Getty Villa

Home to the Getty’s antiquities collection, housed in a re-created Roman villa overlooking the Pacific

Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Education

Reclining and Dining (and Drinking) in Ancient Rome

A Roman Feast / Roberto Bompiani

The ancient Greeks had a recumbent approach to their (male-only) dinner parties, as I discussed in a previous post: elite men reclined, propped on pillows, to drink, converse, and—sometimes—overindulge. The practice of reclining and dining continued into ancient Rome, but… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Education

Lindsey Davis on Writing the Ancient World

Novelist Lindsey Davis at the Getty Villa

Novelist Lindsey Davis has devoted her career to entertaining readers with zesty whodunits set in ancient Rome. Famed for her ability to evoke ancient life down to its sounds and smells, as well as for her clever plots full of… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities

What Did Ancient Music Sound Like?

Sarcophagus with Scenes of Bacchus / Roman

Ancient works of art illustrate that music had a strong presence in daily life of classical Greece and Rome. Vase paintings and sculptures in the antiquities collection offer an eye-opening view of the variety of musical instruments that were played, as… More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Education

Reclining and Dining (and Drinking) in Ancient Greece

Getty Villa docent Don Petersen reclines on his left side, elbow raised on a stack of pillows, with his right knee bent. He holds a skyphos, a common stemless drinking cup.

Elite Greeks and Romans reclined to dine, and ordinary people copied them when they could. Although the practice seems strange to us, it must have been both comfortable and convenient, since reclining during meals spread throughout the Mediterranean and survived… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Education

Backyard Archaeology at the Villa Ranch House

Site of a training excavation at the Getty Villa for students in the UCLA/Getty conservation program

Students in the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program recently dug up ancient wall paintings buried on the grounds of the Getty Villa. Not real ones, of course—it was all part of a classroom exercise for us conservators-in-training to better understand how conservation… More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Art, J. Paul Getty Museum

Sleeping with Aphrodite

Relief with a Man and a Siren / Roman

One of the most enjoyable aspects of curating an exhibition is serendipity. Not to say these projects aren’t carefully planned (far from it), but sometimes the physical relationship of two artworks will coincide in an unexpectedly fortuitous way, or a… More»

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Also posted in Antiquities, Behind the Scenes, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Imagine a Teenager’s Museum

Teenage apprentices discuss the Roman marble of Leda and the Swan in the Temple of Herakles at the Getty Villa

I have the pleasure of running the Getty Villa Teen Apprentice Program (ViTA). Each year our goal is to open the museum from top to bottom to young people interested in the arts and introduce them to the variety of… More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes

Unmasking Scandal at Villa Theater Lab

unmasking_scandal

Villa Theater Lab invites performers to work in residence at the Getty Villa for two weeks, workshopping new theater pieces and presenting them in four performances over a single weekend. For the past two weeks, Rogue Artists Ensemble has been… More»

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Also posted in Gardens and Architecture

Seeing the Villa Gardens in a Different Light

The East Garden at the Getty Villa at dusk

Long evenings and bright sun are taking the place of early dusks and sprinkling rains: spring is here. At the Getty Villa, the light is brilliant even at closing time for a final stroll around the gardens, framing the museum… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Eros, the Naughty Superhero of Love

Eros Wearing a Lionskin / Greek

Did you receive a Valentine’s card today? Take a second look at those cartoon Cupids. They derive, in their own way, from ancient Greece and Rome, but might not be so cute as they first appear. Then as now, Cupid’s… More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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