UC Berkeley, Old Art Gallery Mosaics – Berkeley CA


These two Byzantine-style mosaic murals by Helen Bruton and F. Alston Swift were installed in 1936, two years after the Art Gallery opened. They are located on the eastern facade, flanking the building’s double entrance. Each mural measures 18′ by 10′.

“The left (Swift) panel is said to allegorically depict music and painting. There is a woman with a violin, and a woman with an easel. The right (Bruton) panel is said to depict Sculpture and Dance (a man seated behind a partially carved stone block, and three woman dancers).”
– http://www.wpamurals.com/berkel2.htm

Source notes

Archives of  American Art 1964 Interview with the artists: http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/oralhistories/transcripts/bruton64.htm

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Location Info

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Barrow Lane
Berkeley , CA 94702

Location notes:
This small brick building Northeast of Sproul Hall was built by John Galen Howard in 1904 to be the campus's first steam powerhouse. It has since been: an art gallery (1934-1970); UCPDs Bike Bureau; a storage facility; and a campus stationary store. The building is currently slated to be restored for use by the Department of Music.

Coordinates: 37.869912, -122.258555

3 comments on “UC Berkeley, Old Art Gallery Mosaics – Berkeley CA

  1. John Zuska

    These murals will soon need partial restoration and will always need protection from expanding construction projects on campus. Is there a special fund which purports to protect them? Although I’ve known many Cal graduates, I’ve never met one who had seen them while there. These murals deserve a permanent future.

    • Gabriel Milner

      Agreed! We do not know of a special fund to protect the murals, but we’d be happy to help publicize the cause if you’d like to write something for our site.

  2. Tomas McKay

    Hi there,
    we are now seriously working in restoring this building and its mosaics.
    The intention comes from the Center of Latin American Studies, which intents to relocate in this building. We have raised an important amount of money, but we still need a lot more.
    Can you help us in any way?

    all the best for you

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