“Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections” was inaugurated at the Getty Villa on April 8th. The star-studded event brought together some of the most important Greek-Americans and friends from Greece to celebrate the opening of the major loan exhibition.
The event explored the artistic and cultural majesty of the Byzantine Empire with attendees ranging from Greek officials to Greek-Americans in the entertainment and business world. Among the people in attendance were Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles Elizabeth Fotiadou, pop-singer Sakis Rouvas, and VP of Calamos Investments and Hellenic Museum Chief of staff Yianni Sianis .
The exhibition features 167 objects, including mosaics, icons, frescoes, sculptures, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass, embroideries, and ceramics drawn from 34 collections throughout Greece, making it the largest and most important collection of Byzantine objects from Greece ever amassed and displayed in Los Angeles.
While the manuscripts will be on display at the Getty Museum, the majority of the collection will be on display at the Getty Villa. The statuesque edifice on the Pacific Coast Highway that J. Paul Getty himself built to house his growing collection and once served as the original Getty Museum, might be the ideal place to host what Dr. Hart called the largest single collection of items ever displayed at the Getty Villa. The Villa, for those who have never visited it, sits atop a cliff where the American West sunsets meet the Pacific Ocean and closely resembles the atmosphere of the original home of the artifacts — Greece.