May 31, 2014

The Beefcake Museum of Los Angeles

Los Angeles was home for 13 years, but you never go sightseeing at home; you're busy with the rhythms of everyday life.  When I got out-of-town visitors, they always wanted to go to the French Quarter and the Rage (if they were gay) or to Disneyland (if they were straight).  No one wanted to go to the museums.

So I only visited the Getty Museum once (the Getty Conservation Institute, where I had the worst job in the world, was in a different building.)

It's a beefcake paradise.

J. Paul Getty, oil tycoon and grandfather of the Paul Getty Jr. who was the object of my junior high fantasies, built as a replica of an ancient country house from Herculaneum (near Pompeii), filled it with art from all over the world, and opened it to the public as a museum in 1974.

In 1997, the main collection was moved to Brentwood, and the Getty Villa was closed for renovation until 2006.  Now it houses the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art.

So you have to go to both.

Start with the Getty Villa, on 7985 Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, open every day except Tuesday from 10 to 5. There are 44 galleries arranged by theme, such as Gods and Goddesses, The Trojan War, and Athletes and Competition.  Naked muscle gods in every single one of them.

Such as the "Nude Youth" (above) and the Lansdown Herakles (left)

And this wine cup with an Athlete Applying Oil on its base.  You had to turn the cup upside down to see it, which I suppose gave you a motive for drinking fast.

For a guy who was married five times, J. Paul Getty certainly liked looking at naked men.

Next go to the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive in Brentwood, an ultra-modern structure on a hilltop, open every day except Monday from 10 to 5. It features European and American art from the Middle Ages to the present.  Look for the Rubens Hunting of the Caledonian Boar (left).

And the photograph that Thomas Eakins took of his students, and used for his famous The Swimming Hole (top)

More after the break.

Or the 17th Century Flemish print Two Nude Men, by Van Haarlem.  They seem to be kissing.

This neoclassical Faun Holding Goat is from 18th Century France.

I like this Nude, Davenport Iowa, Composite with Leaves, by Edmund Teske (1911-1996).

Don't forget the Sculpture Garden, with Elizabeth Frink's Running Man.  

After driving down the hill, you might want to stop on the campus of UCLA for some public penises, such as The Archer and Olympic Torso (left).  

Then take Santa Monica Boulevard into West Hollywood.  The French Quarter and the Rage are still there.

See also: Fred and the Cute Young Thing; and Kicking Oscar Out of My Bed.