mercredi 16 août 2006

No work = Lots of free time.

The entrance to the Villa.

It's not all sunning on the beach, shopping, and drinking for me, although it might seem that that's all I do. After all, I did visit the Hockney exhibit at LACMA yesterday (persuaded, perhaps, by the fact that my high school organised an alumnae event there and 1) it was free and 2) there was wine and hors d'oeuvres beforehand), and over the weekend, I finally got tickets to the Getty Villa, which reopened earlier this year after years and years of being shut down for renovations.

Detail of the ceiling above the entrance.

The last time I was there, I was in ninth grade, and we were on this class trip where we had to stay in this camp in Malibu (contrary to how that sounds, it was ROUGH and there were BUGS), and instead of going gleaning that day (the community service portion of the trip), we got to go to the Getty Villa because it had rained earlier and heaven forbid we glean in the mud. And then our teachers took our group to McDonalds and then we went to the beach.

These seats actually face the entrance, and I believe they might put on shows here, which is sort of cool.

Anyways. Point being, it's been over a decade since I've been back. And tickets are a bitch to get - I haven't the faintest idea how anyone got advance tickets, I guess I'm just not that special. Instead, I had to resort to getting up at 9am, logging onto the website, and hoping that there were tickets available for the same day. Which, luckily, there were the day we wanted to go.

Creepy statue in the inner peristyle. The white eyes freak me out.

The Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century house from Herculaneum. It houses the antiquities (that is, if they have any left after all the recent brouhaha), whereas the other Getty museum, overlooking the scenic and picturesque 405, houses everything else.

Fountain in the inner sanctum (or whatever part of the house that was, I forget now, but we can just call it the inner sanctum because that sounds good).

The villa really is pretty now, all spick-and-span and pretty and stuff. I like the way they've organised it now - it makes a lot more sense than previously, where from my recollection, things were just jumbled together.

This is actually the side of the Villa, although it does look like the front. Wouldn't that have been an awesome swimming pool?

We did go on the architecture tour. However, I'm not sure whether it was the curator who didn't know anything or whether there just wasn't that much to say about the building, because the architecture tour was rather disappointing and I actually remembered a lot of the same stuff from our 9th grade trip. It wasn't like the architecture tour at the other Getty museum, where they talk about Meier's vision and personal space and angles and all the cool stuff. This one was like a short talk on ancient Roman architecture scaled down for dummies. I could have gotten way more doing a Google search.

Left: Actually, I think this is some guy taking a picture of a statue behind the light screen. There were large foam props (helmets, swords) that kids could use to create their own scene. Right: Paper and crayons were provided so you could create your own vase rubbing.

I actually thought that one of the best parts of the museum was the interactive family centre, where you can draw your own Roman designs on pots, do crayon rubbings, and reenact a scene behind a big light screen. It's often really hard to keep children engaged in museums, and I think that this is a nice way to do so, by allowing them to digest what they've seen by becoming a part of it. Scaffolding is good. Ack! Crap I'm learning at school is getting to me!

Same garden/pool as pictured above, but from a different angle.

The gardens are really pretty. Luckily, it also was a really nice day - not too hot, not too cold, LITTLE humidity - perfect LA weather. Every time I think about moving, I have to wonder why I would when the climate here can't be beat.

View from the walk from the parking lot (to your bottom right) to the museum. That other building on the left, which you can see from the PCH, is actually a private residence even though it freaking looks like a gorgeous villa and all.

Even though it can be a pain to get tickets, I think it's totally worth a visit (although I'll still be more inclined to take visitors to the other Getty museum - better views of LA, though looking out at the ocean isn't half-bad). Limited numbers of tickets also mean guaranteed parking spots and a not overly-crowded museum, which makes the entire experience that much better.