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Mural Study #4:

Mural Study #4:
John Decker, 1895 - 1947
Bob Hope, 29 May 1903 - 27 Jul 2003
Joe E. Brown, 28 Jul 1892 - 6 Jul 1973
Charles Winninger, 1884 - 1969
Charles Boyer, 28 Aug 1897 - 26 Aug 1978
Greta Garbo, 18 Sep 1905 - 15 Apr 1990
Clark Gable, 1 Feb 1901 - 16 Nov 1960
Shirley Temple, 23 Apr 1928 - 10 Feb 2014
Humphrey Bogart, 25 Dec 1899 - 14 Jan 1957
William Claude Fields, 29 Jan 1880 - 25 Dec 1946
Mae West, 17 Aug 1893 - 22 Nov 1980
Roland Keith Young, 1887 - 1953
c. 1941
Crayon, gouache, graphite and ink on illustration board
Image: 20cm x 51cm (7 7/8" x 20 1/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Wilshire Bowl Restaurant mural designs (studies #4)
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
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles