Each year the Patrons expand their cultural mission and knowledge by attending a ‘VIP’ tour of one special exhibit within the Getty’s extensive collection.
This year was no exception, as 22 members gathered on Sunday April 15, to view the impressive “Aphrodite” exhibit.  The exhibit is a collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Once again this year’s tour was coordinated by Mr. David Singleman, of Getty’s VIP Services, who organized the tour and the VIP parking for the members. 
Prior to the tour and lecture, a sumptuous luncheon was enjoyed in the private dining area in the Getty Café, featuring homemade  lasagna, eggplant paninis, colorful salads and wines of choice. Special thanks go to Ms. Claudia Cevenini, Café General Manager, and to Mr. Roman Rysin, weekend Manager, who treated the Patrons with his ever present smile and truly outstanding service. 
The Patrons met their Gallery teacher, Ms. Kristen Kido, in the lovely Getty Villa atrium, adjusted their headsets and proceeded to the exhibit full of anticipation. It was obvious from the start that Ms. Kido had tremendous knowledge of the subject matter and her enthusiasm soon spread to the entire group, who paid close attention to her detailed discussion and proffered little known aspects of the Greek goddess. Aphrodite was a favorite subject of J. Paul Getty himself.
The Patrons learned many of Aphrodite’s little known other roles, such as protectress of cities, sailors and merchants and agriculture. The tour viewed many of the finest statues of Aphrodite bathing, and several articles of bath and bathing which showed how Aphrodite served as a model for women of the time. The exhibit continued with the examination of Aphrodite at the time of the Judgement of Paris, when Aphrodite offered Helen, ‘Queen of Sparta’ as the prize, and hence goes the legend, started the Trojan wars. 
The “Sleeping Hermaphrodite”, from Rome’s Palazzo Massimo, was a special treat much enjoyed, which reveals the outcome of her relationship with Hermes, i.e., their offspring, Hermaphroditos. Lovely statues to her son, Eros, were also viewed and the discussion proceeded to reveal even more of Aphrodite’s many secrets. 
Finally the Patrons were truly inspired by the magnificent statue of the “Capua Venus”, an oversized Roman statue discovered in an amphitheater in Capua. Ms. Kido, using a map of the ancient world, traced the migration of the mythical Greek goddess, from her birth place on the island of Cyprus to the Roman empire as the goddess Venus.
After one of the best Getty Villa tours in recent memory, the Patrons returned to the Cafés terrace and enjoyed afternoon coffees and desserts and discussed their wonderful experience, all while viewing the gleaming Pacific ocean in the distance. The Patrons will continue their collaboration with the Getty and look forward to their next visit.
For Membership application or more information about the Patrons of Italian Culture, and their 50 years of promoting  Italian Culture throughout Southern California, contact them at: P.I.C.,  P.O. Box 3465, Burbank, Ca.  91508-3465. The P.I.C. is a non-profit 501c-3 Corporation.
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