Herb Ritts: LA Style at the Getty Center – Day Trip Travel Series

Wether you’re a local or a visitor, you need to slip away for a few hours and visit the Getty Center.  It’s the perfect venue for a day trip.

Upon arrival, you’re instantly transported into a serene and calming world.  As the winding tram makes its way up the hillside and if the smog’s cooperating,  killer views of West Los Angeles are to be had!

What I love most, it that you don’t even have to leave the city for a mini break – talk about accessible.

Initially, it was all about the Herb Ritts: LA Style photography exhibit, but I grabbed a guide anyway.  With kitten heels tapping on the limestone as I made my way out to the courtyard, I was excited about what I would encounter.

Herb RItts

Herb Ritts (American, 1952 – 2002)

Tatjana, Veiled Head, Joshua Tree, 1988

© Herb Ritts Foundation | The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Ritts has been receiving quite a bit of ink and rightly so.  There is a massive black and white collection encompassing celebrities, fashion, and nudes.   Mainly you’ll be engrossed by the prints, but there’s also a video loop of his famous commercials and music videos, as well as a few novelty items.

Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts (American, 1952 – 2002)

Man with Chain, Los Angeles, 1985

© Herb Ritts Foundation | The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Grab an audio tour, I insist.  When was the last time you spent $5 and received an enriching experience and not just a latte?  The audio tour covers an array of exhibits, including Ritts.  Celebrities such as Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere provide narration for a good amount of the prints.  Their recounts are warm, nostalgic, and filled with sound praise.  Ritts was truly an artist.  His effortless shots were actually quite calculating; he strived for perfection and contrast.

Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts (American, 1952 – 2002)

Versace, Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990

© Herb Ritts Foundation | The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Herb Ritts: LA Style runs from April 3rd – August 26th, 2012. 

I had a peek at a few of the other exhibits, and one that caught my eye in particular was The Life of Art.  This is a new addition to the Getty Center’s permanent collection and just opened February 2012. 

Opulent rooms adorned with decorative glass, carved silver, painted ceramic, woven textiles, and the like greet viewers.   I am always amazing at the craftsmanship and intricate details bestowed on even the smallest object.   Wall to wall, the exhibit gleamed with old world sophistication.  In times of Ikea furniture and estate sales, one can only imagine what it must have been like to live amongst such splendor.  Are the furnishings a little over the top? Maybe… depends on who you ask. 

Make a point of visiting the Interactive Presentation.  The Getty Center has designated a black lined room with four pieces pulled from the decorative art’s collection.  Sit face to face with a French engraved silver fountain from the 1600’s – of which, “servants would have poured water from it to wash utensils between the courses of a meal” – of course.  Linger over a French silk upholstered side chair from the 1700s – of which, ” servants of the chairs’ owner would have changed the fabric on the cushions with the seasons of the year, using a heavy damask or tapestry in the winter and replacing it with a lighter colored silk in the spring.” This makes my spring cleaning seem a bit lackluster in comparison!

iPads are set up in front of each of the four pieces and quickly highlight such details as maker’s marks and artisan signatures.  These aren’t just glistening items encased in plexiglass, they continue to live their own lives, have their own stories, and provided comfort, functionality, and decor for walking, talking, breathing Europeans in the 1600 – 1700s!  It’s amazing…

Have you been to the exhibits?  I’d love to hear your feedback.

The Fine Print:

  • Admission: FREE
  • Hours: Mon – Fri + Sun: 10am – 5:30pm | Sat 11am – 9pm
  • Location: 1200 Getty Center Drive Los Angeles, California 90049
  • Parking: $15 & $10 after 5pm  on the property.  Don’t even bother trying to park in the neighborhood!
  • Audio Tour: iPod Touch $5
  • Contact: (310) 440-7300 | Website

Don’t forget to check out my personal pics on Facebook and my mini review of the exhibit on my New Video!


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2 thoughts on “Herb Ritts: LA Style at the Getty Center – Day Trip Travel Series

  1. The Exhibition List May 26, 2012 at 10:24 am Reply

    Hey there, thanks for sharing this great post! Would you be happy for us to reblog it? We will of course put a link to your site… ☺

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