Edward Biberman, Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice
Initially created in 1941 for the Post Office in Venice, California, under the auspices of the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts, Edward Biberman's mural Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice has been recently restored. The monumental painting depicts city founder Abbot Kinney’s grand vision for Venice as a West-coast cultural mecca. The exhibition includes other works of art from the museum’s collection, as well as historical photographs and ephemera that trace the rich and colorful history of Venice and Biberman’s lasting influence, still apparent in murals throughout Venice today.
Image: Edward Biberman, Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice, oil on canvas mounted on aluminum, 77 3/4 x 189 5/8 in. (197.5 x 481.7 cm), lent by the United States Postal Service®. Recent conservation provided by Joel Silver. Photo: Anthony Peres © 2014.
Biberman in Venice
Judith Baca, professor at UCLA and founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), talks about the history of mural painting in Venice, California, her own work, and the ongoing legacy of Edward Biberman. SPARC is hosting a related exhibition, Lost Horizons: Mural Dreams of Edward Biberman through July 31, 2014.
It all started late last November. That is, the idea for Edward Biberman’s Venice, California, Post Office mural, Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice, to be shown at LACMA. The e-mail I received was short: it just read that my boss, Michael Govan, LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, had a new project for me. I was working at home, deeply involved in trying to finish an essay about the large fountain sculpture the museum commissioned Alexander Calder to do to mark its opening in 1965...
I was a double major as an undergraduate, in art history and political science, and have always loved the intersection of art and politics. I think that was what first drew me to Edward Biberman, particularly his 1955 painting Conspiracy, currently on view in the Ahmanson Building as part of a focused installation of LACMA’s Biberman holdings...