"Building Mission Dam"
In 1938, artist Belle Baranceanu painted two large murals “Building Padre Dam” and “Portola’s Departure” on the sides of the stage at Roosevelt Junior High (now Roosevelt Middle School) in San Diego for the WPA Curriculum Project. The San Diego Historical Society notes:
“For Roosevelt Junior High she was asked to use the theme of the “Four Cornerstones of American Democracy” for which she prepared some working drawings. Finding the concept terribly dull, she switched to historical subjects: Building Padre Dam and Portola’s Departure (1937-38).”
The school was remodeled in the 1970s, but “the Roosevelt Junior High murals were done on canvas and were saved. They are now stored at the San Diego Historical Society for eventual installation in the Museum of San Diego History in Balboa Park.”
This project was contributed by Muriel Goldhammer of San Diego, CA, who was a student at Roosevelt Junior High at the time Baranceanu was painting the murals, and remembers watching her paint while rehearsing for school plays. To read more about Baranceanu's WPA murals, see https://www.sandiegohistory.org https://www.newdealartregistry.org
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