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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Arts + Action | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Labor & Workers
Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco's Master Muralist of the 1930’s
SFSU professor Bob Cherny gives a lecture on his new book Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco's Master Muralist of the 1930’s. Arnautoff was the most important muralist in the 1930's in the bay area and he was hounded during the 1950's witch hunt leading him to leave the bay area for the Soviet Union.
Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco's Master Muralist of the 1930's is the title of a book written by SFSU Professor Robert Cherny. Victor Arnautoff worked as muralist Diego Rivera's assistant in Mexico City and then came back to San Francisco where he worked on important murals and paintings as well as graphics for the longshore workers in 1934. He did some of the murals at Coit Tower where he was artistic director of the project. Between 1931 and 1942, Victor Arnautoff was arguably San Francisco’s leading artist of pubic murals. His murals may still be seen today at the former Palo Alto Health Clinic, Coit Tower, the former Protestant chapel at the Presidio of San Francisco, George Washington High School, the San Francisco Art Institute, and at three post offices including South San Francisco. From his service as a cavalry officer during the Russian Civil War, his politics moved left, joining the Communist Party in 1938. This lecture surveys Arnautoff’s career, from his birth in Russia in 1896 to his death in the Soviet Union in 1979, focusing on his art and politics during his years in San Francisco from 1931 to 1963. He also taught painting at the California Labor School and at Stanford. During the 1950's hounded during the McCarthy period and returned to the Soviet Union where he continued to do his work.
This presentation by professor Robert Cherny was made on July 11, 2017 in San Francisco and was sponsored by SF Musuem and Historical Society http://sfhistory.org and is a part of LaborFest.net
Production of Labor Video Project
Victor Arnautoff did some of the art at Coit Tower and it came under attacks by right-wingers.
Coit Tower artists supported the San Francisco general strike of 1934
The Coit Tower was a project of the PWA.
The Coit Tower art work showed the massive homeless that existed in the 1930's and today.