Industry, a two-part mural painted for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Painted by Paul Goranson, E.J. Hughes, and Orville Fisher, the three “were known as The Three Musketeers of Art’ in reference to the fact that they were artists who had enlisted.” (source) The trio also called themselves the West Coast Brotherhood, echoing the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. (source)
A total of
15 make that 12 murals in this series were painted, part of a project called “Art in Action”, which featured the murals on the walls of the exhibition hall. WWII caused the Expo to close early, but smaller versions of the murals survive in the BC Archives in Victoria. (source) These two murals are also seen in the book Free Spirit: Stories of You, Me and BC by Gerald Truscott.
E.J. Hughes, described by Jack Shadbolt as “the most engaging intuitive painter of the BC landscape since Emily Carr”, he is truly an icon of modern day Canadian art. (source)
“Orville Fisher’s paintings of the Second World War constitute one of the most complete records of Canada’s day-to-day role in that conflict. Perhaps his chief claim to fame is that he was the only Allied war artist to land in Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. This achievement is all the more extraordinary given the fact that he almost never made it overseas in the first place.” More
Orville Fisher’s mural featuring the figure of Mercury, god of messages and glad tidings, appears inside the post office building at 349 West Georgia Street, by the Homer Street entrance. He also assisted with the 1951 mural “B.C. Pageant” with Charles Comfort and 2 students.
“After the war, Goranson remained for two years with the RCAF in Ottawa, working up his pencil, charcoal and watercolour sketches into canvases. Then, finding no work in Toronto, he went to New York” (source) where “he became a display designer and then a scenic artist, joining the Metropolitan Opera in 1965. Here he worked under artists and designers such as Franco Zefferelli, Sir Cecil Beaton, and Marc Chagall. But he remained a Canadian citizen and, upon retirement in 1986 at the age of 75, returned to Vancouver.” (source)
Goranson is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourites.
Low resolution images PDP02285 and PDP02286 shown here are courtesy of the Royal BC Museum, BC Archives. Cross-posted to Vancouver Is Awesome.