Libraries are not only wonderful, calm places to read and explore books, but also to see murals. Here’s one in the Earlscourt Library in Toronto. This is an incredible story because the murals, originally painted by Doris McCarthy in 1932, were painted over during a renovation. The locals remembered the original murals and how much delight they brought. They raised $12,000 to uncover just one mural.
Today the entire set of murals can be seen thanks to $2.54 million restoration. Lesson: “modernization” shouldn’t forget intrinsic value.
Here’s another mural that had long been covered up in a former public library in New Orleans. Dr. Sylvi Beaumont purchased the structure and didn’t know about the murals until floodwaters caused damage and renovation efforts were started. The murals of Edward Schoenberger were of the historical progress of the written word from caveman days to 1941. These murals were painted over six months on one long stretch of canvas and installed as a commission through the Works Progress Administration. I recognized his style, which was popular during the time, also from the murals in the Sazerac Bar at the Rooselvelt Hotel. In fact, Schoenberger contributed to painting these as well. It is really compelling to read more and see this video about how they came their vibrant rebirth. The artist restoring them did an excellent, painstaking and thoughtful job.