Monday, November 18, 2013

Mystery Mosaics in Long Beach

Today's Mystery Mosaic adorns a building in Long Beach, at 3728 Atlantic--just down the street from the Historical Society of Long Beach. Unfortunately, though, the HSLB was not able to tell me anything about it.

The current tenants, Prudential California Realty, were very nice and apologetic, but had no information either.

Clearly, the mosaic is of an Old Testament story that most of us remember hearing, just because it was so appalling.

And I say "clearly" because the moscaicist thoughtfully included the book and chapter where the story can be found--see it there on the far left? Kings iii or First Book of Kings, Chapter 3 (verses 17 to 28, if you're interested).

And by the way, I'm bumping up the font here just to take up space because I have so little to say. If anyone can tell me more about these mosaics, I will either put that information in here or in a new post, and credit you.

Thanks in advance--

The gentleman on the left is Solomon, of course, the wise king of Israel.

The creepy story goes that two women came to see him. They had a baby they were arguing over.

Lady 1 said the baby was hers. She said Lady 2 used to have a baby but rolled over him while she was sleeping, and suffocated him.

Lady 2 said the live baby was hers. She claimed Lady 1 had suffocated her own baby in her sleep and was now trying to grab her child.

When I first heard this story, I figured I understood why my mother never let me crawl into her bed. I could get killed that way!

Anyway, the wise King Solomon ordered that his trusty swordsman cut the live child in half, right down the middle, and give one piece to each woman.

So of course, the REAL mother cried out "NO! Let her have him!"

Clever Solomon to know that only the real mother would care if a baby was vivisected right in front of her, huh?

When I went in search of an online link for this story, I found that the BibleGateway King James version of the story refers to both women as prostitutes, while other versions do not. Why, and why does that matter to the story?


Was this building once a temple or church? A library?

If you know, or if you remember anything about these mosaics, please leave a comment and point me in the right direction.

I did, btw, look for the address and a few other things in the Long Beach Libraries' collection and in their newspaper data base, but without success. 


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Jules said...

Hi, sent you an email... I have information about this mosaic to share.

Vickey Kall said...

Jules, I got your email and replied that I'd love to hear some information. Haven't heard back so I hope you did get my email.