Los Angeles, CA

What Is the Getty Villa Famous For?

Mark Star

Becca Lofchie/Unsplash

It is a perfect tourist attraction in Los Angeles.

The Getty Villa is one of the major tourist attractions in Los Angeles, California, the United States. It is at the easterly end of the Malibu coast and is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of culture and art of ancient Rome, Etruria, and Greece.

If you have never been there, let me tell you that the Getty Villa has more than 40,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD. Some of the best examples are the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. Besides, the UCLA/Getty Master's Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation can be found there.

The Rich History of the Getty Villa

The Getty Villa has great historical value. In 1954, J. Paul Getty opened a gallery adjacent to his home in Pacific Palisades. After some time, he decided to build a museum. He called it the Getty Villa and built it on the property down the hill from the original gallery.

The design of this villa was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. It incorporated unique details from other ancient sites and was designed by Robert E. Langdon, Jr., and Ernest C. Wilson, Jr. When the Getty Villa was being designed and built, the two architects remained in touch with archeologist Norman Neuerburg.

It was opened in 1974, but Getty could not visit it. In 1976, he passed away, and after his death, the museum inherited more than $660 million. It was planned on a larger campus, the Getty Center. In order to fulfill the total space requirements of the museum, the Getty Villa was split between two locations housing the Roman, Greek, and Etruscan antiquities.

In 2004, its renovation was started and the museum was reopened in 2006. The art has been arranged by different themes like Dionysos and the Theater, Stories of the Trojan War, and Gods and Goddesses.

Different Types of Exhibitions

I suggest you head to the second floor to explore temporary exhibitions featuring works of art from museums across the globe and Getty's own collections. The current exhibitions include Silk and Swan Feathers: A Luxurious 18th-Century Armchair, Artists as Collectors, Power, Justice, and Tyranny in the Middle Ages, and J. Paul Getty Life and Legacy. The Getty Villa is also hosting Assyria: Palace Art of Ancient Iraq, and Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins. The first exhibition will last till September 5, 2022, and the second one will end on August 16, 2021.

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