The Getty Villa in Los Angeles

I’m finally back on my feet and once again enjoying the glorious blue skies we’ve been having here in Tokyo. This great weather also reminds me of California and how I need to get all my posts up. So here we go.

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. Β (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:

The Getty Villa is operated by the J. Paul Getty Trust.

I love the bold colors. This was the entrance of the museum and the start of the tour.
The colorfully decorated ceiling of the gallery inside the Villa.

Various busts placed around the gallery.
I felt like my skirt matched the floor a bit.

The central courtyard, which I think was my favorite part of the museum.

We were given earpieces so we could hear the tour guide speaking while we walked around.Β 

Even if you don’t take a tour, you can read the information displayed about each piece like this.

The statues of women with the slightly creepy eyes made from stone and glass.

These statues were replicas of statues found inΒ Villa dei Papiri.
We learned that Greeks and Romans were all about symmetry.

R and his sister S, who also lives in LA πŸ˜€
The details in the design were mind blowing.
The art pieces were displayed in various places around the villa, this was my favorite.

The marble floor with the intricate design.

There were a lot of different plants throughout the whole estate.

Don’t worry we were still listening to the tour while we took a selfie!

A statue of a man enjoying laying out under the sun…he was beautifully naked.

The main courtyard had a long reflecting pool.

The windows along the courtyard all had different designs. Again, so much detail.
Even the fountains were fancy with faces of people or animals shooting water from their mouths.

Subtle hints of fall in the garden grape vines.

Another quirky fountain…don’t you love it?
It really was a beautiful day to take the architectural tour with these two!
Crushing hard on California with all its beauty. x

13 thoughts on “The Getty Villa in Los Angeles”

  1. Glad you're feeling better! ^^ Just in time to enjoy the sunny skies after a rather blah cloudy start to autumn.

    “Ignoring the art and think, ooh the wood floor here is gorgeous. (I know, I'm an idiot.)” That makes two of us. I usually notice the flowers outside the museum. πŸ˜‰

    PS: More gorgeous smiles. Your friends really do have the best smiles.


  2. Thank you Ru! I completely jinxed myself when I said we're having blue skies…the wind is howling outside! (Which I also kind of love)

    PS: My friends all have to go through a smile audition…j/k ;D


  3. It was so pretty there and we only took the architectural tour so there was much much more to see. I want to go back some day, too!

    PS: Make sure you make a reservation before you go online. It's free but you need a reservation πŸ™‚


  4. I read the same quote and felt, “The Setouchi would be sad”. 😦 But then again, I know the feeling as I felt the same before and if I remember correctly, you liked the Setouchi Triennale, didn't you? I wonder what David from would say. πŸ˜‰

    PS: Japanese art is more interesting than western art.

    PPS: What about Hiroshi Sambuichi? I loved his gallery on Inujima and the temporary exhibit on Naoshima. I so want to go to Rokko-san now:


  5. This was a fun post. Love the photos! The statues were indeed creepy. The eyes were creepy. Wish I could see it someday. Will have to wait a long time though. 😦


  6. I guess I should have said, there are times I don't recognize fine art or contemporary art or whatever else kind of art there are. I always feel like an idiot when I'm at a museum and everyone seems to know what they're looking at…and I'm there thinking, what??? ;D

    That's not to say that I don't appreciate art at all. I LOVED various art displays at Ogijima. I definitely had an amazing time there. So I guess I should have just said that when it comes to art, I like what I like. And now that I've said that, that's probably true for pretty much everyone. haha.

    PS: Japanese art is more interesting than western art? Well, I'm sure that depends on the person! ;D

    PPS: I don't recognize that name but that observatory at night looks amazing!


  7. You'll definitely have to go see this place, I bet you'd like it. We only saw a part of the museum but it was fascinating. I need to go back and stroll through all the art displays next time. Also want to go to the other Getty Museum, too! πŸ˜€


  8. Maybe I read your comments too quickly. I do understand that knowing more about the art is important, but I also feel that if you need to be told what it means, it loses a lot. If you can appreciate art at first blush, then I am happy. When you learn more about what the artist did, then I can appreciate it a lot more. I'm not a fan of piling a bunch of sugar packs on top of each other and calling it art… …

    PS: Yes, it does depend on the person. But I'm biased. πŸ˜‰


  9. No no, its probably my lack of writing skills, which is why I mostly stick to just showing pictures! haha.

    And you're right, I think that when there is a type of art that speaks to you, you connect with it instantly. That's why there are so many differential types of art, right? Because different people connect with different types of art πŸ™‚


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