Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getty Villa

Since my birthday (the 13th) was on a Monday - - the first Monday of my Fall term, in fact - - we celebrated by going out the weekend before. J had never been to the Getty Villa, so we went there.

The Villa was closed in 1997 for renovations, which took quite some time.
J goes, "What do you mean, 'closed for quite some time'? How long can renovations take?"
Me: "Um, I think maybe 9 or 10 years. They moved the collection to the Getty Center."
Him: "Boy, maybe they weren't working very quickly."

All this construction skepticism faded away once we got there. The architecture is fantastic and lovely, and the gardens - like those at the Getty Center - are a joy to be in. You could spend more time wandering through the buildings and marveling at the details than actually looking (or poking, as the case might be) at the art.

We were deliberate in going through all the rooms, to make sure we didn't miss anything. The first room was the Family Forum. Normally we speed right through those - either too many screaming kids running around or just not quite engaging for people over the age of, let's say, 5. I was skeptical, ready to breeze through it.

I have to say that the Getty sure got it right, though.

From their website:

'Step into a scene from an ancient vase in the shadow-pose area, where you can transform yourself into an athlete, musician, or even a monster and act out your own original stories.
[We saw several groups of adults act out scenes with the props they had. What a hoot!]

Explore vase-painting techniques used by ancient craftsmen in the vase-decorating area, where you can rub patterns off designs inspired by ancient examples or draw on life-sized replicas of ancient vases.'

So they have dry erase markers and life-sized vases to draw on. Oh my. We plunked ourselves right down there on those teeny little chairs, not worrying about making all the precious antiquities in the other rooms wait (heck, they've been waiting a long time, being antiquities and all. Another 10 minutes wouldn't hurt) and drew:

Mine. Note that the guy stick figure has very hunky biceps. Yes, indeed.


He teaches calculus. Does it show?


Hashi said...

Happy birthday! I love the Villa too :-)