997, the Getty opened to fanfare heard round the world. 

Adjectives often associated Richard Meier's buildings are: white, squares, white, geometric, white, shiny. And white. So white in fact, that residents feared a ghastly brilliant blob on top of the hill, reflecting the sun, blinding motorists on the San Diego Freeway below. Changes had to be made to the original plan.

Working with an unlimited budget to build a museum and acquire new art to add the existing collection, the Getty was seen as a threat to many. How would the trust's ability to outbid all others at auction upset the balance. Most of those fears have been allayed since its opening and today the museum coexists with - and contributes to - the art world in valuable ways other institutions with fewer resources cannot.

Notice the 'tree' with red foliage. It's actually twelve trees lined up perfectly!

To learn more: Getty


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