BLACK GOLD – Mystery Petroleum Mosaic- UPDATE

Midcentury Mosaic Mural depicting the Petroleum industry in Los Angeles found behind walls at old Statler Hotel.

UPDATE: April 1 2015

Its been three years since I began the investigation and wrote this article “Black Gold: Thar’s Oil in them Thar Walls” for MosaicArtNOW. It’s a veritable mystery tour of the discovery of a brilliant midcentury mosaic by designer/textile artist John Smith, buried behind plywood and drywall at the old Statler Hotel in Los Angeles. The Petroleum Club mosaic was bought by a private collector, who cleaned the massive work and now has it up for auction with Blackman Cruz Auction house in Los Angeles.  This spectacular piece will go on the block as LOT 226 on April 21, 2015. Suggested estimate at $30,000-40,000. I will be watching closely.

Page from the auction website, states info gleaned from my article.

Page from the auction website, states info gleaned from my article.

 

The timing is particularly relevant because another large scale architectural mosaic was uncovered in New York City, by Max Spivak, Spivak had done work for the same Statler Hotel, but the work had been destroyed in one of the many hotel renovations years ago. You can see Spivak’s original abstract work in this newspaper clipping which I found and included in the article.

7.StatlerNewsPhoto

 

 

Spivak’s work was resurrected from behind the walls and is now covered again, to protect it during renovations. Will it be on view again remains to be seen. Read about it here.

Max Spivak's exceptionally geometric 5 Bryant Park Office tower in Manhattan. Photo: Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Max Spivak’s exceptionally geometric 5 Bryant Park Office tower in Manhattan

Photo: Michael Appleton for The New York Times

A version of this article will also appear in the SOCIETY OF COMMERCIAL ARCHAEOLOGY Spring 2015 NEWS. thanks to Douglas Towne, editor.

 

BLACK GOLD - Mystery Mosaic

Posted 25 March 2013:

Thar’s Oil in Them Thar Walls. Vintage mosaic mural discovered.. New article by Lillian Sizemore for Mosaic Art Now. Click on the picture for more!

12A.GJ-Skyline

Midcentury mosaic found behind layers of paneling …now what? Read more at MosaicArtNow.com

Comments
2 Responses to “BLACK GOLD – Mystery Petroleum Mosaic- UPDATE”
  1. Nancie says:

    Miss Marble never sleeps! Very excited about the auction. Be sure to let us know how it turns out!

  2. sfmosaic says:

    Reblogged this on Lillian Sizemore's Mind's Eye and commented:

    an UPDATE on the 1952 Petroleum Club Mosaic Mural!

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