Courtesy: Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Collection
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Gardena, California

Livio Napolitani (

Gardena Mayme Dear Library, 1731 W. Gardena Blvd., Gardena, California, 90247
Date:  1964
Placement:  libraries (buildings)
Artwork Type:  mosaics (visual works)
Material:  glass (material)
Description:  Commissioned for the new Gardena Library and dedicated on December 5, 1964, this ceramic tile mosaic mural by Livio Napolitani is set into seven slabs of black stone and hung above the Library’s main entrance. The mural presents the Western evolution of communication through forms of writing. Beginning on the viewer’s left, a hand print symbolizes pre-civilization cave paintings. The mural then moves to representations of Egyptian hieroglyphs, the invention of the phonetic alphabet, the development of the European printing press, and concludes with a picture of a modern day woman reading aloud to a child. A quote from the Roman philosopher Pliny runs below the mural’s images, stating, “Were it not for books human culture would pass into oblivion as quickly as man himself.”

In 2008 as part of the Gardena Mayme Dear Library’s renovation, Silverlake Conservation was hired to clean and repair Napolitani’s mural. The mural was entirely cleaned and missing mosaic pieces were replaced with carefully matched colored epoxy.

See Livio Napolitani, Montebello Library mural

About the Artist: No other information currently available.

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