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Bob Hope Patriotic Hall

Kent Twitchell
Downtown LA
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Military & Veterans Affairs

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Project Description

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs re-dedicated Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, which houses veteran groups and services in addition to seven large scale murals. Among them is a newly commissioned monumental triptych by legendary Los Angeles muralist Kent Twitchell. These large scale murals (approximately 20' x 12' each) will celebrate the lost murals by Helen Lundeburg painted in Patriotic Hall during the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1942. The Lundeburg murals depicted "The Preamble to the Constitution," "Free Assembly" and "Free Ballot." While Twitchell is known for his photorealist style, he approached this project as if he and Lundeberg were an artist team. The spirit of both Lundeberg's content as well as style is strongly represented in the finished artwork.  The artwork, titled We the People, Out of Many, One has personal resonance for Twitchell, himself a Vietnam veteran. Honoring the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and service members’ commitment to preserving democracy, Twitchell used veterans, representing every U.S. tour of duty, as models for nearly all of the 36 figures in the murals. This project is Twitchell’s first public art commission by a governmental agency in over 30 years.

Dedicated in 1926, the 10-story Bob Hope Patriotic Hall was built as a memorial to veterans who sacrificed their lives in the Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I. Designed by Allied Architects, a consortium of 33 Los Angeles architects, the building is a historic icon on the Los Angeles skyline, situated downtown just south of the 10 freeway. It received a Certificate of Honor from the California chapter of the American Institute of Architects and is on the State’s Register of Historical Resources. 

The factsheet for this project is available for download here

About the Artist

Kent Twitchell was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1942. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1965. After moving to Los Angeles in 1966, he attended East Los Angeles City College, and Cal State University, Los Angeles, then received his M.F.A. from the Otis Art Institute. While pursuing his degree's Twitchell began to build his legacy as a large scale muralist painting in a photorealist style. In 1971 and 1972, he completed some of his first public murals in Los Angeles, including the Strother Martin Monument and the Bride and Groom murals. Currently, Twitchell's most familiar downtown mural is Harbor Freeway Overture (1992-93) which depicts several members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The work is on the side of a parking structure that abuts the Harbor Freeway in downtown L.A. He believes much of his art to be “Monuments to American cultural heroes". In 1989 he created a monument to Dr. J, basketball’s Julius Erving, in a once rundown section of Philadelphia. One of his earliest works, now gone, was a monument to actor Steve McQueen on L.A.’s Union Street. Another of his downtown L.A. murals, The Ed Ruscha Monument (1987) featuring the Pop Art pioneer, made headlines in June 2006 when it was painted over; the artist won a $1.1 million settlement in restitution, but the mural could not be saved.