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Historic Map and Modern Map of California

Artist
Ben Mayer
Year
1969
Artwork Type
Mural
Media & Support
Ceramic
Dimensions
19 ft. 9 in.x 10 ft.* (6 x 3 m)
Department
Public Library
Location
Norwalk Library
12350 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, CA
District
4
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https://www.lacountyarts.org/civicart/objects-1/info/692

Location

Latitude: -118.069336 - Longitude: 33.916721
Image: Historic Map and Modern Map of California

Additional Images

Image: Image:

Description

The artwork by Ben Mayer at the Norwalk Library consists of three parts: a circular mosaic in the interior children’s section and two large mosaic murals flanking either side of the main entrance. Outside the library two mosaics depict California’s history and use maps to exemplify changes that have occurred over several hundred years. This mosaic south of the entrance features a map of California as an island. When Europeans first explored the Western edge of North America they mistakenly believed that the entire region, from Baja California to Washington State was separate from the mainland. Maps from the 16th, 17th, and even 18th centuries often show the “Island of California” that Ben Mayer portrays here. Superimposed above this map are symbols of California’s early European exploration and settlement, including a large sailing ship, an adobe house, and an old Mission.