Shelley

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Hi from California! I’m at the Getty in Malibu this week to give a paper tomorrow about our project at a public lecture day organised in conjunction with their exhibition, The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection.  You can see more about the day here:

http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/lectures/pompeii_fascination_fantasy.html

In the meantime though I’ve been making myself at home in the Villa. It’s amazing – what better place to talk about our own attempt to reconstruct a Pompeian house that in a museum designed as a full-scale lavish Roman villa, making all of J. Paul Getty’s fantasies of the ancient past come alive? What’s particularly interesting, as well as the architecture and the experience of inhabiting it, are the parallels between the building of the villa and of nineteenth century Pompeian houses, like the Court and the Parisian Maison Pompeienne, is the way in which literary imagination fused with architectural realities. Just as people’s responses to the Pompeian Court was bound up with the House of the Tragic Poet and Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii the Getty villa, based on the Villa of Papyri just outside Herculaneum was bound up with Getty’s own short story about the Roman antiquarian collector (remarkably like himself) who once lived in the Villa of Papyri. Am having to restrain myself from ringing Nic to tell him that we’re abandoning VR in favour of the real thing. Wonder how much cash we need to raise actually to build the Court? I have a cement mixer in my garage so that’s a start….

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Shelley”

  1. Maggie Secara Says:

    Oh dear! I wish I’d known, I could have come to this.But this post just arrived in my email today! How annoying. 😦

  2. Shelley Hales Says:

    I’m so sorry Maggie, I should have thought to flag this event in advance – just didn’t think. I do know though that the whole thing was filmed so I don’t know if the Getty will put it online or anything. Will try to find out. Next time I wrangle a west coast invite, I’ll mention it!

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