Belmont High School: Spohn Mosaic – Los Angeles CA

Project type: Mosaics, Art Works
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Artist Stanley Spohn designed a tile mosaic for a drinking fountain at Belmont High School in Los Angeles, CA. He received funding from the Federal Arts Project (FAP).

Spohn described the mosaic as being “handled in a manner reminiscent of the Persian rather than the Italian School, which conforms with Umbrian type of architecture in color and in its vertical and horizontal arrangement of the tessera method of making mosaic.

“It portrays four of the intellectual achievements. Science is shown by a conventionalized microscope on the observation platform of which there is a crystal, suggestive of the polarization of light. Behind the microscope is a conventional eye, representing the sense medium for viewing the graphic arts. Mathematics is combined with music in an abstract representation of the universe, consisting of the milky way, a solar disk and spiral nebula.

“The artist here endeavors to tie up the rhythm and mathematical relationship found in both music and the constellations. The small figure, balancing that of science, is a conventionalized Egyptian figure, representing the arts and crafts.

“Artistically the two end panels are based on the ancient Egyptian type of design. The two center panels are in the field of abstract modernism—thus binding together harmoniously with this new medium of the tile mosaic, the two ends of the history of art” (qtd. Wells, p. 23).

Spohn was a 23-year-old student at The ArtCenter School at the time. He went on to become a background artist for Disney.

Source notes

Wells, N. W. “Federal Art Project and the Schools.” Los Angeles School Journal XX, no. 29 (April 26, 1937): 17–25.

Joseph, Adam. "Disney’s first background artist turns 94 in his beloved Carmel." Monterey County Now. January 8, 2009.

Project originally submitted by Natalie McDonald on February 11, 2023.

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Location Info

1575 W 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Coordinates: 34.0619, -118.2631

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