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   The History Lesson
   16.5 x 22 ft, acrylic on plaster
   February 2017
   Whittier, CA
Whittier History Lesson Mural

This trompe l’oeil mural was painted on this wall as part of a new shopping center in Whittier, CA. The mural is on the corner of a brand new Orchard Supply Hardware building on the corner of the main street, Whittier Boulevard, and a side street. The wall was built specifically to hold the mural.

The mural depicts an archway, and through the archway is an idealized landscape view depicting elements of Whittier's history. The land where Whittier is located was originally part of a Spanish land grant, and the mural depicts two Spanish Californios, a dancer and guitar player, to represent that era. Pio Pico, the last governor of Alta California, built a large hacienda in what is now Whittier, and that is represented by the building and courtyard in the center of the mural.

The land that is present-day Whittier was acquired by a group of Quakers in 1887, and the mural shows a Quaker seated to one side enjoying the view. Whittier grew into a prosperous agricultural community, represented by orange trees behind the dancers, crops and orchards on the hills in the distant landscape, and the idealized townscape from the 1930s. The coming of the railroad connected Whittier to the rest of the country and allowed the community to grow and thrive into the city it is today.

Standing in the archway are a mother and daughter, with the mother showing the daughter the view of Whittier's history depicted in the landscape. The mother and daughter are viewing the historical scene much as viewers are looking at the mural, and so viewers are invited to join them in appreciating Whittier’s rich history.