LA's Big Summer Sleepover: The Getty Museum - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

LA's Big Summer Sleepover: The Getty Museum

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LOS ANGELES (CBS 8) - I'll admit it, I'm normally not much of a museum guy. My idea of a cultural event is a night at the Belly-Up Tavern, and I think fine art is the painting of the dogs playing poker. But that's all changed now, because I've been to the mountaintop -- I've been to the Getty.

Perched on top of L.A.'s priciest property, the Getty Center is nothing short of amazing. From its architecture to its artwork, its sculptures to its gardens, the Getty is the Mecca of museums.

"J. Paul Getty felt strongly that you couldn't really be a civilized person without a love of art," Julie Jasko said.

Apparently much of the world feels the same way. the Getty Museum attracts 1.2 million visitors a year.

"Half of the visitors we're happy to say are visitors from outside the greater Los Angeles area. So we get a tremendous number of international visitors and visitors from California and the rest of the United States," Julie said.

They come to soak up a little culture, but also to take in the breathtaking vistas that surround the project. Once you're inside, looking out is the most fun. And you can't beat the price.

"A visit to the Getty Center is absolutely free except for parking, which is $15 a car. So for $15 you can bring your whole family. On Saturdays when the Getty's open until 9 p.m., you can come after 5 and the whole trip is absolutely free," Julie said.

The price of parking is worth it just for the tram ride to and from the top.

"The tram ride up is a highlight. There are so many families that don't ever get out of the tram, they just go up and down, up and down," Julie said.

The centerpiece of this cultural complex is the Getty Museum, and you don't have to be a patron of the arts to appreciate that you are in the presence of some preeminent originals like van Gogh's "Irises" and one of The Getty's most recent acquisitions is J.M.W. Turner's 1839 original landscape of modern Rome. And there's as much to see outdoors as in.

"The central garden is designed by artist Robert Irwin. It's not actually a garden, it's a sculpture. It's a piece of living sculpture. It's actually a part of the museum's collection," Julie said.

After touring the Getty Center, take time to find a spot to relax and reflect on the beauty of this modern marvel.

"The whole point of J. Paul Getty Trust and the Getty Center is to communicate our knowledge and enthusiasm about the arts and that's what we hope visitors take away," Julie said.

The Getty Center is a special place where antiquity is ensured, modern is manifested and beauty abounds, not in a pretentious or stuffy manner, but rather a family-friendly celebration of the best of civilization.

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