The Getty Villa

Getty Villa Fountainhead

Getty Villa Fountainhead

Nestled among olive trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean is The Getty Villa. Located in Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles), a visitor is magically transported from the California joggers and surfers of the day, back to ancient times.


A museum celebrating the Mediterranean world, it highlights the ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans.  There is no entry fee.


Central Courtyard. Courtesy Wikipedia.

J. Paul Getty (1892-1976), an American oil tycoon, purchased this 64 acre site near Malibu in 1945, and in 1954 opened the J. Paul Getty Museum.


Main Courtyard. Courtesy Wikipedia

He eventually built this facility, extravagantly renovated in 2006.  Resembling an Italian villa, it is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house in Herculaneium that was buried by the Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD.


When Getty’s personal art collection became too extensive to be housed here, it was split into two locations.  The rest of his collection is at the Getty Center in Brentwood (L.A.).


Getty Villa Cyrus Cylinder

Cyrus Cylinder. Contains ancient text from 539 BC declaring the importance of human rights and tolerance. On loan from British Museum.

The Getty Villa art collection is impressive with 44,000 antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD.


Getty Villa info here.  Cyrus Cylinder info here.


Getty Villa Frieze

Getty Villa Frieze


Outdoor Greek Theatre

Outdoor Greek Theatre

There is also a 450-seat outdoor Greek theater.  Here they host live performances, films, concerts, and festivals.  It is built into the hillside with tiers of benches, based on the architecture of the ancient Greeks.


More about the remarkable designs and acoustics of the ancient Greek theaters at My Space in the Immense Universe, presented by Greek resident and enthusiast, and fellow friend and blogger, Doda.


Getty Villa ocean view

Getty Villa ocean view

How fortunate to have the opportunity to peruse this extensive collection, embracing the ancient Greek and Roman antiquities.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander unless otherwise noted


45 thoughts on “The Getty Villa

  1. Good afternoon, Jet. This is a place I have wanted to visit for sometime….and I would love nothing more than going to one of the concerts in the outdoor theatre…it looks wonderful. What a legacy Getty has left us all. As always, thank you so much for this interesting post, and hope that your Monday is going well. Janet.:)

    • You are so right, Janet — Getty left us an incredible legacy. And how amazing that this entire complex has free admission. I hope some day you do have the chance to visit, but until then, I am delighted you were aware of this museum, and had a chance to enjoy it here today. Thanks so very much, Janet. 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Getty Villa | Aimee's Reads

  3. Wow! Great photos of an over the top place. Reminds me of the Vanderbilt mansions. Enjoyed the tour as I have never been even though everyone else in my family has. I get too distracted by Big Sur.

    • It’s quite astounding, Cindy. I’ve heard the Getty Center is also terrific, and I hope to visit that someday. So many places to see in this world! And I’m much like you in that the natural outdoors has such a strong pull on me. I save museums for the winter, which helps. Thanks so much. 🙂

    • And the outdoors here is truly magical, Sue. Even beyond the wonderful landscaping, the complex is quietly removed from the hustle of the Pacific Highway; and the sun and warmth is Mediterranean-like, inviting. I spotted numerous birds as we wandered around too. Thanks so much, Sue – always a treat to have you visit. 🙂

  4. What an interesting place! It’s now been added to our wish list…need to get on with it! Thanks for this, love learning about Ancient Greece and Rome, and this museum/replica looks amazing.

    • Next time you’re in the LA area, Adam, you and Mrs. PC should check it out. A teacher would love the full education one can get here. Thank you, as always, so very much. 😀

    • I am not surprised that you, Indah, the underwater goddess, would be thinking about the pool for training. ha. So glad to hear from you — I’m thinking of you up there in Minnesota. I watched the very frigid Vikings playoff game…brrrr. Hope you are staying warm~~ 🙂

  5. Oh, my good friend Jet,I started slowly visiting my favourite blogs again and I left a comment on your “Holiday Cheer” post with my best wishes for a Happy,Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
    And then, while checking out to see what I have missed from your recent posts,there was a big surprise for me to see your work on “Getty Villa” and all the ancient world of Greece and Rome brought down to Los Angeles!Most remarkable work with lovely photos and captivating details.Why thank you dear Jet for your references to Epidaurus Theatre and my related post!It was so very kind of you to mention it.Only people like you,learned and intellectual,could have appreciated it.The Getty Villa Frieze and the outdoor Greek Theatre overlooking an olive grove facing the ocean made me feel at home … Thank for this magnificent post,for everything dear friend Jet 🙂

    • hee hee, I surprised you, dear Doda! I think your Epidaurus Theatre post is truly remarkable, and was so happy I could post a link to it in this post. Of course Calif. can’t hold a candle to the real thing in Greece, but the Getty Villa comes close. I am very glad your catch-up started with the more recent post first, and I am glad you found it and I could surprise you. Dear Doda, such a joy it is to share your work, and Getty’s collection too. Life is full of fortune. 😀 😀

  6. OK…now I have to visit..our LA daughter keeps bugging us every time we go over to see her, that this is a must see…never seem to find the time…I have now been inspired to find the time! Great Post!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s