issue : 082003

As I sit inside of a concrete fortress-like theater space in Glendale, California, I wonder; what would I do with the largest painting in the world and acres of beautiful hilltop real estate? In the mid 1900's, Dr. Eaton of Forest Lawn in southern California must have had a similar question in mind.

Forest Lawn has changed the traditional norms of the cemetery planning by knocking down the tombstones and replacing them with flat metal plaques. The resulting open space is filled with landscape elements and sculptures to have a parkesque environment, calling it, 'a memorial park' instead. In the midst of these changes, Dr. Eaton captured a unique piece of art and built a space where building is solely composed of a (very) large canvas that can be seen from miles away, thus changing urban landscape of Glendale.

There sits the largest religious oil painting in the world (195' wide x 45'high) by a Polish artist named Jan Styka at the turn of 19th century depicting Jesus Christ's crucifixion. As awe striking as it is to see the entire painting, the space in which holds the painting and surrounds is unfortunately disappointing. The building simply sits on top of the hill with a supersized bleak and barren parking lot. (It's like walking on a hot frying pan during the summer!). It resembles a Gothic cathedral, but it's nothing but a miniturized facade covering a short hallway into the space where painting is located. The wall which faces the city with its entire width of the painting is a solid concrete wall, no windows, no exposure of intricate structure behind the painting(s), and worst yet, an incomplete vista. However, the paintings and their presentation alone are absolutely worth the trip.

:: REF ::
Forest Lawn
International Crusade for Holy Relics
Dr. Hubert Eaton
Celebrity Burials

*presentation starts on every hour from 10am to 4pm