Julia Ideson Building (Public Library) Murals – Houston TX

Description

Oncell: “In 1934, as part of a local Public Works [of] Art Project, three Houston area artists were commissioned to paint murals in the Houston Public Library (HPL) building.  The murals found on the first and second floors of the Julia Ideson Building now constitute the largest collection of depression-era murals found in the city of Houston. This triptych, or three piece set, found in our first floor hallway depict Spanish scenes and symbols painted by artist Angela McDonnell of Galveston.  In 1930, Miss McDonnell had obtained passage on a cargo ship leaving Houston and ended up in Barcelona, Spain.  Her two years in Spain influenced her future work, as you can see in the three pictures above.

On the left, Avila, the Excuses for Conquest, depicts the Castilian Spanish re-conquest of the Andalusian peninsula in 1492.  She has illustrated both sides of the struggle represented by the Spanish and Moorish warriors in this section.

In the Center, La Rabida, Cradle of the New World introduces us to Father Juan Perez who lived in the monastery La Rabida seen on the top of the hill in this mural.  Father Perez was instrumental in facilitating the financing for Christopher Columbus’ trip by Queen Isabella of Spain.  The men are shown on either side of the coat of arms of Queen Isabella.

On the right, Toledo, Art and Literature in Spain McDonnell chose the city of Toledo, known for its metallurgy and swords, but focused instead on art and literature. She depicts the bridge of Alcantara and the castle of San Fernando suggesting the picturesque life of old Spain and represents its art and literature by the figures of El Greco and Don Quixote.”

Source notes

https://hmrc.oncell.com/en/first-floor-pwa-murals-7-98089.html

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 31, 2018.

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Location Info


550 McKinney St.
Houston, TX 77002

Coordinates: 29.758874, -95.369133

One comment on “Julia Ideson Building (Public Library) Murals – Houston TX

  1. With reference to the following I would suggest a review on the content:
    “depicts the Castilian Spanish re-conquest of the Andalusian peninsula in 1492”
    The term Andalusian peninsula is not correct. Andalucia is not a peninsula, is part of the Iberian Peninsula and in 1492 the territory that now is called Andalucia, was not named like that then.
    Please note there was only a small part of the territory that is now Andalucia that was not under the government of Castilla, that was Granada, which was finally annexed to Castilla after the expulsion of the last muslim king in 1492.

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