In the ancient myth of Pandora, she opens her box and unleashes the horrors of Disease, Poverty, Misery, and Death. But the last item inside is Hope. In this new year, we hope to welcome you back to the Getty Villa Museum! In the meantime, here are some of the ways we're keeping engaged with the ancient world.
Image by Den Legaspi
February 26 through March 19, 2021
Tune in to a virtual reading of award-winning writer and director Laurel Ollstein's new script Pandora, presented in partnership with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. This theatrical retelling of the first human female to appear in Greek mythology asks: What if a woman was suddenly created and dropped into the middle of the world now? Someone with no preconceived notions of anything—like beauty, love, or violence? And what if the rest of humanity and the gods could suddenly see the world through those clear eyes?
In a time of frequent and astonishing archeological discoveries in Egypt, curator Claire Lyons recommends the film Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb. She writes, "A great presentation of a recent find, it's a riveting documentary about the excavation of an intact tomb of the priest Wahtye, and a study of the first ever lion cub mummy from the sanctuary of Bubastis (cult of the cat goddess Bastet) in 2019. The excitement of Egyptian archaeologists, scientists, and medical specialists is palpable. Mummies, cats, Egypt...what more do you want?"
Curator Sara E. Cole recommends this new podcast, which looks at the daily lives of people in the ancient world. Each episode features a guest specialist to delve into topics like weaving and women's labor, graffiti, religious processions, representation of aging, and zooarchaeology. Hosted by historians Carolyn M. Laferrière and Chelsea A.M. Gardner, the podcast is part of their digital initiative which includes blog posts and free educational resources for anyone who wants to learn more about the people who lived in the ancient world.
Getty mount makers and art preparators install a heavy stone stele on a pedestal with seismic protection.
How does an international antiquities exhibition full of fragile, massive, and tiny one-of-a-kind objects come together?
Curators Sara E. Cole and Jens Daehner share their experience developing Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins, installed in the Getty Villa Museum days before the pandemic shut down the city. Discover their process, from the years-long collaboration with the Louvre Museum's Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, to a visit to the Louvre's incredible storerooms, to the 3-D scanning, mountmaking, shipping, and installation of the objects.
The exhibition is closed to the public, but additional blog posts and related virtual events are forthcoming.
The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Public and scholarly programs at the Villa include lectures, seminars, workshops, and symposia, and complement the interdisciplinary activities of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The permanent collections of the Museum and the Research Institute, changing exhibitions, the annual scholar research theme, conservation issues, theater productions, and research projects inspire programs for scholars, students, specialized professionals, and general audiences.