The oil-on-canvas mural “Orange Pickers” by Paul Julian is the only WPA post office mural in Orange County. It depicts images of Fullerton industries including citrus, oil and aviation. Julian also worked as a cartoon background painter and Roadrunner voice artist for Warner Brothers.
A document now on the wall below the mural reads:
“The noted California painter Paul Julian painted the large mural on display in the old Fullerton post office. Julian was born in 1914 in Santa Barbara, California. He trained with Millard Sheets and Lawrence T. Murphy at the Chouinard Art Insititute. The mural was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA program began in 1933 at the suggestion of George Biddle, an artist who had studied with Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Biddle persuaded President Franklin Roosevelt to institute a program similar to one the Mexican government created, to decorate government buildings. This effort sparked an artistic revolution. The program provided needy artists with work and money. This also offered artists a range of creative options, from small paintings to large murals.
This mural depicts life in Fullerton in the mid-thirties. Fullerton High students picking Valencia oranges, oil derricks, and the Fullerton airport. The artistic license taken by Paul Julian has created some controversy because the ladder shown, a three-legged type, is not the right type for picking oranges, and oranges were never packed in boxes in the field. They would have been placed into a large over the shoulder bag while being picked and then carried to the boxes, and commingled with the others.”
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE