James Dean at Griffith Observatory


This bust of James Dean is in front of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on the right (west) side as you face the building.  Both the interior and exterior of the Observatory were featured in his most famous movie, 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause, and was the first time a planetarium theater was used in a movie. The work is by artist Kenneth Kendall and a duplicate bust is in the James Dean Memorial Park in the actor’s hometown of Fairmount, Indiana.  On a clear day you can take a picture of the statue with the Hollywood sign in the background.

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“Pony Express” by Douglas Van Howd


This statue, which is outside the entrance to the Autry Museum of the America West in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, depicts the Pony Express ride carrying the news of President Abraham Lincoln’s election.  The ride began in St. Joseph, Missouri and ended in Sacramento, California, and was the fastest ride in the history of the Pony Express. The artist is Douglas Van Howd.

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Hollywood Sign


Nothing quite says Los Angeles like the Hollywood sign!  The sign was originally erected in 1923 as part of an ad campaign for a housing development called “Hollywoodland” and  included four more letters.  It is located on the south side of Mount Lee in Griffith Park and is 45 feet tall and 350 feet long.  This pic was taken from the parking lot at Griffith Observatory.

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Astronomers Monument at Griffith Observatory


This monument, designed by local artist Archibald Garner, was built in 1934 by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) in an effort to employ workers during the Great Depression.  The six astronomers depicted include Hipparchus, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Issac Newton, and John Herschel.

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Autry Museum of the American West


The Gene Autry Museum of the American West is located in Griffith Park in Los Angeles just across the street from the Los Angeles Zoo.  This statue of Gene and his faithful horse Champion is in the open-air courtyard of the museum complex just outside the Wells Fargo Theater.  Mr. Autry passed away in 1998 at the age of 91.

Links:   Autry Museum       Champion

Griffith Observatory


Griffith Observatory sits on the south facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park in Los Angeles.  This beautiful Art Deco building opened its doors on May 14, 1935.  It is named for Griffith J. Griffith, the Welsh-American industrialist who donated the land that is now Griffith Park and the funds to build the observatory.

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