On Sunday, November 12, 2006, at the invitation of Michael Brand, Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, His Grace, Bishop Maxim, accompanied by the Rev. Fr. Nikola Ceko, attended the preview reception and dinner celebrating the museum exhibition "Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai."
The event, hosted by Dr. Brand took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and was attended by many dignitaries from throughout Southern California and abroad. Special guests from Sinai present included His Beatitude, Damianos, Archbishop of Sinai accompanied by monks from Saint Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai. His Eminence shared with Bishop Maxim the interesting details involved in bringing this historic and precious icon exhibit to Los Angeles.
Also attending the preview reception were His Eminence, Demetrios, Archbishop of the America for the Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco, Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, members of the County Board of Supervisors and many other community leaders, University Professors and scholars.
Getty curator Kristen Collins led the hierarchs and mayor through the exhibit while describing the thought that went into the way each item was displayed in the exhibit. The program also included welcoming and congratulatory remarks from Director Michael Brand, Archbishop Damianos, Archbishop Demetrios and Mayor Villaraigosa.
The Getty underwent something of a makeover for the occasion. The museum has dimmed the lights and designed its main exhibition galleries to evoke the magisterial look and feel of St. Catherine Monastery, believed to be the oldest continuously operating Christian monastery in the world. “We didn’t want to create a theme park version of the monastery,” said Kristen Collins, the Getty curator who organized the show with the Yale art historian Robert Nelson. “But we did want to try to evoke the experience of being there — the whole sensory experience of hearing the chanting and just being wrapped by, surrounded by, these beautiful images.”
The exhibition of forty-three icons, six manuscripts, and several precious liturgical objects, and featuring a film about the monastery and the site, including footage of Easter services, has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and will be and will be open to the public from November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007.
Mayor Villaraigosa shares his impressions with Archbishop Demetrios and Bishop Maxim.
The four hierarchs who attended the celebration - from left to right, Bishop Maxim, Archbishop Damianos, Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Gerasimos.
The hierarchs with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.