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Santa Monica Library Mural Focus of Conservancy Presentation
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By Lookout Staff

March 24, 2017 -- The Santa Monica Conservancy will present an illustrated talk next month about a storied mural that found its way back to the beach City after years in storage in the nation's capital.

The presentation is part of the Santa Monica Conservancy’s Annual Meeting, which will take place April 8 at the Santa Monica Public Library where the murals are housed.

The event -- from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose room -- includes a year-in-review of the Conservancy's work, board elections and a presentation of the 2017 Preservation Awards.

Entitled “Technical and Imaginative Pursuits of Early Man,” the extensive mural cycle painted in 1934-35 by Santa Monica resident Stanton Macdonald-Wright highlights what what the artist considered to be the two most important facets -- technology and creativity.

MacDonald Wright pictured with library mural
Stanton Macdonald-Wright at the unveiling of the murals in the reading room of the Santa Monica Library. Circa 1930s (Photos courtesy of City of Santa Monica)

The mural was designed for the City's Carnegie library and removed when the building was demolished and replaced in the mid-1960s with a new larger building.

The mural panels, which were created as part of the federally funded Public Works of Art Project, were reclaimed by the federal government and stored at the Smithsonian for decades.

"Local arts activists and council members, long advocating for their return to Santa Monica, were finally successful, and the murals were returned and replaced in the current building in 2005," Conservation officials said.

The mural depicts scenes from the area including Santa Monica Bay and references to the film industry, which fascinated the artist, who also created the murals in City Hall's lobby and a unique fire curtain at Barnum Hall ("Historic Mural Comes Home," December 21, 2004).

Admission to te presentation is free. Advance reservations are recommended by April 1. Register online, email rsvp@smconservancy.org, or leave a message at (310) 496-3146.

The library has limited street level (metered) and paid underground parking. Enter midblock on 7th Street. The Library is also accessible by the Big Blue Bus.


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