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First, I did not receive the appropriate papers for talking with my
students in the gallery and was asked to leave. After wrangling with
the authorities re: this snafu, I did get permission and a badge that
allowed me to discuss the artwork with a maximum of ten students. When
making the reservations, I specifically requested permission to talk
with my students in the galleries or have a docent from the Getty. My
requests were ignored. When I was speaking with my students, the guard
insisted that I immediately stop my talk and broke up the group of
students, asking them to leave the gallery.
After receiving the "badge" twenty minutes later, I could continue with
my talk to the limited number of students. The next event from a guard
was a stern message to me that "If I continued to do that, I will
personally be escorted out of the gallery." Do what!?! The guard
explained that she "saw my skirt brush against the leg of a chair."
She warned me again that if she sees me doing that, I will have to
leave. Explaining that this was an accident, that I had no intention of
my skirt brushing the leg of the chair, etc., the guard threatened to
escort me out right there and then. After this incident, the guard
followed behind me the entire time we were in the gallery, hovering
never more than three feet away from my soft, rather diaphanous, cotton
My college students are mature, respectful, and extremely appreciative
of the fine and decorative arts. Ditto for their teacher. None the
less, the Getty provided more examples of harassment to a selected few,
giving us a great deal to talk about on the long bus ride home. Our
treatment at the Getty was shabby and far from the usual welcome we
receive. I have been taking my students to the Getty since the original
"Villa" opened in Malibu. This last visit left a bitter taste for all
our students, and we shall remember the Getty with clouded memories.
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