Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Untitled (Portrait of Crystal)

Untitled (Portrait of Crystal), ca. 1961, Marjorie Cameron.

Untitled (Portrait of Crystal), ca. 1961, Marjorie Cameron. Ink and gouache on wood panel. 43 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. Collection of Scott Hobbs. Permission courtesy of Cameron Parons Foundation

Besides being an artist and a writer, Cameron was an important member of occult circles in Southern California, and was married to the scientist Jack Parsons, a follower of Aleister Crowley. Her drawings and paintings were filled with the esoteric symbolism of the occult as well as allusions to Greek mythology. Untitled (Portrait of Crystal) is a painting of the artist’s daughter, born in 1955. The sinuous lines that Cameron employs in this work echo natural forms such as entwining branches and leaves. These shapes are echoed further by the ornate wooden frame, a found object that adds a sense of mystery, nostalgia, and other-worldliness to the painting. Crystal is a recurring subject in Cameron’s work, where she is usually represented as a young, nymph-like creature.

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Works of Art

  • Untitled (Peyote Vision)

    Untitled (Peyote Vision), 1955, Cameron (from Semina journal, no. 1). Reproduction of ink drawing mounted on cardstock. 3 13/16 x 4 in. Courtesy of Cameron Parsons Foundation

  • Semina cover with photograph of Cameron

    Semina cover with photograph of Cameron, 1955, Wallace Berman. Semina journal, no. 1 (1955) by Wallace Berman. Gelatin silver print mounted on cardstock. 7 1/2 x 4 in. The Getty Research Institute, 2564-801.no1.2. Courtesy of the Estate of Wallace Berman and Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles

Explore the Archive

  • Cameron in "Night Tide"

    Cameron in a film still from Curtis Harrington's Night Tide, 1961. Courtesy of the Cameron Parsons Foundation

  • Cameron, ca. 1955

    Cameron, ca. 1955. Courtesy of the Cameron Parsons Foundation