Malibu Seen: Open at Last

The Getty Villa has grand new exhibits and is definitely worth time for the trek.

High on a hill above Malibu is a true treasure that lets you go back in time. The Getty Villa is open again after shutting its grand gates to the public in 2020.

The museum sprang back to life with several exciting exhibitions beginning with “Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins,” which runs through Aug. 16, 2021. 

Mesopotamia, called the land “between the rivers” in modern day Iraq, was home to the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Among their many achievements are the creation of the earliest known script, the formation of the first cities, the development of advanced astronomical and mathematical knowledge, and spectacular artistic and literary accomplishments. 

The exhibition covers three millennia, from the first cities in about 3200 BC to Alexander the Great’s conquest of Babylon in 331 BC.

The historical magic continues with “Assyria: The Palace Art of Ancient Iraq.” The exhibit runs from April 21, 2021, to Sept 2, 2022.

“Assyrian kings in the ninth to seventh centuries BC decorated their palaces with masterful relief sculptures that represent a high point of Mesopotamian art, both for their artistic quality and sophistication and for their vivid depictions of warfare, rituals, mythology, hunting, and other aspects of Assyrian court life,” the museum wrote. “The importance of these ancient treasures has only increased with the recent destruction, by ISIS, of many of the reliefs that remained in Iraq.”

J. Paul Getty started collecting antiquities in Rome in 1939 and over the years put together an exquisite collection centering on Greek and Roman marble statues and reliefs, bronze statuettes and mosaics. The growing collection was housed at his Malibu ranch house and made available for public viewing beginning in 1954, but the growth of the collection called for a larger space, leading him to design and construct a full-scale replica of the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum. 

The masterworks are on special loan from the British Museum, London.

So, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience offering Greek and Roman art, a trip back in time, tranquil gardens, a Roman style pool and ocean breezes.

Reservations are required. 


The Getty Villa:

17985 Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Palisades, Calif.