Group Fights for Coit Tower’s Decaying Murals – San Francisco


On a recent day inside the echoing halls of San Francisco’s famous Coit Tower, tourists from across the world filed past the 1930s murals lining the walls. As they studied the colorful frescoes depicting Bay Area scenes of the Great Depression, no one paid much attention to 90-year-old Ruth Gottstein standing in front of a library scene. Little did they know they were passing a living character of the murals.

The library scene was painted by Gottstein’s father, muralist Bernard Zakheim. The little girl in the painting, was Gottstein herself.

“I’m portrayed in my father’s mural,” Gottstein said matter-of-factly. “I’m the little girl on the left in the mini blouse.”

There are 27 murals in Coit Tower, painted as part of Roosevelt’s Federal Works Progress Administration. Gottstein remembers coming to Coit Tower as a 12-year-old to watch the artists work.

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Published: May 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Post By: Will

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