The Griffin Chronicle

Getty Museum Review

Elsa Ayala, Staff Writer

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There are many things that could be said in the name of art, after all “art” spans a wide variety of subjects. Whether it is acrylic paintings, poetry, or lyrical dance, many expressions take credit for the label “art”. This past weekend, I took a drive to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The photogenic marble institute is settled high on the mountains above the 405 freeway. Since I was young, this particular museum has been a staple of my life. This last time, I was able to appreciate the detail and incredible stories within the white marble walls. While speaking with a security guard in the Impressionist Wing, I learned a few interesting things about the art they own, and the man who curated the entire collection. For example, the Getty museum owns a collection of furniture and art that was once in King Louis XVI’s palace of Versailles. One piece in particular caught my eye. An ancient chandelier hangs from the tall ceiling; in the shape of a hot air balloon, it has an immense crack along the bottom of the glass bowl, which has been there since it’s days in France. Hundreds of years ago, Louis and Marie Antoinette kept a live fish in the bowl of the chandelier. The security guard told me the stories of a myriad of pieces, and concluded with a statement about Mr. Getty himself. “He has beautiful art, but he wasn’t the best person. We hear he was a pretty mean guy,” the guard ruefully admitted. Each exhibit at the Getty has a story like that- the collection of ancient, tribal masks and feathers from South America, or the photography exhibit from Argentina, which outline the story of children whose parents had been taken away from them. The art and history at this museum is impressive, and it makes art much more accessible for everyone.

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