Rediscovered ‘Richmond—Industrial City’ mural unveiling Saturday

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The Richmond Museum of History is located at 400 Nevin Ave.

By Kathy Chouteau

A Richmond labor of love will culminate Sat., Sept. 30 from 12-2 p.m. when the Richmond Museum of History & Culture will reveal the rediscovered and restored “Richmond—Industrial City” mural, which was painted by Victor Arnautoff.

This weekend’s event is a fundraiser supporting the upkeep of the restored mural by Arnautoff, who was a prominent figure in New Deal art and a protégé of famed muralist Diego Rivera, according to the museum. Bay Area residents might recall Arnautoff as the artistic director of the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco.

Small finger-foods and refreshments are included in the $45 cost of admission and Tom Lyons of The Factory Bar said they will be on hand serving drinks available for purchase. IDs will be checked at the door and wristbands provided, according to organizers. “All funds earned during this event will be earmarked for future mural upkeep and bringing other spectacular exhibits to view,” they added.

The mural’s journey to the museum has been upon a long and winding road. It was created by Arnautoff in 1941 to depict Richmond and hung in the city’s main post office on Nevin Avenue, according to the museum. In the late ‘70s, it was taken down and stored during a building renovation and forgotten.

That is, until 2014, when an opportune conversation occurred between the museum’s then-Executive Director Melinda McCrary and a supporter about the mural’s existence and unknown whereabouts. This conversation spurred a full-on search that culminated in the mural’s discovery in “the dark depths of the Nevin Post Office basement,” per the museum. The U.S. Postal Service entrusted the mural’s care with the museum, which raised funds to restore the rediscovered mural.

This Saturday, the mural will be displayed at the museum in all of its restored beauty. To purchase tickets to the fundraising event helping to maintain the mural, click here. The Richmond Museum of History & Culture is located at 400 Nevin Ave. in Richmond. Check out the Standard’s in-depth article about the mural and fundraiser here.