Seeing a Sad Pattern of Mankind's History in Malibu, California
Sometimes a single piece of artwork can define either the triumph or tragedy of mankind. Inside the 64-acre Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, a collection of 1,200 works of ancient Roman, Greek and Etruscan art are on display—including a terracotta drinking vessel (called skyphos) from Athens dated 470-460 B.C., titled as "Cup With a Woman Drinking in a Storeroom." The unknown potter depicts a young slave girl carrying a heavy wineskin over her shoulder while also carrying a wine jug in her other hand. She silently walks behind her master, an older woman of prosperity bearing a double-chin, drinking from a jug like a glutton. Here we have the timeless story of "the haves and have-nots," and of the unequal ranks of society that continue today. Even a silent object can speak volumes.