Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Time Required: Short Activity
20 minutes
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff

Activity Overview

In this pre-visit activity, students watch a video that introduces the history, collections, and setting of the Getty Villa. As a re-imagination of the ancient Villa dei Papiri that was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the Getty Villa provides a context and setting for the collection of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art, bringing it to life. Students are encouraged to share their observations and personal reactions to what they see in the video.

Learning Objectives

Students watch a pre-visit video and discuss their expectations for their visit to the Getty Villa.


History of the Getty Villa Video (grades K-12, running time 12 minutes)
Background Information about the J. Paul Getty Museum information sheet

Activity Steps

1. Ask your students what they think they will see or experience when they visit the Museum. List their responses on the board.

2. View the video History of the Getty Villa as a class.

3. Ask students to reconsider their list. After watching the video, ask the following questions:
• Does the list need to be revised?
• What was the most exciting part of the video?
• What did you learn about the Getty Villa?
• How will visiting the Getty differ from other field trips you have taken?

Getty Villa Inner Peristyle
Inner Peristyle of the Getty Villa, Malibu. © 2005 Richard Ross with the courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust