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Edition of 3350 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs; 7 are signed as dedication copies, and three sets are signed as progressives.

January 24, 1996 17" x 24" 10 colors plus gold foil (foil stamping done at Golden State Embossing. Seven copies signed in ink on the back of the poster at the request of the gold foil embossers.)

Model: Judith Aissen

Influence: Albrect Dürer

Client: Angels Flight Railway Company, Los Angeles 1-125: Dow & Frosini, 2284 Fulton Street, Berkeley ca 94704 Telephone (510) 841-4402

A-Z: Artist's own use Dedication copies: The Angels Flight Railway Foundation, Judith Aissen, "First Night at Angels Flight", "In Honor of the Landmark Work of the Los Angeles Conservancy", The Los Angeles Conservancy, Christian Thompson, John & Martha Welborne

Progressives: One set to John & Martha Welborne, one set to Angels Flight Railway Company, one set to Dow & Frosini. (Used as a Berkeley Monthly cover, Decmber 1998)

The word "angel," is a transcription of the Greek aggelos, meaning "messenger." In Old Testament Hebrew, the word mal'akh sometimes means "messenger," and sometimes "angel" in the sense of "sons of God," or subordinate superhuman beings. As a messenger, an angel plies its trade carrying messages from Heaven to Earth, and from Earth to Heaven. An instance of angels doing just so is found in a vision experienced by Jacob as he fled his native land to escape the wrath of Esau his brother: "And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending upon it." *

The ascending and descending host of Jacob's ladder is reflected in the funicular railway Angels Flight. One car is named "Sinai," the mountain upon which God descended to give Moses the tablets of the law. The other, "Olivet," is named after a hill east of Jerusalem, in Jordan, from which the Ascension took place. Because the cars are always in balance, they require little energy to carry out their work. Like the Heavenly messengers for which their city is named, one goes up as the other comes down, mutely preaching a sermon about harmony and cooperation.

In the great City of Los Angeles, filled not with angels but with ordinary men and women, the example of this tiny railway may be taken much to heart: work together and the task becomes easy. You just need to overcome a little friction.

* Genesis 28:11-12