Hugo Ballin

Hugo Ballin
New York, New York
Santa Monica, California
born New York City 1879-died Santa Monica, CA 1956
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Early in his career, Hugo Ballin painted idealized scenes of mythical figures and stories. His career took a detour after World War I, however, when he moved to Hollywood to become an art director. He returned to painting after a few years and created large, colorful murals for many public buildings on the West Coast. In 1936 he played a trick on the New Deal administrators who were granting mural projects to artists. He submitted eight designs: seven serious proposals and one hoax” that showed scenes of heavy drinking, suicide, violence, and sex. To his surprise, this entry was chosen by the United States Treasury for a post office in Inglewood, California, and Ballin had to explain that he would not think of accepting taxpayers’ money for painting … a mess of cooked-up vulgarity” on a post office wall.

Works by This Artist (2 items)

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