Posted on May 2, 2019

George Washington Mural ‘Traumatizes’ San Fran Students; High School May Remove Art

Douglas Ernst, Washington Times, May 2, 2019

A San Francisco school district may remove an 83-year-old mural of President George Washington from, ironically, George Washington High School because it “traumatizes students and community members.”

The work of artist Victor Arnautoff, a communist, may no longer be progressive enough for “Fog City.” His 13 panels for the high school, created in 1936, have been deemed problematic by the San Francisco Unified School District.

Officials say some the artist’s historical depictions are offensive to Native Americans and blacks.

Laura Dudnick, a spokeswoman for the district, told educational watchdog the College Fix via email Thursday that Mr. Arnautoff’s work was debated by a “‘Reflection and Action Working Group’ that was comprised of members of the local Native American community, students, school representatives, district representatives, local artists, and historians.”


The group claims the mural “glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, white supremacy, oppression, etc.,” the Richmond District Blog recently reported.

“At its conclusion, the group voted and the majority recommended that the ‘Life of Washington’ mural be archived and removed because the mural does not represent SFUSD values,” Ms. Dudnick continued. {snip}

[Editor’s Note: Panels from “Life of Washington” are available with commentary here.]