(9 photos) Yesterday was a break from news, a day for sun and art and a bit of fun. We decided on a visit to the Getty Museum. We saw a photography exhibit, and then headed outside for a stroll through the garden. Bougainvillea fills these umbrella-shaped cages made from rebar. It’s a welcome bit of shade in the summer.
This museum occupies the most prime of prime real estate–a hill top in West Los Angeles. The site attests to the vast wealth of its benefactor (J. Paul Getty). The museum trust has so much money that entry is free. A tram carries visitors from underground parking, up the hill to the museum, so high that 10 lanes of freeway don’t look like much of a challenge at all.
The gardens are probably visited more than any of the exhibition spaces. It offers color all year long.
In the Getty’s research building we found an exhibit titled “The Art of Alchemy”. What a great day! Below is a segment of a really huge scroll illustrating alchemical secrets. “A Latin incantation on a banderole heralds the tangled web of words and images the reader must decipher as the scroll is unrolled. Below the banderole looms Hermes Trismegistos heating a large vessel over a furnace.“
Below left a “rock-crystal icosahedron (meaning twenty-sided) represents a water atom. It was found in the tomb of a young girl and perhaps was placed there as a token of her travel through the river of the underworld.” It is from the north of Rome, about the first century. Below right is a woodcut of a Hollow Icosahedron (water atom) by Leonardo da Vinci, from the book Divine Proportions, 1509
And then it was time to head home. On the freeway. And it wasn’t pretty.