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Mural Study #2:

John Decker, 1895 - 1947
Buster Keaton, 4 Oct 1895 - 1 Feb 1966
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., 23 May 1883 - 12 Dec 1939
Mary Pickford, 8 Apr 1892 - 29 May 1979
Harold Clayton Lloyd, 20 Apr 1894 - 8 Mar 1971
Francis Xavier Bushman, 1883 - 1966
Carmel Myers, 1900 - 1980
William Surrey Hart, 6 Dec 1864? - 23 Jun 1946
Gloria May Josephine Swanson, 27 Mar 1899 - 4 Apr 1983
Roscoe Arbuckle, 1887 - 1933
Peggy Montgomery, born 1918/1919
c. 1941
Gouache, graphite and ink on illustration board
Image: 17.1cm x 42.7cm (6 3/4" x 16 13/16")
Board: 21.1cm x 42.7cm (8 5/16" x 16 13/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Wilshire Bowl Restaurant mural designs (studies #2)
John Decker—caricaturist, portrait painter, Hollywood personality, and friend of many actors—was a firsthand witness to the emerging star system of the 1920s and the transition from silent pictures to the "talkies." Decker created these vivid panels as mural studies for the Wilshire Bowl Restaurant, a popular Hollywood nightspot. Installed in 1941, the original murals, now lost, portrayed the sweep of film history, from the Keystone Kops and the "Perils of Pauline" to the film idols of the 1930s. The top panel shown here depicts such titans of the silent era as Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, William S. Hart, and Gloria Swanson. The bottom panel includes Joe E. Brown, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, W. C. Fields, Mae West, and George Arliss, many of whom had started their careers in silent movies.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
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