I may never finish all the Japan posts I’d like to make, and now I’ve gone and gone to California.

I’ve seen some very fine things.

And now I’ve gone, and been there, and come home;

It took three posts to look at what I flew over on the way to California. With this post, I’ll work backwards, showing some of what I saw while there…this post is about the morning of my last day, when I went to the Getty Villa museum and gardens.

Others have written so extensively about the place that I don’t have to duplicate those efforts.  Here is a small selection of images and a few musings.

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Architectural detail from the Villa. 

I had had no plans to visit the museum shop, but some glass works by David Royce caught my eye. I’m a sucker for colors, and a sucker for patterns, and a sucker for work created by talented and hardworking artisans.

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David Royce glass: Getty Museum Shop.

If the entire Getty Villa was empty a person could still be wowed.

I could have spent an hour in the staircase to the second floor of the villa, just taking in the aspects and details of the space.

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Getty Villa staircase. 

The grounds and gardens are spectacular. It’s hard to imagine the number of hours that have gone into building them. And they have to be maintained!

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Shiny Hermes. There’s no hat on him in this iteration, but he does have wings on his feet. 

There were some salvaged villa wall sections…frescoes…still colorful, two thousand years after they were made.

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The brush strokes in the frescoes were as fast and effective as any impressionist master’s. 

Mosaics were on the floors.

Mosaics were on the walls.

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Two burly guys and a burly bull. And a burly museum guard.  

In another room was another really really burly guy. The space and the light were great.

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The space and the light were great. I had no shame. I lay down on my back and wriggled around on the floor around the statue to get different angles. Nobody said boo. (It was California, after all.)  

In case after case were small objects.

Coins, ceramics, statuettes, glass, ceramics, and more.

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Lion’s head, thought to be part of a larger work, perhaps a bowl. 

Two thousand years ago, human civilizations were making incredible things.

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Virtuosic glassware. 

Here comes someone a-running….

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A horse head is a handle.

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Horse head key handle. Imagine holding that. How well it would fit in your palm.

This next work must have been a mask of some sort.

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Such contrast between the left side, which looks as if thousands upon thousands of hands have stroked it, and the right, which looks as though it has been untouched for eons. Maybe even buried. Why nine snakes? That’s odd. 

There was goldwork of exquisite skill.

The necklace above and the necklace below are a small fraction of what is there.

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The photographer reflects on astonishing ancient art.

I hope to return here some day, with more time to spend.

Thanks for coming along.

5 responses to “Getty-up!

    • Californians…aren’t they known for odd behaviors and for ignoring same? We nonCalifornians think CA is a strange other place. Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Everything loose rolls to the Coasts…”

      • Sadly, we all get that reputation. I am a native Californian, but could fit in just as well in Oklahoma. I might have said something about someone on the floor of a museum, or pretended to accidentally trip over him. We are known for crazy behavior, but I for one dislike it. It is offensively crazy at times. I could write a blog about it. For one (quick and brief) example; We outlawed smoking tobacco in public before everyone else, and were proud to do so – even though we are supposed to be liberal and allow people to make their own decisions on such matters. Anyone from Oregon who smokes tobacco in public will be publicly ridiculed and shamed! However, anyone who asks someone to extinguish smoldering stinky POT will be publicly scolded and shamed and reminded that “It is a plant!” (like poison hemlock perhaps?) I as SO sick of POT! I would not have a problem with other people using it if it did not affect me, but there is not escape from it, and no respect for those of us who do not want to inhale it. So, tobacco = BAD – pot = GOOD. I will never get it. I swear I want to make reusable grocery bags from harp seal fur.

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