Preserving Seal Pond’s Beauty

Jennifer Minasian-Trotoux '92The colorful mosaics surrounding the pond in Seal Court are stunning examples of a mid-century art form; they are also part of the rich history of Scripps College.

To oversee the restoration and preservation of this artistic treasure, created between 1938–1942, the College established the Seal Pond Mosaic Murals Advisory Committee. Led by Professor Nancy Macko, the committee is composed of faculty, staff, students, and alumnae, including Merrilee Stewart Howard ’70 and Jennifer Minasian Trotoux ’92.

“This project began as a way to ensure the future conservation of a prominent ensemble of works of art on the campus,” says Trotoux, who works with Architectural Resources Group, Inc., the firm retained to assist the College in planning for rehabilitation of the murals. “Since then it has evolved into a great learning experience that we believe has added to the body of knowledge about campus history and the history of the art department. Everything we’ve done started with Merrilee, who was the first to put her interest in the mosaics into action, leading to the establishment of our Committee.”

“The mosaics of Seal Pond are the most permanent and visible legacy of the influence of Millard Sheets on a generation of Scripps art students,” says Trotoux. “They also serve as Scripps’s link to the significant mid‐century California art form of mosaic murals, of which Sheets was arguably the leading proponent. For these reasons, the mosaics are more than just a charming feature of the former art department courtyard, though they certainly are that as well.”


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