Monday, January 25, 2010

More Millard Sheets (Did he give us the birds?)

This beautiful mosaic sits over the entrance of the Wells Fargo Bank on Torrance Blvd., just west of PCH.  My guess is that the SH is Millard Sheets' signature. (You can just see it in the second shot, bottom left corner.)

But that is a guess. The branch manager was kind enough to offer to check and find out if this is indeed a Millard Sheets mosaic. 'Twas a gray day to begin with, so these pictures are not the best--but I believe the mosaic is in need of some TLC. Some of those red pieces near the bottom are looking a bit ragged. Redondo Beach has a Historical Society--wonder if there's any chance of getting the mural restored, as happened in Palos Verdes?

Friend Judy, who once worked at the Los Angeles Main Library, pointed me to a Smithsonian site that has an online finding aid to the contents of the Smithsonsonian's collection of Millard Sheets & Assoc. documents, project notes, sketches, etc. Boxes 12-14 are specifically labeled Home Savings, and list all the cities. I don't see Redondo on there.


Adam said...

Hello --

Those definitely are the work of Millard Sheets and his art studio -- and the list I have constructed contains a Redondo Beach location, as confirmed by folks at the LA ModCom.

Is there another Torrance location to include, as well?

Check out the latest list at

Vix said...

This Wells Fargo Bank is actually in Redondo Beach--I realize I didn't make that clear. It's on the last stretch of Torrance Blvd. as it winds down to the Redondo Pier.
Adam, I'll email you pictures and addresses of the two Torrance locations.

Suzanne said...

Any mosaic art work done on any previous Home Savings and loan buildings after 1983 was done by Denis OConnor, not Millard Sheets. Millard retired in 1982 and Denis O'Connor who had been doing the installations and designs (along with Susan Hertel) for Millard took over the Home Savings contracts.

Vix said...

The SH must be Susan Hertel, then. THat's a comfort--I was assuming that the rest of Sheets' signature had disappeared, perhaps due to sloppy repair work!