Old Brew



Our Lost Hollywood Animator Mural series continues with this beauty (above) painted by Paul Julian.Reader Terry Guy passes along this picture and information:

The recent Cartoon Brew posts about murals reminded me of this one, which is not so cartoony, but is the work of Warner Brothers cartoons background painter/Roadrunner voice artist Paul Julian.It may be seen in the Post Office at 202 E. Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton, CA, close by the Amtrak station. When I was there about a year ago (when I took the accompanying picture), a document was posted on the wall below the mural (on the other side of the door from the Wanted poster), with the following text:INFORMATION ON THE POST OFFICE MURAL
The noted California painter Paul Julian painted the large mural on display in the old Fullerton post office. Julian was born in 1914 in Santa Barbara, California. He trained with Millard Sheets and Lawrence T. Murphy at the Chouinard Art Insititute. The mural was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA program began in 1933 at the suggestion of George Biddle, an artist who had studied with Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Biddle persuaded President Franklin Roosevelt to institute a program similar to one the Mexican government created, to decorate government buildings. This effort sparked an artistic revolution. The program provided needy artists with work and money. This also offered artists a range of creative options, from small paintings to large murals.
This mural depicts life in Fullerton in the mid-thirties. Fullerton High students picking Valencia oranges, oil derricks, and the Fullerton airport. The artistic license taken by Paul Julian has created some controversy because the ladder shown, a three-legged type, is not the right type for picking oranges, and oranges were never packed in boxes in the field. They would have been placed into a large over the shoulder bag while being picked and then carried to the boxes, and commingled with the others.
The idea that artistic license over orange crates and ladders is controversial seems incongruous today, when we know that the term “controversy” really should be reserved for issues of great magnitude, such as Janet Jackson’s Superbowl “wardrobe malfunction”. On the other hand, this was Fullerton in the thirties, and they took their oranges seriously.