Before the grandiose Getty Center of Santa Monica made its appearance in 1993 showcasing a huge collection of arts owned by the late oil tycoon / art enthusiast J. Paul Getty, there was the smaller first cousin that first built in 1954 at the heart of Pacific Palisades, the Getty Villa. Built to replicate the classic Greek architectural designs, it Had undergone extensive renovation following the completion of its larger more modern cousin and currently houses the arts and artifacts of ancient Greece and Rome and the Etruria from the prehistoric Archaic period to the Hellenistic and beyond before the Middle Ages. It is situated atop of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean right off the PCH.
On the particular day I went it was gloomy and drizzly, so the wet roads made for a treacherous ride, on top of the often notorious L.A. traffic jam, but otherwise it would made a pretty good drive along the California coast.
If you are into all things Greek and/or Roman then you should give this place a peek. I myself was a sucker for all things Greek back in grade school, especially the myths and legends about the gods and goddesses and heroes, which of course play a huge role in the arts culture. Every room is organized by different themes and time periods of which the exhibits represent, such as the Bronze Age, the Greco-Roman Arts, Gods and Goddesses, Funerary, and Mythologies.
The outdoor gardens are piece of art of its own. I can see Mr. Getty was also a Greek/Roman freak like I am.
After finishing the day with a cup of latte and a giant rice Krispy bar I take a nice scenic detour down the storied Sunset Bolevard since the PCH was undergoing some major road work and so the highway is pretty backed up. It’s pretty windy (wine-dy) so you have to keep your eyes fixed on the road unless you’ve already signed a death warrant. You’ll pass through some nice neighborhoods like Bel Air and Brentwood Village with houses you could only dream about (and if you’re super lucky just maybe spot your favorite star strolling down the street).
For more info about the Villa and its larger cousin in adjacent Santa Monica area, visit http://www.getty.edu/.
Tune in for another Field Trip Day review soon from Yours Truly. Have nice day! 🙂