Industrial Activities in Long Beach
Jean Swiggett & Ivan Bartlett
An engaging example of Local Scene painting, this large and vibrant mural celebrates the Long Beach community. Not to be missed is the city scape sketch at the very top border: Oil, storage tanks, and commercial buildings appear on the horizon. Previous graduates of Long Beach’s Poly High School, Jean Swiggett and Ivan Bartlett, were hired by the Federal Art Project (FAP) to depict scenes of commercial, recreational and industrial scenes (fishing, canning, shipping, plus allusion to oil and marketing). Set against a harbor and city skyline, these activities are quite detailed. Fishermen are mending nets, fishing and holding oars; Women in aprons are collecting fish for processing in the canneries; a boy has just caught a fish; Two men with rods stand on the shore; Longshoremen are loading/unloading fruit and vegetables; Rolls of paper, wooden crates and flour sacks are stacked in the center. Even military personnel are featured to remind students of the Navy’s presence. Recreational swimming, sand play and the requisite surfboard are evident. The mural packs a lot of information into 600′ square. Although, like most federal art of this period, depictions of individual, identifiable persons are not included, although this mural does display a number of the ethnicities represented in Long Beach at the time such as Asian, Eastern European, African-American, Latino and Anglo.
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