Humanities Program Students Interview Getty President/CEO and Tour Museum

By Eleanor Crafton '25


Last Wednesday, February 15, students in the two-year Humanities Research Program journeyed to LA to visit The Getty Center as a final hurrah within the first-year students’ (sophomores) “Art and The Arts” exploration unit, wherein each student studied an aspect of the art world. Guided around the museum on a “VIP Tour” with veteran docents, the students explored the architecture, photographs, and pre-20th-century European art for which the Getty Center is famous. The tenth grade students observed Rembrandt, Monet, and Van Gogh paintings, as well as Goya’s 1804 Portrait of the Marquesa de Santiago and contemporary photograph by Ananke Asseff, which are paired pieces in the Getty’s “In Dialogue” series. 

“I was amazed at the passion our tour guide held for art,” says Sofia Ramirez '25. “She radiated excitement and I couldn’t wait to see the next painting. I love how she fully analyzed each art piece, interpreting the use of symbolism, color palette, and history—it was all incredible!”
After their tour and lunch in the museum cafe, the HRP students were able to have a meeting in the executive boardroom with Getty Trust President and CEO Katy Fleming, a personal friend of HRP Coordinator Dr. Ashley Tidey. Dr. Fleming—the Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization, Professor of History and Hellenic Studies at New York University, and former NYU Provost— joined the Getty in August. The HRP1 class was ready with questions about her former job as NYU Provost and her experience as a woman in both her academic and administrative roles. The students were mesmerized by her confidence and charisma.

“Her confidence was sensational, and the more I listened to her speak and heard her stories, the more I desired to one day become as successful and well rounded as she,” described Milla Hirsch '25. Like Milla, the opportunity to meet Dr. Fleming was the highlight of Dionne Peterson '25's trip. "She was so funny and incredible to be around, and she taught us so much about the industry she works in," she reflected.
“We had what I would call a world-historic visit with Katy Fleming in the boardroom,” adds Dr. Tidey. “It was hilarious and wonderful to see the kids sitting in this grand setting, both confident and in awe, taking in the magic of the high ceilings and the sweeping city views—and asking their questions as if they were graduate students.”

The HRP students are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to visit the Getty Center, and thank the Getty Museum for giving them a day they’ll never forget!
Laguna Blanca is Santa Barbara’s premier private, co-educational, college preparatory day school for students in Early Kindergarten through Grade 12.