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Help Restore the McKinley Mural

Modern Education/School Activities -
Frank Tolles Chamberlin, oil on canvas 16’ x 40’ McKinley School Library 1934-1942

"All heritage of the past is mine to be moulded by my sprit into forms new and fair."

from “Song of Youth,”

The McKinley School Mural was completed in 1942, as part of the first federally funded art program in American history: the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). The artist, Frank Tolles Chamberlin, chose the McKinley School in Pasadena as a site. After spending time in classrooms, it was Chamberlin’s idea that students would suggest ideas for the mural’s subject matter.

With a typical Southern California landscape as a backdrop, forty-nine students of different backgrounds participate in a number of activities such as chemistry, sculpture, radio transmission, horseback riding and blacksmithing. The mural conveys the artist’s passion and faith in the power of education.


The McKinley School Mural Restoration Committee is a committed group of community members who are working in partnership with McKinley Principal Charlie Heaton and the McKinley School community to restore this art treasure.

Committee: Chair Claire Bogaard, Councilmember Andy Wilson, Brian Biery, Rochelle Branch, Ken Chawkins, Alicia Gorecki, Dianne Magee, Carol Potter, Pam Thyret, Vera Vignes, and Pasadena Heritage.