September 17, 2008

Is this mural still around?


In an old New England Magazine article, Frederick W. Coburn wrote about this mural by Vesper George of Boston. Coburn said it was destined for a bank trust building in Bristol.
In praising the mural in 1908, Coburn wrote, "The spirit of New England husbandry has rarely been more truthfully depicted" and that the work had "a right to critical esteem."
Is it still around somewhere?

The Greenfield Historical Society in Ohio has this little bio of George:

GEORGE, VESPER LINCOLN (1865-1934)
An American artist and teacher, born in Boston, Massachusetts, June 4, 1865. He received his public school education in Boston, and his art education in New York and Paris, studying under the famous French painters, Benjamin Constant, Jules Lefebvre, and Lucien Doucet. He was the owner and director of the Vesper Lincoln George School of Art, Inc., Boston, founded in 1924. Some of his best known mural decorations can be seen in the Public Library, Lowell, Massachusetts, in the Music Room of Mr. Session’s home, Bristol Trust Company, where he has four large panels, representing Commerce, Industry, Finance, and Agriculture. Each panel is about ten feet in length. In the Edward Lee McClain High School, Greenfield, Ohio, are three panels, executed especially for the school. Mr. George resigned from a position as head of the department of design, Massachusetts School of Art, which he held for over twenty years, to organize the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Mural Painters’ Society and of the Architectural Society of New York, the Boston Art Club, and the Boston Chamber of Commerce.

So I guess there ought to be at least four of these panels in Bristol. Are they still around?

They seemed sort of familiar to me and now, with a little more sleuthing, I know why. They were in the lobby of the former Bristol Savings Bank building on the corner of Main Street and Riverside Avenue, which I haven't been in for quite a few years.

You can read about the building and the murals in Eddy Smith's classic city history Bristol, Connecticut: "in the Olden Time New Cambridge", which Includes Forestville starting on page 652 right here.

I'm sure someone who's in there regularly can tell me if the murals remain.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

3 comments:

Tim Gamache said...

The murals still adorn the ceiling in the lobby of Webster Bank at the corner of Riverside and Main.

Steve Collins said...

Is there another mural in the music room of Sessions' home?

Anonymous said...

See I told you tim gamach knows all that is going on in bristol. He makes it his point to go around andW gossip. Way to go Tim keep your nose in everyones business.