Getty Center

Holiday Lights at the Getty Center through January 2

Starting November 28, illuminate your holidays with art every Saturday till 9

Winter is upon us. Spend a Saturday evening at the Getty Center, when we’re open until 9pm—and enjoy strolling the Central Garden at magic hour, photograph sunset, Instagram the lights in the trees, and share videos of your friends masquerading as snowflakes all in one evening. Starting November 28, hunt for the special holiday lights all around campus (starting at 5:30 p.m.), stop by the Museum Entrance Hall for free mulled cider, and enjoy reduced-cost parking from 4:00 p.m. to close.

Stop by for some inspiration in the galleries. This fall it’s all about food (what’s more inspiring than that?). See The Edible monument: The Art of Food for Festivals (through March 13) at the Getty Research Institute and zip over to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (through January 3) at the Getty Museum for a double helping of foodie delight. In the Center for Photographs in the West Pavilion, three shows that span medium’s history feature daguerreotypes through contemporary Japanese photography. And opening December 15 is Woven Gold: Tapestries of Louis XIV, featuring colorful tapestries that evoke the brilliance of the Sun King’s court.

Share your #GettyLights photos with us @TheGetty on Instagram and Twitter. We’d love to see you all lit up!

getty lights + ramen nights | #thegetty #gettylights #tsujita

A photo posted by cristinafoos (@cristinafoos) on

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  1. Fred
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Admission and Parking costs? Veteran or senior discounts?

    • Annelisa Stephan
      Posted November 28, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Hi Fred, Thanks for commenting. Parking at the Getty Center is $15 per car, $10 after 4pm. There are no veteran or senior discounts. There is no admission fee to the Center itself, so the only cost is parking. The Metro 734 bus stops stops right at the front gate, making the visit almost entirely free. Metro bus fares are $1.75 regular and $0.75 seniors 62+ ($0.35 weekends). Hope you get to come visit!

      —Annelisa / Iris editor

  2. Bruce
    Posted November 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Do you still need to make a parking reservation?

    • Annelisa Stephan
      Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Hi Bruce, No parking reservations needed or accepted. Come on by! Weekdays late morning/midday can be crowded in our parking lot but mornings, afternoons, and Saturday evenings are great times to visit.

  3. Cynthia
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Is the cafe open on these Saturday evenings for Getty Lights, or just the restaurant?

    • Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Hello Cynthia! For our Saturday nights, we have the courtyard coffee cart available until 8:30. The main cafe is open until 6pm, though with a limited menu from 3-6. Hope that is helpful!

  4. Cajie Peardon
    Posted December 12, 2015 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Want to bring my grandchiildren, 8 and 11, to the Getty Villa for the Holiday Lights. What time should we plan to arrive? And also want to verify the lights are at the Villa?

    • Annelisa Stephan
      Posted December 13, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Cajie, Thanks for commenting. The lights are only at the Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive), *not* the Getty Villa. The lights begin at 5:30 pm. Hope you enjoy your visit!

  5. B2H
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The Getty spends millions on art but it felt like they spent a few thousand on lights, very disappointing.

  6. Justin
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Is this event happening every year or is it the first time in getty center?

    • Posted December 24, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Justin! We’ve illuminated the trees the past two years. Hope you get a chance to visit!

  7. Meliss
    Posted January 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Can we still bring our own food?

2 Trackbacks

  • By Home for the Holidays: LA | Taxi Magic Blog on December 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

    […] for some lights? Get to The Getty on Saturday nights if you want to see LA’s best light […]

  • By Holiday Fun for Kids at LA’s Best Museums on December 10, 2014 at 5:02 am

    […] Getty Center: Holiday Lights The tram alone is usually enough to get the kids squealing, but this season stop in the entrance hall on your way in for free hot apple cider. Then sip, stroll, and snap photos amid the magical trees and city lights below. Kids will love to hunt for the holiday light displays and projections going on throughout the museum. […]

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.

      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”


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