J. Paul Getty Museum Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about the J. Paul Getty Museum with this lesson plan. The students will study a text lesson, take an accompanying follow-up quiz, and participate in three activities that will reinforce some major learning concepts.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson, your students should be able to:

  • Explain the differences between the two buildings that comprise the museum
  • Explain who J. Paul Getty was and how the museum was started
  • Explain why some of the pieces in the art world are controversial


1 - 1.5 Hours


  • Colored markers
  • Copies of the text lesson J. Paul Getty Museum: History & Artwork along with the related lesson quiz, one per student
  • Copy of the video 'Getty Center Orientation Film', readily available online for no fee
  • Image of John Paul Getty
  • Image of the Getty Center
  • Image of the Getty Villa
  • Internet access
  • Poster board
  • Worksheets with the 10 questions for Activity Two - enough for each group.

Key Vocabulary

  • Getty Center
  • Getty Villa
  • J. Paul Getty
  • Richard Meier
  • Villa dei Papiri
  • Western art

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Inform your students they will be studying the J. Paul Getty Museum in California.
  • Display images of Getty, the Getty Center, and the Getty Villa.
  • Ask your students if anyone is familiar with Getty or if they have visited the museum.
  • Review the vocabulary terms.
  • Hand out copies of the text lesson J. Paul Getty Museum: History & Artwork.
  • Read the introduction and the section 'The J. Paul Getty Museum.'
    • What type of art is the museum's specialty?
    • Where is the Getty Center located?
    • Where is the Getty Villa located?
  • Now read the section 'J. Paul Getty.'
    • What did J. Paul Getty do for a living?
    • What did his father do for a living?
    • What year did he convert a section of his house into an art museum?
  • Next read the section 'The Museum Grows.'
    • What year did the new building open?
    • What year did Getty die?
    • How much money did he bequeath to the museum?
    • Which architect was hired to build the Getty Center?
    • What year did it open?
    • Among what mountains is it situated?
    • What was the original building renamed after it was renovated?
  • Next read the section 'Artwork.'
    • What types of art are located in the Getty Center?
    • What types of art are located in the Getty Villa?
    • What controversy has surrounded the art world over the years?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary', review the entire text lesson, and answer any student questions.
  • Have students try the lesson quiz to demonstrate understanding.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account