Friday, September 09, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

Mural Dedication, Valley Cities Jewish
Community Center, Van Nuys, 1964

I found the photo, above in the L.A. Public Library photo archives. The caption reads "Mural at the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center, 13164 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys, was dedicated last weekend. Shown in front of the mural are, left to right, the artist, Joseph L. Young; Mrs. Kenneth Shore, Bert Gold, Mrs. Arthur Becker, actor, Herschel Bernardi, Milton Malkin."
I didn't really have a photo in mind to post today. My cousin, Jason, grew up in the San Fernando Valley and he always looks forward to my "Vintage Photo Fridays," so I thought I'd try to find a good Valley photo for him. I ran across the above photo and said to myself, "that's it!"
The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center closed in 2009. I believe that the building now houses The Help Group Autism Center Theater. I wonder if Joseph Young's beautiful mural is still inside?
I've always been a fan of Joseph Young's artwork. I've written about his work in the past, here and here. When I'm driving around the city, I try to see as many mosaics and murals that are visible from the street. Mr. Young's artwork is by far my favorite. I love his simplicity of line and richness of colors. He was indeed a master artist.

Joseph L. Young Mosaic, 1955.

Joseph L. Young mosaic for the Los Angeles Police Facilities building (Parker Center) 1955. From American Artist, September 1955.

Young Mural @ Parker Center, March 2007

Young created murals, mosaics and sculptures at many civic areas across the country, religious buildings in addition to Downtown L.A.'s Triforium.

Los Angeles Triforium, Photo by Downtowngal

Have a wonderful weekend. As you're driving around your town, take a look at some of the public art. Let me know what you observe!

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At 3:23 PM PDT, Blogger mj said...

I loved the Triforium.

At 3:25 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Meeee toooo, Mary Jo! I haven't been downtown to see it lately. I wonder if the music portion of it is working?

At 11:22 PM PDT, Blogger Christina said...

I haven't seen this one in years but it was new when I was a kid: the Millard Sheets mosaic on what is now a Chase Bank in Palos Verdes. It's recently been restored -- lovely detail pic here:

At 10:46 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ellen:

I am one of the daughters of Dr. Joseph Young, creator of the Los Angeles Triforium and numerous other public artworks around Los Angeles and the United States. I just came upon your blog.

Yes, unfortunately Valley Cities Jewish Community Center closed in 2009 after a long struggle to keep it open. The economic situation with the JCCs of Los Angeles caused more than one Center closure, including the North Valley, Silverlake and the last one to go was Valley Cities.

It was a great loss. My children went to preschool there and I was an active member of its Board of Directors 2004-2007. The Center was a true community of families and seniors who were not necessarily affiliated with synagogues; the Center also provided wonderful early education for non-Jewish children.

Everything in the Center was auctioned off, and our family re-acquired the beautiful mural which is shown in the photo you posted.

My father passed away in 2007 and fortunately did not see the closure of the Center.

If you would like any more information about my father's works, please see the Joseph L. Young Fan Page on Facebook, or email me or my sister Cecily, who is a local architect. - L. Young - C. Young

Leslie Young

At 10:50 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for commenting, Leslie and giving us an update! I met your parents at a few L.A. Conservancy events in years past. Lovely people!

Ellen B.

At 12:24 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellen: I will try to attend the ModComm holiday party 12/19. If you are there I hope to meet you.

At 12:33 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hi Leslie,
Thanks for the link on Facebook! Looking forward to meeting you!

Ellen B.


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