Monday, January 4, 2010

Mosaic Monday--Santa Monica

Another former Home Savings and Loan featuring the mosaic artistry of Millard Sheets. When Home Savings and Loan got taken over by Washington Mutual, WaMu did a pretty decent job of conserving the artwork that came into their hands along with the buildings. Not all the former Home S&L's becames WaMu's, of course, and this building at Wilshire and 26th is a perfect example of that. It's now a Cellular Fantasy headquarters.

This picture doesn't showcase the mosaic, however.

For that, I turn to a page on RPMurals, a site that may have been abandoned because the author and photographer (Rich Puchalsky) moved away from California. I hope not. I'm using one picture--but there are several others on the site, including a close-up of Sheets' signature in mosaic. He designed the work, but it was executed by Denis O'Connor and Nancy Colbath.

Skipping around the internet, I've picked up a sense of worry over whether Chase Bank will prove to be conscientious caretakers of the artwork they've inherited. Let's hope so--it is priceless. Adam Arenson has a blog set up listing sites of Sheets' work (again--is it active?), and the Avenue to the Sky blog sounds the alert--at the Pasadena Chase branch at Lake and Colorado, some idjuts actually set up to paint over an interior mural by Sheets and were stopped by a library employee who happened to notice and made a phone call!  Paint over...I cannot believe any one person, painter, teller, customer, would be stupid enough to stand by and let that happen.  Thank God for Librarians!


Vix said...

Oops! Accidentally deleted this comment from Adam:
Yes, we are actively collecting information about the Sheets murals over at Perhaps a little slow on updating, but still at it.

Brian said...

Hey! I worked in the studio making these murals for many years. Crazy to see what use some of the buildings are being put to now and I do fear for their future. If it comes down to it, the interior painted murals can be removed and restored elsewhere rather than painted over. Egads!

Vix said...

Brian, thanks for stopping by. What studio made the murals? I'm curious.
There are a few big rays of hope in terms of preservation. First, Millard Sheets' son Tony is very actively involved in finding homes for any unwanted work. He's commented on Adam Arenson's blog about that. Second, there's a real concern now among people that wasn't there 5 or 10 years ago. The LA Conservancy is looking carefully at these buildings and their artwork.