Los Angeles is more than movies, television, and celebrities. We have some incredible cultural activities as well, such as the world famous Getty Center. (And it’s free!)
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Closed Mondays
Admission is always free. Details
Parking and Access
Parking is $15; $10 after 5:00 p.m.
Pay once, park twice on the same day.
The collection, changing exhibitions, and outdoor art on view at the Getty Center represent European and American history—from medieval times to the present.
Download a gallery plan. (PDF, 1p., 1.4MB)
The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center includes pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and Asian photographs; contemporary and modern sculpture; and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center.
Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts
Always on view, the Museum’s collection of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts is arranged roughly by era and the artist’s nationality in galleries that span four pavilions at the Getty Center.
View of the Renaissance Art in Italy and Northern Europe gallery.
The North Pavilion presents paintings dating up to 1600, as well as medieval and Renaissance sculpture and decorative arts.
The East Pavilion features primarily 17th-century Baroque art, including Dutch, French, Flemish, and Spanish paintings, as well as sculpture and Italian decorative arts dating from 1600 to 1800.
The South Pavilion houses 18th-century paintings and the majority of the Museum’s European decorative arts collection, complete with elaborately furnished paneled rooms, dating up to 1800.
Gallery of art of late Neoclassicism in European art and design.
The West Pavilion features sculpture and Italian decorative arts of the 1700s through 1900, as well as 19th-century paintings. Neoclassical, Romantic, and Symbolist sculpture and decorative arts are also on view.
Contemporary and modern sculpture is featured throughout the grounds, including 28 modern and contemporary outdoor sculptures installed at the Getty Center, donated by Fran and Ray Stark.
Contemporary and modern sculpture is featured throughout the grounds of the Getty Center. Seen here: Gandydancer’s Dream by Mark di Suvero, 1987–1988. Courtesy of Mark di Suvero and Spacetime C.C.
Martin Puryear’s site-specific sculpture That Profile (1999), commissioned by the Getty, is located on the Tram Arrival Plaza. The Getty Center also features artist Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center. See Gardens for more information.
Photographs, Manuscripts, and Drawings Exhibitions
These light-sensitive artworks cannot be on permanent display. Changing exhibitions allow the Museum to rotate the works, and to provide new ways of looking at and interpreting them. Drawings exhibitions are featured in the West Pavilion, manuscripts in the North Pavilion, and photographs in the 7,000-square-foot Center for Photographs in the West Pavilion.
Cotton-Mill Worker, North Carolina, 1908, Lewis Wickes Hine, gelatin silver print.
Researchers interested in the Museum’s collection of photographs can also consult the Photographs Study Room at the Getty Center, which is open by prior appointment.
Getty Research Institute Exhibitions
The Getty Research Institute offers changing exhibitions of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, artists’ notebooks, and other materials from the special collections of the Research Library related to the history of art and architecture. The gallery, located in the Research Institute building, is open the same hours as the Museum. To schedule a group tour of Research Institute exhibitions, please e-mail GRIconnect@getty.edu.
This display from a 2008–2009 exhibition in the Getty Research Institute, Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant–Garde, 1910–1917.
The Exhibitions Pavilion hosts seasonal Premiere Presentations and other major exhibitions, which often involve collaboration with and loans from museums around the world, and are among the most important exhibitions of the year.
A unique destination, the Getty Center incorporates the modern design of architect Richard Meier, with beautiful gardens, open spaces, and spectacular views of Los Angeles.
Unique design elements, beautiful gardens, and open spaces. Richard Meier’s Getty Center harmoniously unites the parts of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and makes them accessible not only to Los Angeles but to the world.
The Getty Center sits on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, just off the San Diego Freeway. From there, visitors can take in the disparate aspects of Los Angeles’s landscape—the Pacific Ocean, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the vast street—grid of the city. Inspired by the relationship between these elements, architect Richard Meier designed the complex to highlight both nature and culture.
The Central Garden lawn and J. Paul Getty Museum Garden Terrace Cafe with city view.
New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin’s statement “Always changing, never twice the same” is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art.
The Central Garden at the Getty Center is an evolving work of art, with tree-lined walkways that lead visitors through extraordinary sights, sounds, and scents.
More than 500 varieties of plant material are used in the landscaping of the Central Garden.
See a list of plants used in Central Garden at the Getty Center. (PDF, 1p., 36KB)
The Getty Center features several gardens and fountains, and landscaping for public enjoyment, including a cactus garden at the South Promontory, fountains in the Museum Courtyard and the Tram Arrival Plaza, shaded hideaways, and spectacular views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and Los Angeles.
The Central Garden
The Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin, lies at the heart of the Getty Center. The 134,000-square-foot design features a natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor through an extraordinary experience of sights, sounds, and scents.
The walkway traverses a stream that winds through a variety of plants and gradually descends to a plaza where bougainvillea arbors provide scale and a sense of intimacy. Continuing through the plaza, the stream cascades over a stone waterfall or “chadar,” into a pool with a floating maze of azaleas. Specialty gardens encircle the pool. All of the foliage and materials of the garden have been selected to accentuate the interplay of light, color, and reflection.
The natural ravine and tree-lined walkway that leads the visitor to a central clearing.
Irwin began planning the Central Garden in 1992, as a key part of the Getty Center project. Since the Center opened in 1997, the Central Garden has evolved as its plants have grown and been trimmed. New plants are constantly being added to the palette. Irwin’s statement“Always changing, never twice the same” is carved into the plaza floor, reminding visitors of the ever-changing nature of this living work of art.
The plaza in the Central Garden features bougainvillea arbors.
- Daily Tours
From elegant dining in the Restaurant, to casual meals, coffee, and snacks, menus are developed with locally sourced, healthy ingredients and served with incredible views.
Located in the Restaurant/Cafe building, the Restaurant offers full service in an elegant setting with views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Menus change seasonally.
Reservations are recommended. Limited same-day reservations may be available at the door or at the Museum Information Desk. Call (310) 440-6810 or click the button below to make reservations:
Lunch Tuesday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.DinnerSaturday 5:00–9:00 p.m. Sunday Brunch
Sunday 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. (Brunch menu)Closed Mondays
- Sample Lunch Menu (PDF, 1p., 39 KB)
- Sample Dinner Menu (PDF, 1p., 38 KB)
- Sample Sunday Brunch Menu (PDF, 1p., 36 KB)
- Sample Wine List (PDF, 1p., 50 KB)
To make restaurant reservations for large parties of up to 25, call the restaurant at (310) 440-6810. To reserve the Private Dining Room for parties of 20 to 54, call the Catering Office at (310) 440-6213.
The self-service Cafe on the lower level of the Restaurant/Cafe building and has indoor and outdoor dining areas.
The extensive menu includes sandwiches, soups, salads, pizza, tacos, burritos, and grilled items. Wine and beer are also available.
Sample Lunch Menu (PDF, 1p., 12 KB)
Tuesday–Friday 11:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.Saturday 11:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.Sunday 11:30–3:30 p.m.Closed Mondays
Garden Terrace Cafe
This smaller cafe offers coffee, lunch, and snacks in an outdoor setting overlooking the Central Garden.
Saturday 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.Sunday 11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.Closed weekdaysClosed in case of rain.
Two coffee carts—one in the Museum Courtyard and one on the Plaza (up the stairs and to the right from the Tram Arrival Plaza)—offer coffee, hot tea, espresso drinks, bottled beverages, and baked goods, as well as hot and cold food options. Closed in case of rain.
Museum Courtyard Coffee Cart Hours
Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.Saturday 10:00 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Plaza Coffee Cart Hours
Tuesday–Friday and Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Gourmet boxed lunches are available for pick-up on the Plaza Level near the Restaurant. Order online or call (310) 440-6213.
Bring your own picnic, or take your ordered boxed lunch and grab-and-go items to have a picnic in the Central Garden, or at tables and chairs in the South Pavilion Terrace or Museum Courtyard.
A picnic area located at the Lower Tram Station (T1) is open until 30 minutes before the Getty Center closes.
Source Material taken from http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/plan/
Tuesday–Friday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.Saturday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Closed Mondays