Brutons featured in mural history presentation
Last week I was contacted by art history professor Amy Von Lintel at West Texas A&M University. Amy was giving a zoom talk on the history of women in mural art, and the Bruton sisters were part of her presentation! Amy gave her talk to a group of young muralists, mostly women, who are part of an organization called Blank Spaces Mural Group. Based in Amarillo, Texas, this non-profit is dedicated to giving young artists the opportunity to work on large mural projects that beautify blank walls in their community. Amy's talk was an opportunity for these young artists to learn about the history of the women muralists who came before them.
I learned so much from Amy's talk. Not only did she discuss the Brutons, but I was surprised to learn that there were other families of artist sisters who painted murals in the first half of the twentieth century, including Brooklyn-born artists Marion and Grace Greenwood and twin sisters Jenne and and Ethel Magafan from Chicago. I also learned about the artist Grace Clements who created gorgeous mosaic murals on the floor of the Long Beach (California) Airport as part of a WPA project in 1941. Her work was covered by carpeting and completely forgotten until 2012, when the carpet was removed during an airport renovation to reveal the incredible treasures that were hidden underneath. What a metaphor for the work of women artists - so often hidden and forgotten, but gradually being brought back into the light!