Lost Einar Petersen mural from Rosslyn Hotel on eBay

A 1915 mural of a stagecoach scene that used to hang in the lobby of the Rosslyn Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has shown up for sale on eBay. The mural, one of a set by Einar Petersen, is described as not in very good condition, but partly restored. The originals measured nine by nineteen feet and they were removed when the Rosslyn was renovated in the 1980s. Larry Harnisch is on the case at his Daily Mirror blog. A previous post noted that Petersen, largely forgotten today, was a major muralist in the LA area in the early 20th century:

He created many elegant and beautiful murals in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 1910s and 1920s, only to drop into obscurity within a few decades. Not only was he forgotten, but most of his work was also destroyed.

His first commission was designing and painting six 19-feet by 9-feet murals depicting Los Angeles history from the Spanish days to the 1920s for the lobby of the new Rosslyn Hotel at Fifth and Main streets in 1915. The Oct. 31, 1915, Los Angeles Times highly praised his work, stating, “Each of the five panels holds a composition that is excellent in its lines and masses… the handsome big panels in the Rosslyn (each of the five is 19×9 feet in dimensions) are, of course, southwestern in theme, and even local in subject, for they depict the fine and simple elements of life in the Los Angeles of a far-off yesterday.”


The Mayflower Hotel (now the Hilton Checkers) at 535 S. Grand Ave. commissioned him to paint murals of pilgrims, while the Spring Street Guaranty Building and Loan Association at 435 Spring St. hired him in 1928 to draw murals of Aladdin and his magic lamp for the lobby and conference rooms, which they promoted in Los Angeles Times ads announcing the grand opening. Clifton’s Cafeterias paid him to paint a forest mural for Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria on Broadway (which still exists), and to design and build a garden of rest for their Pacific Seas Cafeteria.

Petersen also did a mural in the globe lobby of the Los Angeles Time building, Harnisch says. [Edit: Nope, those are Hugo Ballin murals.]

Lobby of the Rosslyn Hotel showing murals by Einar Petersen

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