|Subject: Re: Reopened Getty villa|
Tory et al,
The original Getty Museum, now known as the Getty Villa, re- opened Jan 28. I went on Feb 2.
The photos are at http://www.pbase.com/wwll/thegettyvilla
The building is a copy of a Roman villa near Naples and it was covered by a volcanic eruption. The villa was owned by a Roman Consul. The villa was intended to impress his guests by his wealth and taste.
We now enter by the formal entrance. One sees marble on the floor, a roof opening that allows collection of rain water and side rooms which now houses the Getty's Antiquities collection. Then one enters the Inner Peristyle Garden, complete with fountains and statutes. One looks straight through to the East Garden, for women and children. There is a mosaic statute there.
What used to be the entrance is the dining area in the original villa. It opens out to the main Peristyle garden and the long mountain. In Roman times there might be fish in the fountain and one might swim in it! In an effort to give an idea of life in Roman times, there is an herb garden with plants that grew in the region.
This is the only museum dedicated to Antiquities in the USA. The collection is mostly Greek, Roman and Etruscan pieces. A centerpiece is the Victorious Youth, in its own climate controlled room. There is also a statute of Herakles (Hercules) in a room with a mosaic floor of over 4000 pieces. The statute stands on an earthquake isolator. The oldest pieces are from Cyprus, over 8000 years old. The displays are thematic, so there is a room devoted to the Trojan War, another to jewelry, etc. Special exhibitions are on the second floor. Right now there are some wonderful old photographs of sites in Greece and Egypt.
The Villa has been improved. The displays are well done. I think it is now less intimate.
There is a cafe serving Italian cuisine. The servings are very small. I suggest packing your own. Admission is by free tickets. Parking is $7. As of early February 2006, no tickets are available through July.
Bill in Southern California