Griffith Park: Astronomers Monument – Los Angeles CA


The Astronomers Monument at Griffith Observatory is one of L. Archibald Garner’s well-known public works. It was completed in 1934 with Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) support.

The Monument pays homage to six great astronomers: Hipparchus, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and William Herschel. Although the Monument was Garner’s design, he worked with five other sculptors to sculpt and cast it. Each artist was responsible for one astronomer. (One of the artists, George Stanley, was also the creator of the famous “Oscar” statuette.)

“On November 25, 1934 (about six months prior to the opening of the Observatory), a celebration took place to mark completion of the Astronomers Monument, which had proven to be the most ambitious creation of the PWAP,” says Griffith Observatory’s webpage dedicated to the Monument. “The only ‘signature’ on the Astronomers Monument is ‘PWAP 1934’ referring to the federal agency which funded the project and the year it was completed.”

Source notes

Public Art in Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory

Project originally submitted by Terry (Garner) Stafford on May 19, 2010.
Additional contributions by Andrew Laverdiere & Mark Pine.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

2800 E Observatory Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Coordinates: 34.1189, -118.3004

5 comments on “Griffith Park: Astronomers Monument – Los Angeles CA

  1. Einar Einarsson Kvaran

    Who did what here?
    What sculptor created which astronomer?

  2. Hipparchus (about 125 B.C.) – Archibald Garner
    Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) – Djey el Djey
    Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – Gordon Newell
    Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) – Arnold Foerster
    Isaac Newton (1642-1727) – George Stanley (also created the Oscar)
    John Herschel (1738-1822) – Roger Noble Burnham

  3. Jeff Garner

    Mr. Marlowe is not entirely correct on the artists and their astronomers:
    Garner sculpted Copernicus, Newell sculpted Kepler. He is correct about Burnham / Herschel, and Stanley / Newton. The other two combinations I cannot confirm, having never found, in my research on the monument, any documents to identify with any certainty who did which of these two. I suspect, based on style, that Djey did Hipparchus, but I don’t know this.
    Also, it’s the Astronomers Monument, not Astronomer’s…

  4. Eric Rachut

    The Herschel commemorated is not John, but William (originally Wilhelm). John Herschel was William’s son and also an astronomer, particularly of objects visible from the southern hemisphere.

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