Best Place to Study Photography - 2012
Getty Museum, Photo Department
There are plenty of reasons to visit the Getty's shining fortress on the hill: Richard Meier's architecture, Van Gogh's Irises, Robert Irwin's 134,000-square-foot garden, the gorgeous city views, the live music performances, the restaurant. Less well known is its fantastic collection of photography. From architectural photographer Julius Shulman and multimedia artist Ed Ruscha to controversy magnet Robert Mapplethorpe and fashion photog Herb Ritts, the Getty Museum Photo Department's holdings of more than 2 million photos include archives of tremendous historical importance and interest. Students of photography can see works dating from the art form's earliest days, in myriad printing methods and styles; more than 1,300 of these are available online at the Getty's website. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood. (310) 440-7300, getty.edu.