The Getty Villa in Malibu has been redesigned as an expanded center for the study and conservation of classical art, including the only museum in the United States solely devoted to antiquities from the Mediterranean region.
Guide to the Getty Villa begins with a history of the site and J. Paul Getty's decision to house his growing collections in a structure designed to replicate an ancient Roman villa, now called the Villa dei Papiri. The second chapter of the book recounts the destruction of the Villa dei Papiri in A.D. 79 in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and its rediscovery in the eighteenth century. The third chapter takes readers through the Getty Villa, beginning with the cobblestone "Roman road" and the dramatic new entranceway, and then into the Museum entry court and sun-filled atrium, into the outdoor theater and then to the Museum galleries. Special rooms, such as the Basilica, the Hall of Colored Marbles, and the Temple of Herakles, are described in more detail before the gardens, which are modeled on ancient Roman gardens, are explored. The final chapter describes the installation of the collections.