One of the things I love about my friend R is his sense of adventure. It was his idea for us to go to The Getty Villa, which I’d never heard of before. When I asked him what was there, his answer was “I don’t know, we’ll find out when we get there!” How ’bout that?
Well, what we found was an amazing museum!
The Getty Villa was originally the home of J. Paul Getty, a very rich industrialist. He was a collector of art and antiques and in 1954, he opened part of his home as a private museum. As collections tend to be, it grew. So he built a separate museum on his 64-acre property and it officially opened to the public in 1974. But Mr. Getty, who had moved to England in the 50s, never had the chance to visit the museum for himself before passing away in 1976.
In 1997 the museum closed for renovations and reopened in 2006 as a museum and educational center dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. That means that The Getty Villa provides a variety of lectures, performances, and tours, which we definitely took advantage of. We were just in time to take the last tour of the day, and we chose (or I chose…hehe) the architecture tour. Our guide taught us about the history of the museum architecture, which was designed after a first century Roman country house, and how the ancient Romans used to live.
I personally am not a big art person. I’m the girl that goes to art galleries and thinks, what is that? Or, I could probably make that. Or even ignoring the art and think, ooh the wood floor here is gorgeous. (I know, I’m an idiot.) But when you have a tour guide explaining the meaning and history of the art piece, it suddenly becomes part of a story and I am fascinated. I loved the tour and I’m really glad we we got to visit The Getty Villa.
Here are some photos: