Sunday, October 22, 2006

When Pigs Fly 2 (Farmer John Murals)

When Pigs Fly
Originally uploaded by DBM.
After a trip to the Autry Western Heritage Center today for a panel on the Endangered Species Act and a visit to their Yosemite: Art of An American Icon exhibit, I swung by Vernon, California to take pictures of the Farmer John Murals. These depictions of happy pigs in an idyllic setting--I'll post more of them over time--grace the exterior of a meat packing company. The murals were begun in about 1957 by Les Grimes, a scenic artist who had worked for some of the film studios in Los Angeles. Grimes worked alone on the murals until November 14, 1968, when he fell to his death from scaffolding while working on an area of sky. The murals were finished and updated by Arno Jordan. You can find information about these murals on the official Farmer John site and in a lovely little book The Great Murals of Farmer John Brand, Clougherty Meat Packing Co. in Vernon, California, by Susan Hopmans and Peter Kenner. Alas, all the images in this out-of-print book (pub. 1971) are black and white. For a rebuttal of sorts to this representation, see Sue Coe's Dead Meat (1996), pages 87-88.


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