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San Gabriel Library Mural

Robert Freeman
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Acrylic on wall
7 ft. 6 in.x 45 ft.* (2.3 x 13.7 m)
Public Library
San Gabriel Library
500 South Del Mar Avenue
San Gabriel, CA
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Latitude: -118.099300 - Longitude: 34.095750
Image: San Gabriel Library Mural

Additional Images


In 1982 San Gabriel Library staff and the Friends of the San Gabriel Library decided that a large blank wall over the children’s section would be the perfect spot for a mural illustrating San Gabriel’s early history. Funds were raised through book sales and community donations and the artist Robert Freeman was commissioned to create and paint the mural. The artwork depicts life at the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in the late eighteenth century including women grinding corn, a vaquero rounding up cattle, and a padre helping Gabrielinos build a stone wall. On the far left, grapes signify the wine which was produced at the Mission, and on the far right a wickiup, a type of Gabrielino grass house. The earth tones in the mural are intended to create a restful and pastoral atmosphere.

About the Artist

Robert Freeman was born on the Rincon Indian Reservation in 1939. He is a self-taught artist and began painting in 1961. He has won numerous National Indian Art Awards in oil painting, watercolor, pen and ink, and sculpture. In addition to the San Gabriel Library Mural, his public works include a commemorative Seal for the State of California embedded on the Capital steps in Sacramento, murals at the Perris Museum in Perris, California, as well as sculptures in Capistrano and Santa Fe Springs. His artwork has been exhibited at the Riverside Museum; University of Vermillion, SD; Shriver Gallery, Kansas City; and Sioux Museum, Rapid City, IA.