“Avatar” (2009) “Toy Story 3” (2010) and “The Avengers” (2012): All of these were available and advertised as 3-D motion pictures. But the idea of 3-D has been around much longer than those recent movies.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently opened an exhibit, “3D: Double Vision,” that shows the history and development of 3-D visual images.
Pulling together photography, video and designs that somehow played with the idea of 3-D, LACMA featured images and devices that dated back to the first half of the 1800s.
The exhibit begins with a sta member handing the visitor a pair of old-fashioned, movie theater-style paper glasses called anaglyph glasses, where one lens is red and the other is blue.
The lightly colored room welcomes visitors with a little introduction before they get immersed in the rest of the exhibit.
In the following rooms, the musuem visitor encounters various images made by different 3-D techniques as well as pieces of art that poke fun at 3-D imaging.
One popular piece meant as a satire was Sigmar Polke’s “The Illusionist,” clearly tinted in red and blue to make the viewers think they might need the 3-D glasses to see what it was really saying. They did not.
One room was a theater where they played excerpts from 3-D movies on a constant loop. Some of the films dated back to the mid-20th century, such as “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
The exhibit was immersive in the sense that the visitor could walk around with either the anaglyph glasses or without them as some exhibits didn’t require glasses at all.
At some points visitors switched between anaglyph, polarized and boxed glasses provided at the art piece itself.
There were also more hands-on exhibits, such as the 1960s era View-Master toys, that had stills from “Mary Poppins” and early images of Disneyland.
One viewing station even had a stereoscope showing Abraham Lincoln sitting in a tent during the Civil War.
The exhibit is also popular among students at California Baptist University.
“I thought the whole exhibit was fascinating,” said Alyce Marlow, junior art major. “You always see 3-D graphics in movies but to see it in various forms in person is a di erent experience entirely.”
Overall, the exhibit played with the audience’s imagina- tion and encouraged viewers to look beyond what was right in front of them.
The entry cost for the art museum is $16 for parking and $25 for admission, but the second Tuesday of every month is free to the public.
Regardless of whether students are from California originally, Marlow says to her the price is worth the time.
“The price is high but completely worth it,” Marlow said. “I am a huge lover of art but it’s worth my personal investment.”
The exhibit runs until March 31, 2019.