Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getty Villa

Embarrassingly, I had not been to the reopened Getty Villa. How could I consider myself a museum person?! Sure, I was there back in the day, but it has been now more than five years since the renovations were completed. It was time to get my Villa on!

For some back story, the Getty Villa used to be THE Getty Museum. Then the huge Getty Center on Sepulveda opened in 1997, and the Villa was closed for renovations. The Villa's collections focus on Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities, while the Center's galleries contain a much wider range of artwork, including one of my faves, van Gogh's Irises.

First off, the Villa's grounds are stunning, with multiple pools, fountains, trees and flowers. One of my event planning friends was staging a dream wedding in her mind, considering the bride's entrance, where the guests would stand, and the bouquet toss. Statuary and more architectural details were spotted at every bat of the eye. Two others asked how employees got any work done with this vista each day. And just try to count the varieties of marble throughout the campus. So, of all the visuals I could have shared, why this one?

In the Myth and Mythology room, I found this statue of Orpheus. Per the label copy, "Orpheus, the son of Apollo (god of prophecy and music) and a Muse, was considered the most skilled singer in antiquity. Another adventure is alluded to here: Sailing with Jason and the Argonauts, Orpheus encounters the Sirens, mythical bird-women whose seductive singing lured sailors to their deaths. Orpheus rescued his companions with a song so beautiful that the Sirens despaired and threw themselves into the sea."

So it was the Jason and the Argonauts/Ray Harryhausen connection - at a place of such incredible beauty - that inspired this post. Maybe one day I'll mature, but don't count on it!

Click here to go to the Getty's Web site.

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