The Fairfax Community Mural: A Pictorial Journey Through Jewish History

fairfax community mural art mortimer

Art Mortimer and Collaborators

The Fairfax Community Mural, a notable artwork in Los Angeles, was conceived and executed by Art Mortimer in collaboration with Steven Anaya and Peri Fleischman. The mural stands as a testament to their dedication, commemorating the vibrant history of the Jewish community in the region.

Historical Narrative in Seven Panels

Depicting the Jewish community’s historical journey, the mural spans seven panels, each representing a distinct era in Los Angeles’ Jewish history. From the beginnings in the 1860s to contemporary times in 1985, the mural captures significant events and personal narratives painted from historical photographs.

Panels Unveiling Historical Landmarks

  • First Panel (1860s): Showcasing the first synagogue, rabbi, early Jewish business, and prominent family.
  • Second Panel (Late 19th Century): Reflecting a street scene with Jewish businesses, a prominent banker, and institutions’ evolution, including what became Cedars Sinai Hospital.
  • Third Panel (Early 20th Century): Portraying milestones like early Hebrew schools, Al Jolson’s role in “The Jazz Singer,” and Boyle Heights’ Jewish community.
  • Fourth Panel (1930s): Featuring Canter’s Delicatessen, Albert Einstein in Los Angeles, significant protests, and Jewish achievements.
  • Fifth Panel (1940s): Showcasing education, community support efforts during wartime, and the struggle for freedom.
  • Sixth Panel (1960s): Depicting youth involvement in peace movements, support for Israel, and prominent figures like Sandy Koufax.
  • Seventh Panel (1985): Reflecting contemporary scenes of Fairfax Avenue, capturing daily life and interactions within the community.

Restoration and Preservation

The mural, located at Fairfax and Oakwood in Los Angeles, was restored in 2012 by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA), led by Isabel Rojas-Williams. The restoration ensured the preservation of this rich tapestry of Jewish history for future generations.

Conclusion

The Fairfax Community Mural, crafted by Art Mortimer and collaborators, serves as an extensive visual narrative documenting the legacy, struggles, achievements, and daily life of the Jewish community in Los Angeles. Its restoration by MCLA in 2012 symbolizes the commitment to preserving cultural heritage embedded within street art in the vibrant city of Los Angeles.

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