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Kent Twitchell to create three murals for downtown's Patriotic Hall

February 25, 2010 |  5:00 pm

Preamble Artist Kent Twitchell has created murals that have appeared all over Los Angeles, gracing the sides of buildings and overlooking freeways. Now the artist is set to create three more murals that will appear in the lobby of Patriotic Hall in downtown L.A.

Twitchell has been commissioned to create works that will celebrate the lost murals of Helen Lundeberg that were painted in Patriotic Hall in 1942. The commission is from Los Angeles County’s Civic Art Program, which is administered by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, which is located at 1816 S. Figueroa St. (near 18th Street), is scheduled to be closed through 2012 as part of a $46-million restoration project. Upon completion, the 10-story building is intended to house the county’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Lundeberg's original murals in the building were titled "The Preamble to the Constitution," "Free Assembly" and "Free Ballot." She received the commission in the early 1940s from the Work Projects Administration's  Federal Art Project.

The original intent was to create nine murals in the building's lobby -- "The Preamble to the Constitution" along with eight freedoms the Constitution guarantees. But budgetary constraints due to World War II forced organizers to reduce the number

Each of Lundeberg's three murals was done in oil paint and measured approximately 12 feet wide by 15 feet high, according to the L.A. County Arts Commission. The murals took 11 days to complete, with Lundeberg hand-painting them with the help of four assistants, said the commission.

In a request for applications that was sent out last year, the budget for the new mural project was listed as $285,000. The L.A. County Arts Commission said the budget figure has not changed.

The County Arts Commission said that Lundeberg's original murals were removed in the early '70s and that an extensive search for the original murals was unsuccessful.

"Only poor quality photographs remain of the Lundeberg murals," said the commission.

Installation of Twitchell's murals for Patriotic Hall is expected to be in 2012.

-- David Ng

Photo: Lundeberg's mural "The Preamble to the Constitution," which once graced the lobby of Patriotic Hall. Credit: L.A. County Arts Commission

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