- Fullerton, CA
- Site Type:
- Murals, Art Works
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), Arts Programs
- Charles Kassler
- Quality of Information:
- Site Survival:
Charles Kassler painted “Pastoral California” at Fullerton Union High School in 1934. He received funding from the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). Located in the Louis Plummer Auditorium (built in 1930), the mural is 75′ x 15′.
Caroline Luce notes that the mural “depicted the lives of both indigenous and Spanish residents in Alta California and emphasized the disparities of wealth and power in the colonial period. At a time when Mexicans were being blamed for the city’s economic woes, Kessler celebrated Los Angeles’ Mexican history. His mural presented students at the school a history lesson about inequality and racism, prompting the school’s Board of Directors to whitewash the mural in 1939” (Luce, “Reluctant Modernist”).
Deemed “vulgar” and “inappropriate” by the High School District and Junior College Board of Trustees, Kassler’s mural was indeed whitewashed in 1939. Thankfully, it was restored in 1997. In 2021, it was given the status of local landmark by a unanimous vote of the Fullerton City Council.
Caroline Luce, "Hugo Ballin's Los Angeles" [online exhibit]
"'Pastoral California' Mural and YMCA Sign Designated Local Landmarks," Fullerton Observer, March 18, 2021.
Site originally submitted by Marshall Duell on April 8, 2009.
Additional contributions by Natalie McDonald.
At this Location:
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