Tanja Barnes


It’s Full of Stars – The Central Rotunda at the Griffith Observatory

Vault of the rotunda at the Griffith Observatory. Click to embiggen.

The Central Rotunda at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of the top 10 ceilings in the world. It was designed by muralist and Hollywood art director Hugo Ballin who also worked as a sketch artist on MGM’s 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz”.

Be sure to click on the image above to see all the gorgeous details that are featured in this mural including the celestial heavenly bodies of classic Greek mythological heroes such as Atlas, Mercury, Venus, the four winds, the planets as gods, and the twelve constellations of the zodiac. The line that you see coming out of the hole at the apex is the wire from which Foucault’s Pendulum is suspended.

I had an opportunity to capture this image of the rotunda on a recent hike to the observatory with the awesome Downtown Greather Los Angeles Hiking group from Meetup.com.  This is a really great group of fun, gregarious people. Bob, the leader of the group, describes it as “We’re not a “hard core” hiking group. We believe that having fun and socializing while hiking is just as important as getting some good exercise, so don’t expect any sprints to the destination or death marches here. And dogs are always welcome (except in prohibited areas) on our hikes.”