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.