Hollenbeck Middle School Mural – Los Angeles CA


Dorr Bothwell painted this mural “Youth and Democracy” in 1938 with WPA Federal Art Project funding for the Hollenbeck Junior High School, also a New Deal project. From a 1965 oral history interview with Bothwell:

MS. BOTHWELL: That was just a little thing. It was only two feet high, I think it was two feet high or two and a half feet high, and that ran two hundred and some odd feet. And we had all the costumes of the children of the world or all the costumes of the people of the world around the foyer of the theater. Above the paneling was this little tiny space and somebody got this bright idea. These are in very brilliant colors and very simple little things. And they were characters, like for England. This was France, and Czechoslovakia, and Japan, China, Korea, and so forth and so on. They had a whole lot of them. That must have been 1939.

MS. MCCHESNEY: What material was that done in?

MS. BOTHWELL:  That was right on the wall and again, I think, we were using casein.  Casein had suddenly become very popular at that time and we were doing quite a lot of casein work. The beginning of the project, people had used canvas and oil paints and everything, but I wasn’t in that painter’s division. I was sort of in – the idea of, well, wall decoration. They suddenly got this idea and everybody was experimenting with the casein. Besides it was cheap. We made our own mixtures. We had the dry color and we measured the casein and mixed the whole works together generally in big coffee cans. (The Archives of American Art, https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-dorr-bothwell-12484)


Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry: https://www.newdealartregistry.org/

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

2510 E. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Location notes: Auditorium foyer

Coordinates: 34.034965, -118.211252

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