Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rico Lebrun and his mural at Baldwin Hills Village - Lecture March 11

Rico Lebrun, Self Portrait, 1950

SUNDAY MARCH 11, 3pm  
at the CLUBHOUSE  
 5300 RODEO ROAD, Los Angeles, 90016

Rare Kodachrome image of the Rico Lebrun mural in the Administration Building,
prior to it being hidden for decades .
Courtesy David Lebrun and Night Fire Films.

The Rico Lebrun mural shown in the context
of the room for which it was painted, 1944
Photograph by Margaret Lowe, from Pencil Points, 1944
Please join us on Sunday, March 11th at 3pm in the Village Green Clubhouse, for a talk by Gailyn Saroyan about artist Rico Lebrun, and the mural he created for Baldwin Hills Village. This free talk is open to Village Green residents, as well as anyone else from the community who may be interested.

In 1941, Reginald Johnson, the architect responsible for two of the small number of National Historic Landmarks in the Los Angeles area, commissioned artist Rico Lebrun, an important 20th century painter, to paint a mural for the reception room of the newly constructed Administration Building at Baldwin Hills Village.  Not only did Lebrun paint this mural, but he later married Reginald Johnson's daughter Constance, and they lived for a time at the Village.

The image you see today of the mural is just a photograph printed
on canvas. The actual mural is still there, underneath layers of plaster
and paint. Through a grant from the Getty, it has been
determined that it would be possible to restore the mural to
its original glory.

This work of art would be a kind of crowning touch on a residential project designed to be a showcase of Garden City Movement principles. It was this elegant achievement in urban planning which would become one of Los Angeles’s National Historic Landmarks 60 years later.

A detail of a section uncovered by art conservators.
You can see that the mural does have subtle colors.
Located in the first of the two community buildings, this mural was to carry the inspirational message behind the project.

Did you know Rico Lebrun
taught animal anatomy to the
animators at the Walt Disney
Studios, as they prepared
A talk by Gailyn Saroyan will consider the mural’s subject matter, technique and immediate setting, and also explore the economic and historic currents unfolding in Los Angeles at the time it was created.  A brief survey of the artist’s life and career will be highlighted by some of the artist’s own eloquent statements. 

Photograph of the artist
Rico Lebrun, circa 1950

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