Monday, April 02, 2018

This just in thanks to Garry Apgar and Robert Neuman:

[Canteen Muralized

New York’s successful Stage Door Canteen has set off echoes in cities from coast to coast. The latest is the Hollywood Canteen, in which glittering motion picture stars administer to the recreational needs of servicemen stationed in the vicinity.
To brighten the Canteen, the sponsors called in the Screen Cartoonist’s Guild, which in turn assigned Elmer Plummer and Mary Blair, shown above, to design and supervise the painting of a mural. The Guildmen worked nights and in five working periods turned out a bright, gay pictorialization of a cowboy’s dream of heaven. Beer, blondes, cards, gold dust, horses (some starry-eyed from inhalations of schnapps), and blowzy red-nosed semi-angels lend gaiety and sparkle to the walls.
Calcimine color, Plummer reports, “was used to get the most brilliant effect. For instance, the skin tones varied from magentas to greens on the characters; cloud colors ran true to fantasy, etc. Plenty wild, eh?” In a postscript to the DIGEST Plummer added, “Oh yes and we also had to add clothes to our plump nudes (old stuff).”
The artists, besides their work as screen cartoonists with the Disney studios, are serious painters, their work appearing in major museum exhibitions throughout the country. Assisting in the execution of the four-paneled, 336-square-foot mural, were Lee Blair, Marc Davis, Earl Murphy, Retta Scott and Virginia Plummer.

The Art Digest, June 1, 1942, p. 18. ]


Jeff said...

There are no photos of the mural at this website, but there is a bit more information:

Some of the most amusing features of the Canteen’s new look were the hand-painted murals in the main room. A large one on the north wall, just above the service counter, was a contribution of the Screen Cartoonists Guild. In keeping with the Canteen’s Western theme, it was called “Cowboy Heaven,” and had lively pictures of “things cowboys dream about.” Five big mural panels on the opposite wall were done by the Motion Picture Illustrators and depicted such popular legends as “Frankie and Johnny” and “The Shooting of Jesse James.” Even the bathroom walls got special treatment and were painted with delicate springtime blossoms by actor/director Richard Whorf.

Jeff said...

You can see a bit of "Cowboy Heaven" above Cary Grant's head on this website:

Scott H said...

Just got this in my in box...