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The Getty Center

Los Angeles, California

Client: The J. Paul Getty Trust
Architect: Richard Meier and Partners Architects
Completion: 1997

The galleries at the Getty Museum are among the most beautiful rooms for the display of art that have been built anywhere in the world. You just don’t get closer to perfection than this.

Museum design is complicated because two distinct constituencies must be assiduously represented. One is the inanimate collection of art objects that will be on view; the other is the animated audience that will do the viewing. To borrow the famous ambition voiced by artist Robert Rauschenberg: Great museum design ventures into the gap between art and life. It needs to maximize the potential for visual intercourse between them.

Perhaps the most daring decision for the Getty’s design was to illuminate the galleries for paintings without resorting to the use of electric light. The galleries were meant to conform to lighting conditions in which these pictures were made.

1999 IALD Award of Merit
1999 IESNY Lumen Award