Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Getty While the Getty’s Good

Over the weekend, Pipi and I undertook a whirlwind trip to L.A. We got there at lunchtime Saturday, and were home for lunch Sunday. The purpose of the trip was to have an early Thanksgiving dinner with Pipi’s parents, brothers, and cousins, not all of whom could get together Thursday.

In the afternoon, we all went to the Getty Villa in Malibu, which is full of Greek and Roman antiquities. The orientation film they show implies that Getty picked up all this stuff on his travels when he was a college student at Oxford, but it seems the truth is not so simple. I’m glad I got to see this art before it has to go back to Europe.

Actually, now that I think about it, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. The grounds are very impressive. The building isn’t old, but it was constructed to replicate an ancient villa that was destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius. It’s quite impressive, with an enormous outdoor pool, and herb gardens, and orchards, all at the bottom of a canyon. The placement at the bottom of a ravine is meant to suggest an archeological dig. It’s quite a sight, and I think that years from now I will probably remember the museum itself better than the art in it. (Interestingly, I have this same problem with the new Getty Center. I was there a couple of years ago, and I must have seen an exhibit, but all I remember now is the amazing view of all of Los Angeles.)

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