The Mural

Painted by Charles Kassler in 1934 and then whitewashed just four years later, "Pastoral California" has been on the walls of Plummer Auditorium for more than sixty years. Its uniqueness comes not only from its size (1200 sq. feet) but from its medium as well. Pastoral California is a fresco. The word literally means a painting in wet plaster. The 1997 restoration of this mural symbolizes a strong community spirit and the respect for Mexican tradition and history that are very much a part of the city of Fullerton and the state of California.

The Banquet Scene

Seated at the table is Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California. He and his party are watching Laura Moya, a popular singer of the time. Kassler is thought to have used his second wife, Luisa Espinel, as a model for Laura Moya. Espinel, herself, was a popular "California" style singer in the 30's and is the aunt of current singer, Linda Ronstadt. Above and behind the banquet sits the Mission of San Juan Capistrano, which served the entire area.

Jose Antonio Yorba

The Caballeros

Depicted in the center of the mural, is Jose Antonio Yorba whose original land grants included the cities of Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Placentia, and Anaheim. He and the caballeros around him participate in various games and contests. Horse racing was the most popular sport during the rancho period. Games like Carrera del Gallo involved burying a live rooster in the ground and snatching it up from racing horseback

The Lavanderia

Other signs of daily life included women gossipping around the "washtub express" and children eating tortillas given out by the padres. For its rare form and detailed imagery "Pastoral Califoria" is a historic and artistic treasure.

photos by © Sal Rojas

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