SPQR

Terry Schoonhoven, 1975. Bunche Hall, History department, UCLA.

 

Text from description: The artist Terry Schoonhoven (1945-2001), a former UCLA student and teacher, and co-founder of the famed L. A. Fine Arts Squad (1969-1973), painted this mural for the History Department in 1975. It depicts the imagined ruins of the Charles E. Young Research Library, after an earthquake had apparently decimated the campus. The view is looking downward from the roof deck of a building on the site of a presumably destroyed Bunche Hall. On the floor is a crumpled program, in Latin, of a concert of "ancient American music" featuring such composers as Aaron Copland and Bob Dylan. Suggesting that the language of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles was a revival of Latin, Schoonhoven gave his mural the title "S.P.Q.R." (the ancient abbreviation for "the Senate and the People of Rome."). Since most of the works of Schoonhoven and the LAFAS were painted on exterior walls and have partially or completely faded, this indoor mural is the best preserved, aside from such paintings on canvas as "Downtown Los Angeles Under Water" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


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