14 June 2010

Field Trip: Getty Villa

When we visited The Getty Center last summer, I learned about the Getty Villa, a completely seperate branch of The Getty devoted to the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.  What a perfect way to wrap up our year studying these cultures!

Admission is free, but parking costs $15 and you must make a reservation beforehand. 

We saw lots of amazing artifacts that added a new dimension to our history study.  It was so neat to see Gracie get excited about seeing things that we had learned about:  a bust of Augustus Caesar, the gallery numbers written in roman numerals, ancient Roman coins (she had made her own version out of clay), a Greco-Roman mummy (which was "older than you, mommy!"),  and a tiny fragment of an ancient manuscript of The Odyssey.  We read this version during the school year.

She also developed a new appreciation for the art of mosaic.  She worked for weeks on a small 6 inch square mosaic.  This one was at least 4 feet long!

Like the Getty Center, the Getty Villa has a wonderful room devoted to hands on activites called the Family Forum.  We were able to decorate our own Greek vases by making rubbings on paper or drawing on huge reproductions with dry-erase markers.  (That's my art on the right.  I'm a woman of many talents, I know.)

My favorite feature was the big screen where you could become part of the image on a vase.  There was a wall of props to choose from, so you could fit right in to the scene, which changed every so often.  Isn't that fun?!

Warning:  In gallery 209, there were a few vases with scenes NOT appropriate for children.  Fortunately I saw them first and easily distracted Gracie into another gallery. 

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