Getty Museum

Making Manuscripts

A brilliant video on how illuminated manuscripts were and are still made.

An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society’s rulers–emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops–commissioned the most splendid manuscripts.

[via The Loop]

Getty Museum Architectural Details

Getty Museum Railing and Ceiling

I love the architectural details of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and each time I return I find new things to photograph in almost exactly the same places I’ve been numerous times before. Richard Meier, the Getty’s architect, has a great feel for light, texture, space, and all of this combined with human usability.

This railing and ceiling is in the round “rotunda” of the museum’s entrance. Talk about layers of pattern. Incredible.

Getty Museum Ceiling

I got a bit closer to the overhand of an elevated walkway and shot up at the ceiling. I don’t know why I like this poorly exposed image but I do. It has an abstract quality that appeals to me and given how linear and un-abstract Meier’s work is, this is a fun visual side trip.<br

Glass Corner at night

Looking through the lit corner of a building after dark you can see the stair railing and overhead lights so you know there’s life in there, but it seems to be deep inside the structure. It’s dark and cool outside (for LA) and like day inside. Richard Meier’s a genius.

Green stairwell wall

I could see the glow of this wall across a large courtyard and it was so appealing I had to walk over to it and check it out. Like many of Richard Meier’s glass walls, this wall seemed to separate night from a well lit stairwell. The green added to the offset between inside and out in a way I can’t describe. I know, many people reading this will think I’m nuts or writing like an architecture critic. I’m tellin’ ya flat out, this green stairwell is alluring and it drew me right in.

Walkway lights

The Getty Museum architecture is about large forms and small details mixed together in a tasteful and interesting way. It’s not just that this stone walkway is lit, it’s what the light does on the stone and I just could not get it captured the way I saw it in a photograph.

I struggled to get this image for so long that we missed our tram down to the garage and I got in trouble with the group. If you plan to really work at taking pictures at the Getty, make sure your group (if you go with one) knows that it will take some time. And, note, no tripods allowed at the Getty. I don’t know about monopods but I know tripods are verboten.

Getty metal

Getty metal curve

The non-stone skin on the Getty Museum is metal of some sort, maybe aluminum and adds a wonderful contrast to the stone. It’s smooth and light and yet the grid is similar to the grid on the stone.

Getty metal

There are other instances of it as simply structural and a bit of an awning to break up light.

Getty metal

And there are instances of it that combine both structure and covering to break up light and view. It is simply an amazing structure, one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen.