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Working Timeline of the LA Mural History

November 20, 2014
  • 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution
  • 1913 Earliest mural according to Street Gallery (TV-stereo storefront, interior, 217 w. 6th St)
  • 1920s José Vasconcelos, Secretary of Public Education, Mexico aims to educate public through murals. Siqueiros, Rivera and José Orozco work there.
  • 1923 Siquieros helps found Syndicate of Revolutionary Mexican Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. Publish a manifesto for collective art.
  • 1927 Orozco moves to United States
  • 1930s Siquieros exiled
  • 1932 America Tropical: Olvera Street mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros
  • 1933-1943 New Deal/WPA funds about 50 murals in Los Angeles area
    petrochrome technique developed
  • 1938 America Tropical completely whitewashed
  • 1949 Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company murals (by Charles Alston and Hale A. Woodruff)
  • 1952-1979 Millard Sheets oversees Home Savings and Loans architecturals and murals
  • 1967 The Wall of Respect, organized by William Walker, Chicago, considered first community mural in the United States
  • 1968 Cityarts, NYC. Artists and community orgs begin to cooperate in structured way
  • 1968 America Tropical: Jesus Trevino makes a documentary about it
  • 1969 Chaz Bojorquez begins to write cholo-style graffiti as art in LA
  • 1969-1974 LA Fine Arts Squad (Terry Schoonhoven, Victor Henderson, Jim Frazen, Leonard Koren) , active in Venice
  • 1971 City money used to develop murals through neighborhood youth programs
  • 1973 Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) signed into law by Nixon. Funds artist community to contribute to Great Wall
  • 1974 Los Four Exhibit, LACMA
  • 1974 Citywide Murals Program
    started by General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, Sy Greben, after he sees the work of Judith Baca is Director
  • 1974-1983 Great Wall production
  • 1975 Street Writers. Transcribed audio tour of East Los Angeles graffiti in the early 1970’s by Chaz Bojorquez + Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti. A pioneer book in the Chicano and Graffiti culture.
  • 1976 National Murals Conference, NYC. first gathering. >150 muralists
  • 1976 Baca forms SPARC with Donna Deitch + Christina Schlesinger
  • 1977 America Tropical: Jean Bruce Poole, Shifra Goldman, and Trevino work to get the condition of the mural reassessed
  • 1978 America Tropical: The 1st protective  shelter for the mural goes up
  • 1980 California Art Preservation Act requires owners of artworks to give artists 30 days’ notice to remove their works before they are destroyed
  • 1983 Style Wars. Seminal documentary on hip hop culture, including graffiti
  • 1984 Subway Art. Documents early NYC graffiti scene.
  • 1988 America Tropical: Conservation begun
  • 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles; Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival; Olympic Freeway Mural Project. “For those living in parts of town with few neighborhood murals, those on the freeways were an eye-opener.” – Street Gallery
  • 1986 City addresses murals in regulations. Defines them as “mural signs” but exempted them from new billboard regulations
  • 1986 Twitchell’s Old Woman of the Freeway painted over for billboard ads; KT gets $175,000 gets settlement
  • 1987 Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles formed
  • 1989 Metro begins funding public art in its stations. 0.5% of new rail’s construction costs are set aside for funding public art
  • 1990 City was sued by the advertising industry that it was unfairly privileging murals over advertising
  • 1990 Percent for Public Art launched in LA. One percent of all capital improvement costs to commission public artwork
  • 1990 Venice Pavilion, site or murals, turned over to graffiti writers and becomes “Graffiti Pit”
  • 1991 Getty and Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department sponsor all-day conference: “Street Art/Graffiti Vandalism”
  • 1992 Long Beach Parks and Recreation and Summer Youth Employment Training hires 80 youth to create portable murals to exhibit around the cities
  • 1997 17 crews of writers paricipate in all-day restoration of the Graffiti Pit at Venice Beach. Organized by SPARC
  • 2002 City-wide moratorium on both ads and murals (in response to 1990 suit/to avoid costly suits)
  • 2006, Kent Twitchell settles with government and other defendents for the painting over of the 70 foot “Ed Ruscha Monument”; gets 1.1 million
  • 2011 Caltrans starts showcasing murals in banner form near original locations on the 110 Freeway
  • 2011 Art in the Streets, show on street art at MOCA
  • 2011 LA Freewalls Project
  • 2011 Pacific Standard Time showcases many murals
  • 2012 America Tropical once again accessible to public
  • 2013 Mural Ordinance passes
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