Road Trip - Getty Malibu (extremely photo heavy)

denisez10(SoCal)December 7, 2008

Shake off the snowflakes and join me for a quick tour. This is the original Getty in Malibu, which had a major renovation a few years ago. My first visit since the renovations. It sits on a bluff directly above Pacific Coast Highway, nestled tightly amongst neighborhoods that have grown up around it, so the former major issues of limited parking have been addressed in the rebuilding. Admission is free but reservations must be made since parking is still somewhat limited. The new Getty designed by Richard Meier, which has a fabulous garden designed by Robert Irwin, is at an entirely different location.

Herakles is on the banner, holding the lion's skin, the sculpture that really fired up Getty to begin collecting Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities in earnest...

Looking west, to the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway, out over the herb garden. Yellow leaves in lower right-hand corner are the pomegranate, which turn that lovely gold color.

Mainly outdoor shots, since flash was not allowed in the museum. But the gardens are what I really love anyway. And the pottery. And the mosaics. Well, all of it really.

The Getty is a replica of an ancient Roman villa, the Villa dei Papiri, excavated in Herculaneum, which was buried in the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried Pompeii.

Plants include myrtle, box, medlar, olive, citrus, bay, papyrus, acanthus, rosemary, violets, pomegranates, lavender, Italian cypress -- everything the Romans would have grown. I love the detail of the moss grown under the tree standard, with only the rim of the pot to be seen.

Long view. Note the ivy topiary in foreground. This is all part of the original Getty, the recreation of the villa at Herculaneum, though new additions include an amphitheatre, museum shop, parking structure, more storage and teaching facilities. The hills seen in the background are prone to fires, and the Getty has had some close calls.

dripping rosemary

olives and cypresses

detail of the formal planting. There wouldn't be much more color than this in summer either. Formal Italian gardens are predominantly green. In contrast, the Robert Irwin garden at the new Getty is exuberantly colorful. The little marble fountain is an 18th century reproduction.

Along with the box and myrtle, ivy was used for topiary balls, which I've never seen before, but would be amazingly quick effect, unlike box or myrtle

Huge stone pine. Part of the new additions.

Closeup of fountain with papyrus

Oleander standards, lavender in right foreground

Mitch was assisting with a family day event at the Getty, helping kids make Trojan paper helmets. If he hadn't been so engaged, the photos might have been much better. Oh, well, point and click it is...

Lavish trompe l'oeil

And marble everywhere

Fountains -- plant in background up against building is Pelargonium tomentosum, peppermint geranium

detail of fountain creature


Medusa mosaic

requisite bum shot

after lunch, Mitch had to get back to making helmets

Here is a link that might be useful: The Getty Villa gardener

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

oohh - I love it! Wouldn't it be nice to be filthy rich and create something like that?! I like the idea of reproducing something from Herculaneum - and it seems appropriate that the hills would burn... :-)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Those very formal, basically "just green" gahdens are wonderful! Why can I not find fountains like that handsome, simple white one,but in cast stone?

The trompe l'oeil is great. I love looking at the details and "finish" in your shots. Only thing missing is a Trojan helmet atop the handsome model. :)

I did hear a story about the Getty being required to return something on NPR a long time ago, but I don't remember what it was or the circumstances surrounding the decision.

(I popped in Herb Alpert's "Route 101" and will go back and look again at the scenery. It's snowing over my shoulder right now, a stern reminder that there is no such place as California...)

I'll bet you'd love the The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 1:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Beautiful, just beautiful Denise! Thanks so much for sharing these photographs! I'll be back to drool often.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 3:23PM
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Amazing place. Stimulating and soothing. Lots to look at in your photos but found myself staring at people in shirt sleeves too. Thank you Denise!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 3:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A beautiful and interesting place Denise. Thank you for sharing it with us. Now I'd like to see the interior. :-)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 5:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I particularly like the dripping rosemary shot...Don't ask me why. The olives and cypresses are also favourites because they remind me of Provence. (It is 7F here today and minus 4 with the wind chill factor)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 5:21PM
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Ahh, takes me back to the olden days in Socal.Love the mosaics and the wonderful statuary..Thanks for the tour !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 6:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a nice treat on a very cold morning. It is 15 degrees here this morning. This garden has a certain 'feel' to it that I like. From top to bottom, my favorite photos are the 4th of that very simple fountain that I find very attractively planted. The light in that shot is very nice. The photo with the olives and the cypress. I have always had italian cypress envy. [g] I've never seen the cypress look better than here with the olives. The walls are gorgeous too! Great shot of Mitch! Such a handsome boy and he looks tall but it's hard to tell with most people near him sitting. I love the serpentine boxwood and have always had a soft spot for trompe l'oeil. did you take that picture of the fountain with the water drops falling off the edge? Did point and shoot with automatic catch the drops in mid air like that? Amazing mosaic and looks like shells used to separate the different sections. I wonder how many people it took to do that. The Medusa mosaic reminds me of work done by Escher. I enjoyed the story of Naranjo....such a dream job for a gardener. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Woody, about being rich enough, Getty's choice to make a re-creation of an ancient villa was, in architectural circles, thought to be quite cheesy and not the best use of all his dough. I'll leave such debates to the experts. Mitch even mentioned the crowd he runs with disdains the Getty as an elite "white man's" enthusiasm, not representative of other cultures, etc. If a guilty pleasure, so be it...

PM, the Italian cypress is often planted near cemetaries and holy sites in Italy, which is in large part due to their nondisruptive root systems. Re the photos, when I sharpened the image through Picassa, the water drops came into focus. I like these simple fountains too, that could easily reside at a private residence. (And Mitch is a tad over 6 feet!)

Kathy, it was a beautiful day. I don't get out to Malibu much anymore, since the drive through the westside and Santa Monica is always so jammed, and PCH backs up. But the drive was easy, no traffic, the ocean was full of surfers bobbing in the waves. Back in high school, I drove out to Malibu quite often with my buddies (occasionally during weekdays! ahem...)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:37AM
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Thank you for taking us along! I think the mosaic is my favorite picture, and it took several minutes to realize that shells were used as a relief.

I think his money was well spent :)


    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 9:15AM
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Oh, Denise I loved the tour! Those ivy topiaries have given me ideas for next year in my garden. I love all the architecture. The square fountain really caught my eye along with the bum shots LOL The fountain monkeys are creepy though ;o) The mosaics are fabulous and your son is a handsome guy. It's sure a wonderful place to visit.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:36PM
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OK how'd I miss this thread? Total eye candy. From the architecture to those very cool formal gardens. It's such a treat to see so much green when we're in the middle of winter here. And how great that Mitch spent the day helping out. Our Idyll kids give me such hope for the next generation. Makes me realize that there are lots of capable individuals taking over the reins. Thank goodness, since our generation hasn't done such a great job of it. But back to this...thanks for sharing these Denise. It takes quite a while I know to prepare a thread of such great pictures. I'm glad it floated to the top so I noticed. Note to me to pay more attention. Oh and my favorite was that trailing rosemary. I'd love to be able to do that here.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 1:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im sooo jealous - I've always wanted to visit the Getty!! Such yummy stuff inside and out - and to be able to work or intern there, le grand sigh -- lucky, lucky (from the closet museum geek).

Denise -- we needed some wonderfulshots of green and those are luscious. Thank you for sharing. Idyllers are such great, caring and sharing folks -- always thinking of other idyllers.

Really really a special treat.


    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 8:36PM
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This must be the tenth time I've looked at all this and other than the obvious beauty, the thing that keeps coming to me is the size of those plants!! Dripping Rosemary, tropical lavs, olives and papyrus, all so foreign to me other than quick looks at tiny specimens in greenhouses.

This is wondrous, and the architectual folks can argue all they want -- I think the place is stunning!!


    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 7:56AM
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