November 29, 2017

David Hockney 80th Birthday Special Exhibit at the Getty Center

IMG_7852Going to the Getty Center is a mainstay of Daytripper tours, but rarely are guests treated so as beautiful day as 51 Daytripper guests had on October 22. Los Angeles’ skies were clear, and the view from the hill on the Getty Campus went as far east as the Inland Empire, and as far west as Catalina. The travertine stone that makes up the Getty buildings shone bright white, and the gardens were beautiful, with lots of kids rolling down the grassy lawn. The Getty Center is one of those places where you realize how the architecture of a place makes you feel.

The special exhibit that was the feature of this trip was a David Hockney 80th birthday celebration. Rather than do a full retrospective of the British artist’s work, they focused on some of his self portraits (some rarely exhibited as they are owned by Mr. Hockney himself) and his photo collages including his iconic Pearblossom Hwy., 11-18th April 1986, #2. Made up of over 700 photos, it is a masterpiece of small details and larger perspective. The exhibition is open until November 26th.

IMG_3850Simultaneously showing in their large special exhibits area was Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas which focused on the luxuries of South and Central America from 1000 BC to the early-16th century. This was the highlight of the trip for me. Detailed and bright fabrics, intricate jewelry, amazing gold decorations, a large stone artwork. It was no wonder that the Spaniards spent time conquering the Americas and searching for gold. This exhibit is open until January 28, 2018.

The Getty is known for its European paintings, but there is so much more to see there. They have an extensive collection of European furniture displayed as full rooms (little wonder that 17th c. Americans were captivated by what they found in France), religious art (some beautiful depictions of Mother Mary), and photography. But the most popular work of art is Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises.” It always draws a crowd.

One of the best parts of the Getty is their abundance of free resources, especially their free tours. Every interest is covered, with tours that focus on the architecture, the gardens (there are over 500 varieties of plants on their grounds), the specific exhibits, and specific types of art. All are free, and most have headphones to make it easier to hear the guide. If you like self directed exploration, the Getty provides a digital guide that you can use to explore the different galleries providing audio overviews and then information on specific works that are in there.

There are also several food options, and some great gift shops. The time really does fly here, and before you’re ready it is time to get back on the tram and return down the hill. Luckily DayTripper offers trips to the Getty Center (and the Getty Villa) nearly every month. Can’t promise you’ll have as amazing weather as we had, but you won’t be disappointed by all the Center has to offer.


jennifer-hudson– Jennifer Hudson
DayTripper Tour Director
Tour:  J. Paul Getty Center: Special David Hockney Exhibition
Date: October 22, 2017


Categories: Blog