The Coalition To Protect Public Art
* SF Chronicle, July 16, 2019: Mural supporters plan 2020 ballot measure to protect frescos at Washington High *
Artnet News, July 10, 2019: "This Artist Painted the Black Radical Response to the George Washington Slaveholder Murals. Here’s Why He Stands Against Destroying Them"
There are 13 major New Deal murals in the lobby of George Washington High School in San Francisco. Painted in 1936 by Coit Tower muralist Victor Arnautoff, a former assistant of Diego Rivera, these murals were part of a publicly-funded Works Progress Administration mural project called “Life and Era of George Washington.”
On June 25, 2019, the San Francisco School Board voted to spend $600,000 to destroy all 13 of these murals. After an international outcry and outpouring of public opposition, on August 13, 2019, the School Board voted instead to spend $825,000 to permanently board over and cover all of these murals with solid panels to hide them from view.
The COALITION TO PROTECT PUBLIC ART is organizing to protect this valuable public art from being destroyed or permanently blocked from public view by organizing to qualify an initiative for the November 2020 San Francisco ballot called the “Protect Public Access to Public Art Initiative." We are also supporting the consideration of a wide range of alternative options to increase education, provide mural context for viewers, create more art, and provide students and others a choice to decide for themselves whether or not to view art instead of the government destroying the murals or permanently preventing anyone from ever seeing them.
We need your help to protect this important public art before it's too late - please donate, sign up, and join us now.