The Ballin Ceiling Mural
In ancient times, people used myths to understand what they saw in the sky. In the murals overhead, 1930s painter Hugo Ballin illustrated those early stories using a parade of Classical figures. Atlas holds the zodiac signs, followed by the Pleiades, and then Jupiter and his thunderbolts. Venus and the four seasons are next, preceding Saturn, Mercury chasing Argos, and an observer next to a woman holding the Star of Bethlehem. The mural continues on to the Moon and a comet.
The Ballin Wall Murals
Artist Hugo Ballin celebrated the progress of science through his spectacular art. These eight panels represent what he called the “Advancement of Science from Remote Periods to Present Times.” Each one shows how science and engineering changed throughout history up to the time Griffith Observatory opened to the public in 1935. The fields shown are aeronautics, navigation, civil engineering, metallurgy and electricity, time, geology and biology, mathematics and physics, and astronomy.