2nd visit November 2012
The Getty Villa and ranch house was built by oil magnate J. Paul Getty who, according to our guide, never actually saw the Getty Villa as he was afraid to fly from his home in London. It was modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, an ancient Roman villa partially uncovered in Herculaneum. The J. Paul Getty Museum was opened here in 1974 but was closed in 1997 when that collection was moved to the Getty Center. It was reopened in 2006 as the Getty Villa with it's current collection of art and culture from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
Admission is free, there is an $15 charge per car. Reservations are MANDATORY and can be made on the attached website, you must have your timed ticket with you. Check out the various talks and events that are scheduled before you reserve or pick up a guide to the day's events when you arrive, there are several guided tours during the day, an architecture tour, a garden tour, a collection highlight tour, focus tours and spotlight talks given at various times during the day. We took the garden tour and were the only two on it, it was an interesting look at the layout and functionality of an Italian garden.
We enjoyed the current exhibit that runs through January 7, 2013, The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection. There are also lots of special events throughout the year, if you live near Los Angeles, you might want to get on their mailing list.
There a cafeteria if you need to get a bite to eat and a museum gift shop with some interesting gift items although like most museum shops tending to run to the expensive side.
This museum was built by Getty himself as a public showcase for his collection of art in the style of a Roman villa. However as the new getty Art center was developed this re-dedicated to display Getty's collection of Roman and Greek antiquities.
The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of Greece and Rome. The Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities are arranged by themes including Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos, Greek Women, and the Theater and Stories of the Trojan War, housed within Roman-inspired architecture and surrounded by Roman-style gardens.
The building itself is a re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. It also incorporates details from several other ancient sites. Admission is free but must be booked in advance either on the website or by phone. Parking is $8 per car.