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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Vintage Los Angeles Travel Posters

I thought I'd take a break from personal photos and post a few Vintage Los Angeles Travel Posters. Above David Klein's Fly TWA Los Angeles c.1959 - a stylized view of Mission San Gabriel Arc├íngel's bell tower. The actual tower has six bells; the sun looks like something out of the It's A Small World attraction. 

The earliest travel posters I found (thanks to google images) focus on California, rather than just Los Angeles. California Calls You c. 1900. Union Pacific Railroad pamphlet, University of California-San Diego Special Collections.

California This Summer c. Chad Hyde 1934. 

Perhaps the most famous travel poster of all time is California Cornucopia of the World c.1885, The Granger Collection

The city of Los Angeles (population 4 million) is located in the much larger county of Los Angeles (population 10 million). This 1920's era poster is highlighting Los Angeles County. This view reminds me a lot of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (where possible, I'm including some links to previous blogposts). 

Los Angeles by Clipper  by Kerne Erickson. Date unknown. 

This is the Basilica at Mission San Juan Capistrano - not in Los Angeles, but rather 55 miles (88 kilometers) south in Orange County.

I tried to find the artist and date for these images. Not always easy - I came up blank on this one. Any suggestions, please leave a comment. 

The above poster reminds me of the view from the Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles via Western Airlines with autograph book and camera in hand, at the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. c.1961, artist unknown.

Sorry, Continental Airlines - but this doesn't look anything like Los Angeles. The white sand beaches and curved palm trees, makes this version of Los Angeles looks more like Hawaii, or even Florida, than Southern California. 

American Airlines Los Angeles c.1970 artist unknown.

Los Angeles, American Airlines date and artist unknown . 

Apparently, this poster is located in the Smithsonian - even they don't have a date or artist, calling it an "orphan" poster. 

The bottom half looks like the city of Avalon on Catalina Island

Los Angeles, date and artist unknown. This is my personal favorite. Just houses and swimming pools. This could be almost anwhere in the eastern half of the Santa Monica Mountains, including the view from the Paseo Miramar trail in Pacific Palisades.  

Los Angeles - American Airlines - Hollywood California Movie Set, c. 1960 Van Kaufman. Looks a whole lot like either Universal Studios or the Warner Brothers Studios tour. 

Fly TWA Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl, c.1958 David Klein. Hollywood Bowl, where else?

Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles at Night, date and artist unknown. 

Visit Los Angeles, c. Michael Murphy, date unknown. This is the downtown Department of Water and Power Building

Visit Los Angeles by Henry Rivers, date unknown. The Hollywood Sign.  

© 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Getty Revisited (Part II)

This past January, my son and I were back in Los Angeles for a father / son weekend to celebrate his 16th birthday. Our last stop was the Getty Center in Brentwood. Click here for a complete list of what we did - and "Part I" at the Getty Center.

We joined the hundreds of people enjoying the various galleries. The Getty Museum actually consists of two museums: the original Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, and the much large Getty Center in Brentwood. Click on either of these two links for info from previous blog posts. 

 Lots of incredible artwork to enjoy, including Irises by Vincent Van Gogh (1889).

Claude Monet's Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning (1891).

Dutch painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema's Spring (1894)

A view from the Getty Center of UCLA, Westwood, and Century City. 

 Another view of the city. 

My son was taking a very challenging 10th grade AP European History class last January - so he and his friends had actually studied much of what we were able to enjoy in person. 

Another view outside - this time looking north as the massive 405 Freeway - the San Diego Freeway. The Santa Monica Mountains actually run through the middle of the city of Los Angeles - with the San Fernando Valley to the north and the rest of the city to the south. The 405 runs through the Sepulveda Pass, which connects the San Fernando Valley to the Westside of Los Angeles. 

The San Diego Freeway was just widened through the Sepulveda Pass. Apparently, if you build it, they will come - because now traffic is actually worse. I wonder if the money would have been better spent expanding Los Angeles small but growing subway/light rail system with a connection from the Orange Line to the new Expo line

Here's a link to Los Angeles' long term subway/light rail plans, which do include a link from the Valley to the rest of L.A. -- but decades away. 

Why is "the" used to describe freeways in Los Angeles? One reason is because all these freeways all have names. Beautiful names, what someone even referred to as "romantic" names. Names like Santa Monica. Or San Diego. Or San Pedro. Or San Bernardino. Or Pasadena. Or Ventura. Or the Golden State. No one would say "I got on San Diego Freeway ..." You'd say, "I got on the San Diego Freeway and took it to the Ventura Freeway ..." I suppose that the 405 is easier to say that the San Diego Freeway, so as people started to refer to them just by their number, keeping "the" stuck. Personally, I still like to use the names - except that some people have no idea what I'm talking about. 

Back at the Getty, my son updating his Snapchat account. 

With an incredible collection of Western European artwork, Biblical reference abound at the Getty. Above is Dutch painter's Aert de Gelder Ahimelech Giving the Sword of Goliath to David (1680's). The biblical reference is 1st Samuel 21:9. 

Italian painter Bernardino Mei's Christ Cleansing the Temple (about 1655) founded in each of the four gospels, including Matthew 21:12-17. 

And my personal favorite, French painter Valentin de Boulogne's Christ and the Adulteress (about 1620's). 

From the Getty website: "Light illuminates the neck and shoulders of a woman looking down at the figure of Christ kneeling on the ground. The Pharisees had brought to Christ a woman caught in the act of committing adultery. When they asked whether she should be stoned, he stooped down and began to write with his finger on the ground. When they continued to ask, Christ said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." The male accusers watch with varying expressions; some absorb Christ's words, while others recollect their own transgressions. For this biblical narrative, Boulogne used contemporary, working-class people as models, a practice initiated by Caravaggio at the turn of the century."

As I commented in a previous post: who am I in this painting? One of the Pharisees, locked in my own self-righteousness? Or the woman, deserving condemnation - yet receiving grace and forgiveness?

There's a place to appreciate the skill and artistic merit of these incredible paintings. And yet also to reflect on the actual content. While not limited to paintings with biblical themes, surely including them. 

Admission to both the Getty Center in Brentwood and Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades is free. Parking is $15, and $10 after 3pm. If you're visiting both the Center and Villa in the same day, you pay once and can park at both locations. 

Here's a link to their website with more information. 

Took the tram back to our car in the parking garage - and headed home. 

Two years from now, God willing, my son will be off at college somewhere. Times like this are really special. I appreciate the chance to make these memories! 

© 2016



Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Getty Revisited (Part I)

This past January, my son and I were back in Los Angeles for a father / son weekend to celebrate his 16th birthday. We took time to explore places he remembered from growing up in L.A. - and check out a few new things as well. 

Our list included the Santa Monica PierThird Street PromenadeLACMAHollywood, a show at the Pantages ... Sunday morning at Reality Los Angeles, and lunch at Clifton's Cafeteria downtown. Our final stop before heading home Sunday afternoon was the Getty Center in Brentwood. Above, waiting at the tram station to for a trip to the top of the hill - and the museum. 

Admission to the Getty is free - parking is $15. You take a 5 minute train from the parking structure to the actual museum. The views of Los Angeles are part of the experience. 

So are the gardens. It was January, and a morning rain storm was just clearing out. Which made for some stellar views of the city and ocean beyond ... but it was very windy and no one was strolling around the garden. Here's a link to a previous trip with a bit of that the outdoor gardens look like.

One of the galleries inside featured French tapestries from the era of Louis XIV  - "the Sun King"  - who reigned from 1643 to 1715. These tapestries were part of visiting display from December 2015 until this past May. My son took a very challenging "AP European History" class last year, so he actually thought this was interesting to see in person what he and his friends had been studying. 

According to the Getty website: "extraordinary resources of time, money, and talent were allocated to the creation of these works, which were meticulously woven by hand with wool, silk, and precious metal-wrapped thread, after designs by the most esteemed artists."

This is called The Miraculous Draft of Fishes, 1636-37, design by Raphael. 

The explanation below references the Gospel of Luke, the biblical text that the tapestry is based upon (the Gospel of Luke is one of the four first century eye-witnesses accounts of the life of Christ found in the New Testament). 

Here's the actual passage: 

"On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he [Jesus] was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,  and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 

And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. 

And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 
Luke 5:1-10

While most people were enjoying the artwork - I was stuck by the subject matter. That is, Jesus Christ's call on individuals' lives. Or, more specifically, his call on my life. 

IF Jesus really is the Son of God, that changes everything. Am I willing to drop what I'm doing to follow him? In the big things of life, but also in the day to day? Do I take his commands - to love God, to love my neighbor - seriously?

I'm challenged by the words of British journalist G.K. Chesterton "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

Finishing up: in addition to world class artwork inside, the Getty also has some outstanding views of Los Angeles. This is looking towards UCLA, Westwood, Century City, and - in the distance - downtown Los Angeles.  

More next time. 

© 2016