November 06, 2008

more Coit Tower frescos


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The Coit Tower murals were carried out under the auspices of the Public Works of Art Project, the first of the New Deal federal employment programs for artists.   Two of the murals are of San Francisco Bay scenes painted by a Spanish artist, who by then was a fulltime resident in the Bay Area.   Most murals are done in fresco; the exceptions are one mural done in egg tempera (upstairs, in the last decorated room) and the works done in the elevator foyer, which are oil on canvas.


Many murals contain very "leftist" political and social themes related to the Great Depression and socialist political movements. Notable examples: Bernard Zakheim's "Library", which depicts a reader -- said to be fellow artist John Langley Howard -- crumpling a newspaper in his left hand as he reaches for a shelved copy of Karl Marx's Das Kapital with his right); Victor Arnautoff's "City Life" (specifically the inclusion of the The New Masses and The Daily Worker periodicals in the scene's news stand rack); John Langley Howard's mural, which depicts an ethnically diverse Labor March as well as showing a destitute family panning for gold while a rich family observes.

CLICK to see the full set of 24 Coit Tower frescos


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney


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Your comments are invited and welcome.

9 comments:

kjpweb said...

Excellent images of beautiful artwork!
Bravo!
Cheers, Klaus

Tomate Farcie said...

Great post!! Thank you!

chrome3d said...

Beautiful stuff once again.

nonizamboni said...

Love these posts with the great mural art! Part Diego Rivera and the other part a European feel to them? Beautiful images.
Thanks for sharing your city.

photowannabe said...

Powerful images Don. Thanks for posting more of them.

Melissa's Cozy Tea Time Readings said...

Is this your swf? Did I miss it?

Photo Cache said...

beautiful. i never got a chance to see them. maybe the next time i go, i'll spend time to enjoy them.

Erin said...

i love public works murals...they are so powerful often in their depictions of the times they represented. many of the early post offices and government buildings in southern california had such murals...alas many are no longer.
your posts make me yearn to move back to my california...
have a wonderful weekend.

Texas Travelers said...

Great photos.

Troy

 
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