June 05, 2017


DATE: June 5, 2017 MEDIA CONTACTS:  
  Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
Desiree Zenowich
Getty Communications 310-440-7304

 Press Release


Roman Holidays

At the Getty Villa Saturdays and Sundays through
September 3, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – Each weekend this summer, the Getty Villa transports you back in time with special Roman Holidays events celebrating the life and culture of ancient Rome. Make perfume from materials used long ago, explore the surprising and powerful scents of everyday Roman life (eu de toga, anyone?), read your future in a (simulated) sheep liver and offer your wishes and prayers to the goddess Venus as you explore the human connections that endure across time.

Roman Holidays is hosted by the historically hysterical Troubadour Theater Company (aka the Troubies) who perform on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:15 am and 2:15 p.m. Performances kick off with a parade ending at the Inner Peristyle, where the troupe will present “Mercury in Uranus,” a comical sheep sacrifice, replicating the ancient Roman tradition of haruspicy (liver reading). During important moments of uncertainty and change, Romans sought guidance in the liver reading ritual. Spots, discolorations, lumps, cysts, and missing parts of a liver clearly revealed divine disfavor, while smooth flesh and large size signaled a positive response. Julius Caesar famously disregarded an ominous sheep’s liver, and was assassinated.
Evoking the spirit of this Roman tradition, the performance features the Troubies’ musical, comedic, circus style. In between performances, visitors can continue to engage with the Troubies in games and unique photo ops.

At the free drop-in perfume-making workshop, visitors can create their own Roman perfumes using ancient ingredients. Romans used flowers, herbs, resins, and animal products to create beautiful scents to enhance their (often smelly) world. Participates will build custom perfumes by exploring spices and oils that the ancient Romans used, some of which are still in use today, and learn how these materials would have been alluring and exotic to the ancients.

Learn more about scents in the ancient world during the free, drop-in Roman Aromas workshop, where visitors are invited to use their noses (and imaginations) to discover the good, bad, and sweaty scents of ancient Roman life. With scents ranging from ancient laundering liquid to Roman cooking ingredients, participants are challenged to identify these ancient smells.

Finally, visit the small shrine to the Roman goddess Venus to honor her and seek her help for important life events, as Greeks and Romans did. Small tags will be provided for visitors to write down their prayer or wish and hang it behind the Touch Statue of Venus. The Touch Statue, which is always on view at the far end of the Villa’s Outer Peristyle, is a 20th-century marble replica of Antonio Canova’s Venus (1820). It is the one statue visitors to the Villa are encouraged to touch and experience the texture and form of a marble sculpture.

Roman Holidays’ free activities take place at the Getty Villa Saturdays and Sundays through September 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Also on view, beginning June 9, the exhibition Roman Mosaics across the Empire reopens, featuring intricate and massive mosaics, many seen for the first time.

Free, advance tickets are required for admission to the Villa and can be reserved at 310- 440-7300 or at Parking is $15 per car, $10 after 3:00 p.m.

Roman Holidays is designed to keep things lively at the Villa this summer, when some galleries will be closed while the antiquities collection is reinstalled from its current thematic organization to a largely chronological, art historical presentation. The reinstallation will be complete in spring 2018. For the most current information about the reinstallation and gallery closures please visit
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.
Visiting the Getty Villa
From May 28-August 26, 2017, the Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday until 9:00 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and most major holidays. The Villa will be open on Monday, May 29, Memorial Day, and closed on Tuesday, July 4, Independence Day.
Admission to the Getty Villa is always free, but a ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 3 p.m. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.
Same-day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for $15 through the Getty’s Pay Once, Park Twice program.
Additional information is available at
Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit for a complete calendar of public programs.

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