“The best things in life are free.”
I know that saying always seems too good to be true, but sometimes it really is. For just 10 bucks for parking, you can experience the wonders of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Who said going to Malibu was going to be expensive? It was last Sunday that we visited The Getty Villa in Malibu, California for the second time.
The second time, you ask. Well, we had to go back and try out Ashton here, who hasn’t gone out much since his acquisition. But honestly, I just had to go back because the first shots I took of the Villa weren’t as good as I hoped it would be (I set the ISO to 1600 by accident and the photos didn’t really turn out as well as I hoped).
Moving on; The Getty Villa houses 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities, of which over 1,200 are currently on view as their permanent collection. They also have a wide variety of changing exhibits which ca be viewed in their six galleries. Currently on display are the first contemporary art project of the Villa; Jim Dine: Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets), and a trio of exhibitions that “explore issues surrounding the conservation and interpretation of ancient art;” Reconstructing Identity: A Statue of a God from Dresden, Fragment to Vase: Approaches to Ceramic Restoration, and The Getty Commodus: Roman Portraits and Modern Copies. Unfortunately, the Villa doesn’t allow photography on their changing exhibits but they do allow photography on their permanent collections.
Being in the Villa feels like you are in another era and being quite interested in this area myself; I loved it! The Villa is actually modeled after a first-century Roman country house, called the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy. The Villa dei Papiri was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, much of which remains unexcavated. I remember recalling a show in The History Channel about said eruption and how the people under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius where “preserved” by the ashes when it erupted; with many of the people frozen in mid-action. As I recall, much has not been excavated but they did say that many of the artifacts that they found there where well-preserved.
The Outer Peristyle of the Villa, is perhaps the most dramatic place to behold. It showcases a few busts placed strategically all over the place with two statues in the pool (the one pointing up one of my favorites as is Hermes, the messenger and the god of war). The columns lining the Outer Peristyle are what I imagined it would be back in the day.
Beside the Villa, there is also a garden that showcases various herbs and shrubs found in that era. A lot of water fountains and statues can also be found in the garden.
To see more photos click here.