Getty Villa

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

Also posted in Antiquities, Architecture and Design, Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

Ancient Sicilian Coins: Miniature Masterpieces, Full-Scale Challenges

Coin with Nike Driving a Four-Horse Chariot
Royal Library of Belgium—Coin Cabinet

The designer of the Sicily exhibition at the Getty Villa reveals the challenges of displaying small, double-sided, intricate objects—coins. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Education, Voices

Getty Voices: Digging the Sacred

Engraved Gem (Snake-legged Creature)
Engraved gem with snake-legged creature, Unknown, Roman, 200 - 400 A.D., The J. Paul Getty Museum.

“I can really appreciate the ancient system where borrowing, amalgamating, and generally mixing it up was perfectly acceptable.” More»

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

An Ancient Curse Revealed

Curse Tablet / found in Morgantina, Sicily
Curse Tablet, about 100 B.C., found in Morgantina, Sicily. Lead, 3 11/16 x 1 13/16 in. (9.4 x 4.6 cm). Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone

One small but powerful object stands out among the artifacts excavated from the ancient city of Morgantina in central Sicily, now on loan to the Getty Villa from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone and on view in Gallery 104…. More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Seven Ways of Seeing “Lion Attacking a Horse”

Lion Attacking a Horse / Greek
Lion Attacking a Horse, Greek, 325–300 B.C.; restored in Rome in 1594. Marble, 150 x 250 cm. Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Roma Capitale—Musei Capitolini

In August, the Greek sculpture Lion Attacking a Horse flew over the back wall of the Getty Villa and took up residence in our Atrium. We have now lived with the sculpture for over three months, and are already lamenting… More»

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

Conserving the Berthouville Treasure

Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure
Early 20th-century print of silver vessel number 11 from the Berthouville Treasure. Plate XV in Ernest Babelon, Le trésor d'argenterie de Berthouville près Bernay (Eure) (Paris, 1916). The Getty Research Institute, 2908-151

Conservation treatment represents an important moment in the life of an object, and this is particularly true for the Berthouville Treasure, an extraordinary group of Gallo-Roman silver that arrived at the Getty Villa two years ago. In collaboration with the… More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations

A Virtual Model of the Villa dei Papiri

Side view of the virtual-reality model of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum

The exhibition Inside Out: Pompeian Interiors Exposed at the Italian Cultural Institute includes a virtual-reality model of the Villa dei Papiri (Villa of the Papyri) in Herculaneum that I recently developed at UCLA’s Experiential Technologies Center with support from the Friends… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, J. Paul Getty Museum

A Roman Emperor Sojourns at the Getty Villa

Wheeling the Statue of Tiberius from the loading dock at the Getty VIlla

The Roman emperor Tiberius, who ruled from A.D. 14 to 37, has something of a reputation for wanting to get away from it all. In 6 B.C., he stepped out of the political and military arena and settled for seven… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Overpromise, Lie, and Other Questionable Political Advice from 64 B.C.

Portrait of Marcus Tullius Cicero with political campaign button

If Karl Rove had lived in ancient Rome, he might have written something like Commentariolum Petitiones, a down-and-dirty electioneering guide from 64 B.C. just published in English by Princeton University Press as How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for… More»

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Also posted in Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum

“The Last Days of Pompeii” and the Archaeology of Imagination

The Forum at Pompeii with Vesuvius in the Distance / Christen Schjellerup Kobke

Having traveled to countless archaeological excavations—and heard, overheard, or given tours at archaeological sites from diverse cultures—I am often struck by what narratives about the ancient world grab people’s imagination. Whether it be hair-raising mythological stories brought to life by… More»

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Also posted in Ancient World, Antiquities, Art, Education

Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, and Why Your Kids Need to Know Classical Culture

A family visiting the Getty Villa explores ancient art, history, and mythology through frescoes from the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum.
Mosaic with boxers: A scene from the Aenied in which two boxers fight to a bloody end for the watching crowd. (The J. Paul Getty Museum, 71.AH.106)

The adventure and derring-do of ancient myth is an easy sell to kids, and parents too for that matter. But I believe your kids need to know more. More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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