THE EINSTEIN PAPERS PROJECT EXHIBIT
Einstein spent the last two decades of his life in Princeton, New Jersey where he was a faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1936 until his death in 1955. Founded in 1930 to encourage and support the kind of original research in the sciences and humanities that advances our understanding of the universe. It was in Einstein’s time when America became the sanctuary for Jewish scientists being driven out from Nazi Germany that world leadership in the sciences, and physics in particular, shifted from Germany to the United States. At Princeton, he continued his work on his “Unified Field Theory”, constantly refreshing his mind with musical breaks and participating in Princeton’s regular musical evenings, himself playing with many of the most famous musicians of the day. He even served as Vice President of the Princeton Symphony until 1952 (having declined the presidency when it was offered to him).
But Los Angeles was not without its share of Einstein moments. In his earlier visits to the US in the early 1930s, prior to his permanent emigration, Einstein came to The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) as a visiting scientist during three winter terms. Being a celebrity, Einstein attracted media attention and his sojourns in Southern California were no exception: numerous newspaper clippings and photographs on his visits with other distinguished scientists, to Mt. Wilson Observatory, Palm Springs, and the movies–with Charlie Chaplin. An entry in Einstein’s diary reads:
“Here in Pasadena it is like Paradise. Always sunshine and clear air, gardens with palms and pepper trees and friendly people who smile at one and ask for autographs.”
During the special performances of “Einstein on the Beach” at LA Opera, there will be three installations of large portraits of Albert Einstein created by the noted photographer Herman Landshoff inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The exhibit, entitled “Albert Einstein At Home”, is presented by the Einstein Papers Project, now housed at Caltech. The portraits show intimate yet iconic images of Einstein during the years 1946-1950, taken at his Princeton residence on 12 Mercer Street. The photographs are one of only six printings in existence and can usually be seen at the entrance to Caltech’s Board Room in Millikan Library in Pasadena, California (named after Robert Millikan, an American Nobel-Prize winning physicist, an Einstein contemporary who taught at Caltech from 1921 until his retirement in 1945, credited with turning the institute into one of the world’s leading research centers of excellence in science and engineering.
About the Einstein Paper Project:
It is one of the most ambitious scholarly publishing ventures undertaken in the history of science. It was established in 1986 to assemble, preserve, translate, and publish papers selected from the literary estate of Albert Einstein (more than forty thousand documents) and from other collections (more than fifteen thousand Einstein-related documents). Sponsored by the Princeton University Press and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since its inception, the project was located at Boston University until 2000 when it moved to Caltech which Einstein first visited in 1930.
Einstein’s massive written legacy ranges from his first work on the special and general theories of relativity and the origins of quantum theory, to his active involvement with international collaboration and cooperation, human rights, education, and disarmament. The PUBLISHED VOLUMES draw upon Einstein’s personal papers held at the Albert Einstein Archives and more than 40,000 additional Einstein-related documents discovered by project researchers since the 1980s. The 12 published volumes cover the first 44 years of his life and more than 3000 documents. When completed, the series will contain over 14,000 scientific and non-scientific documents and will fill close to 30 volumes.