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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mural

This is a section of the ceiling mural in the lobby of the Chrysler Building, done by Edward Trumbull in 1930. Click here for second photo. Considered the largest mural in the world, it measures 100 x 96 feet. Entitled "Transport and Human Endeavor," it depicts energy and man's application of it to the solution of his problems. The mural's central image is a male figure who was described in a 1930s building brochure as a ''muscled giant whose brain directs his boundless energy to the attainment of the triumphs of this mechanical era." There are images of fire, lightning, electricity, heat and steam, the telegraph, telephone, radio, ocean liners, trains, airplanes, buildings, and scenes of construction workers building the Chrysler building and from the Chrysler assembly line. In the 1970s, the mural was essentially damaged by the application of a polyurethane coating; in addition, recessed lighting was cut into the mural itself. In 1999, a thorough restoration was done with an estimated 10,000 hours of labor. The urethane was removed; the spotlight fixture holes repaired - filled with plaster, new canvas attached and images recreated using archival photos. In a time when the dumbing down of America is a popular refrain, it is heartening to see the widespread movement of architectural restoration and preservation in this country ...

4 comments:

walter said...

Landmarks Preservation Commission probably made management do it; but either way, I'm glad they restored it; it is a masterpiece...a national treasure. Wonderful photo!

Brian said...

The renovation of the lobby was decided when the ownership changed hands. It's great that they felt a civic obligation to do this.
Brian

susan in atl said...

"In a time when the dumbing down of America is a popular refrain, it is heartening to see the widespread movement of architectural restoration and preservation in this country ..."

Hallelujah!

Heidi said...

Thank you for sharing this photo and information. I enjoy your blog... found it through Paris Daily Photo. Wonderful work.