If you were living in Southern California back in 1997, you likely remember that when the Getty Center debuted, after years in the making, everyone but everyone wanted to visit.
Wanted to visit all at once, that is.
It was a rather epic moment for the Brentwood-based aerie o' art, and it foretold things to come. Crowds settled down, parking issues wained, and the flow of people regulated, but lovers of paintings and furniture and photography kept coming in a more manageable but still steady stream.
How steady? The Getty Center will welcome its 20,000,000th visitor on Saturday, April 13, a rather auspicious number given that the institution is still eight months shy of its 15th birthday. The math says that the center gets over a million visitors a year, and here's an interesting fact: Over half of them reside outside of Southern California.
Still though, that means a whole bunch of SoCalers go. High fives, art-supporting SoCalers!
So how will the travertine landmark welcome that Very Special Person? Like this: everyone wins, or at least gets a commemorative cookie on April 13. Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno says "We can't determine precisely which guest will be the 20 millionth, so we plan to treat everyone as if they were."
There is also a family festival on April 13. It's paired with the exhibit "Looking East: Rubens's Encounter with Asia." Dance and art activities are part of the fest (and probably the consuming of commemorative cookies, too.)
The Getty Center, like its sibling Getty Villa, is free. Parking is not, but you've heard the recent good news, right? Visit both places in the same day and only pay for parking once.
Bet with policies like that, but moreover some truly world-class art, the 40,000,000th visitor is just a few years away.