South Pasadena Middle School Bas-Relief – South Pasadena CA

Description

This WPA bas-relief “CCC Workers” was carved for the school by Donal Hord in 1933. It shows CCC workers engaged in a variety of activities. The relief adorns the south entrance of the school auditorium. It has recently been restored with a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

South Pasadena Middle School students created this video about the relief.

Source notes

Public Art in LA

South Pasadena Middle School History

Project originally submitted by Gray Brechin on October 5, 2010.

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Location Info


1600 Oak St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Location notes:

Coordinates: 34.107798, -118.150508

One comment on “South Pasadena Middle School Bas-Relief – South Pasadena CA

  1. Lori Fuller Rusch

    C.C.C. Workers by Donal Hord
    A Brief History

    San Diego sculptor Donal Hord (1902-1966) was born in Wisconson. Due to health concerns after a bout with rheumatic fever as a child, he moved with his mother first to Seattle then to San Diego, where he resided for the rest of his life. His fragile health as a young person kept him out of school but he spent hours in the San Diego Public Library. Librairians and antique shop owners became his friedship base and he began collecting small art works from around the world. This interest in world art continued through out his career, and Asian and Mexican influences are found throughout his work.

    In 1916, the Panama-California Exposition came to Balboa Park where young Hord was surrounded by the rich architecture of Bertram Goodhue and further influenced by the varied sculptural styles from the exhibit. After training at the Santa Barbara School of Art, Hord met Homer Dana who would serve as his assistant for the remainder of his career. He was briefly married to Dorr Bothwell, a prominent California artist.

    Hord’s choice of materials set him apart from his contemporaries. He worked with obsidian and diorite, the most difficult of all materials to carve. C.C.C. workers is a cast stone relief created under the auspices of the W.P.A. (Federal Art Project). The piece shows ethnically diverse young men participating in camp activities. The details in this work include regional flora and fauna, such as California quail, agave cactus, and a coiling rattlesnake. The relief was on display at Exposition Park in 1933 where it is assumed that the school acquired it.

    With the encouragement and support of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation, the SPMS PTA’s Art and Architectural Preservation Subcommittee was able to secure a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The firm of Rosa Lowinger and Associates was retained to remove, conserve, and reinstall the cast stone relief. Last year the newly conserved relief was revealed, at a community celebration, in its new home in the lobby of the auditorium designed by Norman Foote March in 1928.

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