Grades/Level: High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, History–Social Science, Science, Mathematics
Time Required: Single Class Lesson
One short pre-visit activity, a one-hour activity for your visit to the Getty Villa, and ideas for post-visit activities
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education staff

Activity Overview

garden sculpture, Getty Villa

Use this activity for visiting the Getty Villa's grounds and gardens. Students explore the Villa gardens, looking closely at the garden sculpture and reflecting on its meaning and use.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• discuss various roles of gardens in antiquity.
• understand that gardens serve many purposes in ancient and modern architecture.
• explain thematic connections between a sculpture placed in a garden and the function of that garden.


Download the documents below to use for your pre-visit activity, visit to the Villa (student worksheet), and post-visit activity. Links to images of works of art that students will see at the Villa are also provided.

Activity Steps

Follow the steps below to make the most of your Villa visit.

  1. Download the pre-visit activity, above, and use it in the classroom to help prepare your students for their Villa visit.
  2. Before coming to the Villa, download and make copies for each student of the appropriate student worksheet (see Materials section above). At the Villa, students will use these sheets to investigate the Museum collection and site. An instruction sheet is included with this to guide you and your chaperones at the Villa.
  3. Follow your visit up with the post-visit activity, which your students can complete in the classroom or as a homework assignment.

Below is a summary of the activities contained in the downloadable materials above.

Pre-Visit Activity: Students learn about different gardens that were included within an ancient villa. They think about the role of a garden and garden sculpture in the ancient world and compare ancient gardens to gardens today.

Student Worksheet: At the Villa, students explore sculptures in the Getty Villa's gardens and galleries and think about the kinds of conversations the sculptures would have sparked among people enjoying the garden spaces where the sculptures were placed.

Post-Visit Activity: Students follow up their visit to the Getty Villa by designing sculptures for their own gardens that depict inspirational people or themes. They can also design their own gardens based on the ancient gardens they saw at the Villa.

Head of Young Bacchus / Roman
Head of Young Bacchus, Roman, A.D. 1–50