How did the Getty Villa evolve from a private estate to a beloved Los Angeles institution? Let’s travel back through the past 50 years to find out why J. Paul Getty wanted to build the villa, what (mean) critics thought of it, and what exhibitions, conservation projects, and theater productions keep staff busy.
J. Paul Getty, about 1942. Institutional Archives, Getty Research Institute
How photographing the dead helped celebrate life
How do we remember what our loved ones looked like after they’re gone? For much of history, it was through capturing their likeness shortly after their passing. In antiquity, the famous, rich, and privileged had death masks commissioned by local artists at great expense. In the 19th century, the invention of photography made remembering loved ones after death a more accessible practice—and post-mortem photography boomed.
Portrait of a Bearded Man (detail), 100 CE, Romano-Egyptian. Tempera on wood. Getty Museum
Did you know you can download Getty art for free?
At the Getty Villa Museum and Getty Center, we have thousands of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks in our galleries. But did you know we have even more artwork online? Our digital Museum Collection holds many more images of art owned by Getty. (Find a new screensaver for the new year?)
Gazing at Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh. Oil on canvas. Getty Museum
A glimpse into Roman military life
The scale and organization of the Roman army was unprecedented in the ancient Western world, leading to it becoming the West’s first permanent, pensionable military profession. The Roman army created an avenue for noncitizens to gain enfranchisement, build wealth, and advance their social standing. Legion: Life in the Roman Army explores the lives of individual soldiers and their families.
Join the Troubies, masters of musical mirth, for a family-friendly, song-filled sojourn with classic characters from antiquity at their Valentine’s presentation of Cupid’s Eros. See Medusa and Perseus, Achilles and Patroclus, Pandora and her Box, Polyphemus and Sheep, and sing and dance for a chance at romance!
Sometimes a window frames a view just so, turning it into a work of art. Case in point: this shot of Saint Petersburg, Russia, taken by Get Inspired subscriber Adrian Constant.
“My apartment has views over the Neva River to some of the most famous landmarks and palaces in the city,” Constant tells us. “I took this particular photo in the early afternoon of January 1, when the temperature was -27° C [-16.6° F]. The cold always creates unusual light. The softness of the low sunlight and the cold air created this painterly effect.”
Have a window-framed scene “hanging” on your wall? Did you snap one somewhere else? Send us the photo! Include your name, camera used, location, and anything else you’d like to share. email@example.com