Antiquities

COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

J. Paul Getty started acquiring antiquities in Rome in 1939 and subsequently built an important collection concentrating on Greek and Roman marble statues and reliefs, bronze statuettes, and mosaics. These works were kept in 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 new museum opened in 1974, and Getty felt the need to expand the scope of its displays, adding ancient Roman frescoes, Greek painted pottery, and other objects. After his death in 1976, museum curators added significantly to the collection, which now includes important Greek vases, engraved gems, Romano-Egyptian mummy portraits, ancient glass, carved ambers, silver vessels, and gold jewelry.

The earliest objects are Neolithic clay figurines, dating back to the sixth millennium BC, and marble vessels and figurines from the Cycladic islands and Cyprus, dating from the Bronze Age. There are also significant holdings of Greek bronzework, sculpture from southern Italy, and an original Greek bronze statue of the Hellenistic period known as The Victorious Youth.

The Antiquities collection is on view year-round at the Getty Villa.

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CONTACT INFO

antiquities@getty.edu

RECENT ACQUISITIONS

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CURRENTFUTURE EXHIBITIONS

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RESEARCH PROJECTS

Ancient Lamps in the J. Paul Getty Museum
Presenting ancient lamps from the Getty’s largely unpublished collection, this extensive catalogue is an invaluable resource for specialists in lychnology, art history, and archaeology alike.

Cult Statue of a Goddess (PDF; 44pp.; 2.3 MB)
Summary of proceedings from the Workshop on the Cult Statue of a Goddess held at the Getty Villa in 2007.

FEATURED VIDEO

The ancient Egyptians developed a sophisticated method to preserve a dead body for the afterlife: mummification. Follow the steps of the mummification process in this short animation about the Getty Museum's Romano-Egyptian mummy Herakleides.

Watch more videos about the Collection

CURATORIAL STAFF

Jeffrey Spier

Senior Curator / Department Head

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Alexis Belis

Assistant Curator

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Jens Daehner

Associate Curator

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Mary Louise Hart

Associate Curator

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Kenneth Lapatin

Curator

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Claire Lyons

Curator

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David Saunders

Associate Curator

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Jeffrey Spier

Senior Curator / Department Head

Bio +
Alexis Belis

Assistant Curator

Bio +
Jens Daehner

Associate Curator

Bio +
Mary Louise Hart

Associate Curator

Bio +
Kenneth Lapatin

Curator

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Claire Lyons

Curator

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David Saunders

Associate Curator

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ABOUT THE GETTY VILLA

The Antiquities collection is displayed at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Opened in 1974, the building is a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, a Roman country house that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Remodeled in 2006, the surrounding gardens are planted with species known from the ancient Mediterranean.

The Outdoor Classical Theater hosts a production each fall, while innovative reinterpretations of ancient plays occur throughout the year as part of the Villa Theater Lab program. In addition to regular public lectures by eminent archaeologists and art historians, the Villa also welcomes visiting scholars as part of the Getty Research Institute’s Classical World in Context project.