RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Minor White and my day at the Getty Center


getty center los angeles

After my aborted attempt to visit the Getty Center on Wednesday, I took another bus route on Saturday and made the journey successfully. I wanted to see Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit and as usual I had left it until the last few days of the exhibit. Sometimes I miss out on exhibits completely just because I can’t get my act together. I was determined not to miss this one.

minor white

Minor White by Robert Haiko 1973

Back in the dark ages of photography when I shot only black and white images that I developed in my dark room, Minor White (along with Jerry Uelsmann) was a major influence on my photographic style. I can’t say I came anywhere close to his brilliance but I enjoyed following his example in my own way.

The Getty exhibit seemed to be pretty comprehensive. Some images I recognized, some totally new to me. I also didn’t know he was gay in an unaccepting world at the time. I love this photo of him. Unfortunately, the last day to see this collection was October 19. This is one I would have liked to see again.

getty center los angeles

Going to the Getty on a Saturday is not ideal but by then I didn’t have a choice. When I arrived several tour buses were unloading. The line for the shuttle to the top of the hill was humungous, so as it was a temperate day I decided to walk. This is the rail line winding up the hill with the Getty Museum buildings at the top. It took me less than 15 minutes but I am a fast walker used to walking up hills and I don’t recommend it for everybody.

getty center los angeles

No trains passed me until the ten-minute mark and when I arrived at the top the first train was unloading. There would have been at least one more train load before it was my turn so walking was a good decision.

The trip here by city buses had been pretty convoluted. Because of the extension of the Expo Line train being built, the Santa Monica bus from Culver City was on detour. And then the Metro bus was on detour because of construction on Sepulveda. So by the time I arrived at the Getty I was starving.

getty center los angeles

I made a bee-line for the café. I am embarrassed to admit I ordered a tuna melt and sweet potato fries.

getty center los angeles

I sat outside enjoying the beautiful day in silence until two chatterboxes decided to sit at the table right next to mine, never mind the outside dining area was practically empty. Isn’t that always the way?

Another exhibit I wanted to see was Spectacular Rubens The Triumph of the Eucharist exhibit. It was interesting to see how his oil sketches for this series were translated into enormous tapestries… all without computer aided design. There were several lions depicted and it was amusing to see how, in my opinion, the animals were given the faces of old men… maybe it was intentional.

GEtty Center Los Angeles

Of course, despite some wonderful artwork, my favorite pasttime at the Getty is to wander around and gawk at the architecture which is quite magnificent.

Getty center Los Angeles

Because of the drought conditions in Southern California, the Getty has decided to shut off the water in the water features which makes them pretty drab now. This one is now filled with gravel.

GEtty Center Los Angeles

This one would make a great bowling alley.

GEtty Center Los Angeles

GEtty Center Los Angeles

But wait! What is this? Lush green lawns abound in every direction! How many millions of gallons of water does it take to keep grass looking this green and perfect? Or am I missing something here?

Getty Center Los Angeles

Hey, I have a suggestion. Rip out all the lawns, fill the areas with sandy soil and plant native Southern California plants. Not only would this set a great example to Angelenos who are still in love with that little green patch in their front yards, it would also look splendid and be huge for PR! Then, with all the water you save you could put back those beautiful fountains (which I assume use recycled water anyway) with a clear conscience. And you don’t even have to thank me for the idea!

GEtty Center Los Angeles

Now this is what I am talking about. Maybe not native but at least not water hogs. I remember seeing this cactus garden when the Center first opened in December 1997 and thinking how cool it would be to watch the cacti grow over the years. Well, here they are seventeen years later and yes, it is very cool!

Getty Center Los Angeles

One of my favorite LA views: the San Diego (405) Freeway. See it snaking all the way to the horizon. Just when you think you see the end, it picks up again down the hill a little to the right. People drive this E V E R Y day, stop and go, stop and go!

I have bazillions of photos of the Getty from this trip and previous trips. I never get tired of photographing it. But as I don’t want to bore you, here are just a few more from Saturday: Click on an image.

I also took some photos in the garden so if I ever get around to it, I may post those in a Part Two. Or not…
All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

10 thoughts on “Minor White and my day at the Getty Center

  1. You took great photo of the Getty Center. I really miss this museum! The train service is such a cool idea.


  2. Thanks Amy. One of my favorite places to visit.


  3. Pingback: In hot water at the Huntington Library | One Good Life in Los Angeles

  4. It is my favorite too, esp. that it is free. Can’t beat that.


    • It is truly free when you take public transportation and walk in… I am fortunate that I have bus service to both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa.


  5. Beautiful and I love sweet potato fries:)


  6. Lovely place it is..beautiful landscape and architecture too. I can imagine the exhibition must very a fruitful one! Always like photo exhibitions, they are giving me inspiration 🙂 I have never tried the dark room before, I am just wondering with digital technology nowadays, are the materials to be used in darkroom still easy to obtain?


    • Well, probably not as easy as before but I know many photographers (old and young) who like to use film and print their images in a darkroom. I see classes offered in darkroom techniques and that’s probably the way to go without investing in the equipment yourself. I think every photographer should try it. I love Photoshop now but there is nothing like waiting for your images to come out of the chemical soup… it is magic!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Travertine terraces at Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs – One Good Life Travels

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