Jack McLarty WPA Mural

Capitol Hill Elementary School in South Burlingame has been the go-to elementary for Collins View students since 1976. When the Collins View School (1937-1976) building became Riverdale School District’s High School in 2001, a large mural, which had been in the school since 1945, was transferred to Capitol Hill, where it hangs in the cafeteria/auditorium today.

McLarty Fantasy Mural spanned a doorway.

Carol Schiewe says: My husband, Michael Schiewe, was concerned the mural would be lost or damaged when Riverdale took over the building. He was aware that Jack was an important Northwest artist, and approached Capitol Hill’s Principal, Greg Jones, to see if he would be interested in having the mural at Capitol Hill. (Our kids were students at Capitol Hill at the time). Greg Jones arranged to get permission to have the mural moved, so Michael got the ball rolling and Greg Jones saw the project through.

Nextdoor detectives mined neighborhood knowledge to identify Jack McLarty (1919 – 2011) as the artist. William Jackson (Jack) McLarty was a renowned surrealist painter, printmaker, and teacher in the Pacific Northwest. His first one-man show of paintings at the Portland Art Museum in 1945 was the beginning of a lifetime of achievements. He painted murals at Laurelhurst School, Collins View School [the mural moved to Capitol Hill School] and Buckman School. His works are in museum collections all over the country, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His largest public work is a woodcut mural on display in Portland City Hall.

McLarty Signature

The mural is referred to as the Alice in Wonderland mural, but it's actually a mash up of many different children's stories. See if you can identify some.

For more, see the McLurty obituary [OBIT], and this Wikipedia article [WIKI]