Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fullerton Art History: a Timeline

I'm contributing to a new book project sponsored by PAS Gallery and Workshop for Community Arts called Fullerton Cartonographies.  One of my contributions to the book is a timeline of art history in Fullerton, based on research I've been doing over the past year.  Here's what I've come up with...

1934: WPA artist Charles Kassler paints the 75-foot "Pastoral California" mural on the side of Plummer Auditorium.


1939: Fullerton High School Board of Trustees orders Kassler's mural painted over, citing "lurid colors and grotesque figures."  It remains painted over for 58 years.


1942: Post-surrealist painter Helen Lundberg paints second WPA mural "The History of California" in the Fullerton City Council Chambers (now the Fullerton Police Station).



1962: The Fullerton Police Department orders that Lundberg's mural "The History of California" be painted over.

1964: Fullerton businessman Norton Simon offers to fund a world-class art museum in Fullerton, to feature his collection of Picassos, Van Goghs, Degas, and other masters. 



1964: "The First Night in Fullerton" art event takes place, the result of efforts of local artists Florence Arnold, Dorian Hunter, Marjorie Kerr, and others.



1965: Fullerton businesssman Walter Muckenthaler donates his house to the City of Fullerton, to be used as a cultural center.


1967: CSUF graduate students stage peformance of a play called "The Beard" and Fullerton politician John Scmnitz calls a highly publicized senate hearing regarding "obscenity."


1968: After encountering resistance from city council, Norton Simon retracts his offer to build his art museum.


1974: Muse 9, later named the Fullerton Museum Center opens with its first permanent collection: an assemblage of bones acquired from the La Brea Tar Pits.



1978: Local artist David Whalen, along with community youth, paint the Lemon Underpass murals in Fullerton.


1980: Fullerton punk bands Social Distortion, The Middle Class, and The Adolescents begin recording and hosting shows in venues like The Galaxy and Ichabods, beginning an era of DIY art and music in Fullerton.


1993: WPA mural "The History of California" is restored.


1997: WPA mural "Pastoral California" is restored.


1998: Celebrated Chicano artist Emigdio Vasquez helps restore Lemon Underpass murals.


2010: Downtown Fullerton Art Walk is launched.


2012: Local artist Rene Cardona paints new public murals on Amerige Ave. downtown.


2012: Fullerton College's first exterior mural is completed, as part of the Fullerton College Centennial.


1 comment:

  1. The mural has to be my favorite art work. It's fascinating to see how vast Fullerton's art history actually is and to view pieces from decades ago.

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