Millard Sheets Artwork Honored

Millard Sheets: El Camino Real

Millard Sheets’ mosaic, “El Camino Real,” was formally dedicated on November 2, 2013, at a public celebration in Beverly Hills.

The mosaic, installed last year above the city’s civic center parking structure, was recently designated a historic landmark by the Beverly Hills City Council. J.P. Morgan Chase, which owns numerous bank branches designed by Millard Sheets, sponsored the dedication ceremony. Scripps Trustee Leslie Lassiter ’77 and Mary Davis MacNaughton ’70, associate professor of art history and director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, attended the event.

“J.P. Morgan Chase is delighted to honor Millard Sheets, whose mid-century modern designs are a cherished piece of our art legacy,” said Lassiter, J.P. Morgan managing director.

Sheets, professor of art at Scripps College from 1932-1963, was important in establishing the art departments at Scripps and what is now Claremont Graduate University. In the 1950s, Sheets designed the buildings, including the mosaics, for dozens of Home Savings and Loan Association branch offices. Many of those offices were eventually acquired by Chase. Two other Millard Sheets mosaics are located on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

“Sheets was an influential artist, designer, and educator who made an important contribution to the postwar Southern California landscape with mid-century designs that integrated art and architecture,” said Lassiter. “As a Beverly Hills resident and graduate of Scripps College, I am pleased to recognize his great achievement.”

“El Camino Real” originally hung in the motor court of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It measures approximately 15′ x 31′ and depicts an early California scene of people and horses in a forest setting.