Art, Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

Miniature Getty Center Opens in Philadelphia

Getty Center garden installation at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadephia Flower Show

Look slightly familiar? This landscape-in-progress riffs on the Getty Center’s architecture and gardens. It’s on view March 1 to 9 at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadephia Flower Show.

Two thousand miles east of L.A., the final touches are being put on a pint-sized version of the Getty Center—in flowers. The mini-Getty will be unveiled Friday at the Philadelphia Flower Show organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which this year has challenged landscape architects to transform museums around the country into botanical form. Rising alongside the Getty Center are the Guggenheim, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Barnes Foundation, and the North Carolina Museum of Art, to name just four of of this year’s participants.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show. (If you’re wondering why it’s indoors, check the weather in Philly today.) If it relates to plants, you’ll find it there: from massive displays of rare orchids to discussions on vegetable gardening to stop hunger.

Getty Center garden installation at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Philadephia Flower Show

Azaleas in full bloom, inspired by the Getty Center’s Azalea Pool, part of Robert Irwin’s Central Garden. In this photo, the water feature has yet to be filled.

Each participating museum worked with a garden designer who sought inspiration in its collections, buildings, or grounds. Our collaborator is the Philadelphia firm of Burke Brothers, whose landscape architect Vivianne Englund-Callahan created this SoCal moment in the middle of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. In a bird’s-eye-view, the 40-by-55-foot installation looks like an abstract painting, filled with blocks of contrasting colors and textures.

Landscape architect's rendering of the Getty Center display at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Designer’s-eye-view rendering of the mini-Getty. Courtesy of Burke Brothers Landscape Design/Build

Two trellises, inspired by these lavender ones at the Getty Center, lead to a central open space surrounded by seating walls and flowering trees.

Lavender wisteria trellis at the Getty Center

The lavender trellis at the Getty Center, a pop of color amidst the travertine

Englund-Callahan drew inspiration for the installation from several aspects of the Getty Center’s architecture and gardens—the travertine grid, the Azalea Pool, and the cactus garden on the South Promontory overlooking L.A. Also—and really, what plant-lover could resist?—she snuck in a nod to Van Gogh’s Irises.

The Getty-in-flowers opens to the public on March 1 and closes March 9. If you’re in Philly and lucky enough to see it and its neighbors on this unusual and completely original museum row, snap it and share with the hashtag #ARTiculture.

Robert Irwin's Central Garden at the Getty Center

Central Garden at the (real) Getty Center

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      Olympian Census #4: Aphrodite

      Get the stats on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) gods and goddesses on view at the Getty Center.

      Roman name: Venus

      Employment: Goddess of Love and Beauty

      Place of residence: Mount Olympus

      Parents: Born out of sea foam formed when Uranus’s castrated genitals were thrown into the ocean

      Marital status: Married to Hephaestus, the God of Blacksmiths, but had many lovers, both immortal and mortal

      Offspring: Aeneas, Cupid, Eros, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, and more

      Symbol: Dove, swan, and roses

      Special talent: Being beautiful and sexy could never have been easier for this Greek goddess

      Highlights reel:

      • Zeus knew she was trouble when she walked in (Sorry, Taylor Swift) to Mount Olympus for the first time. So Zeus married Aphrodite to his son Hephaestus (Vulcan), forming the perfect “Beauty and the Beast” couple.
      • When Aphrodite and Persephone, the queen of the underworld, both fell in love with the beautiful mortal boy Adonis, Zeus gave Adonis the choice to live with one goddess for 1/3 of the year and the other for 2/3. Adonis chose to live with Aphrodite longer, only to die young.
      • Aphrodite offered Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman, to Paris, a Trojan prince, to win the Golden Apple from him over Hera and Athena. She just conveniently forgot the fact that Helen was already married. Oops. Hello, Trojan War!

      Olympian Census is a 12-part series profiling gods in art at the Getty Center.

      08/03/15

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