The secret history of a hidden mural at a Los Angeles hotel

The website Mosaic Art Now has a fun story about a tile mosaic of an oil refinery that was discovered behind some wood paneling at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.

In May 2012, when the renowned Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles was slated to close its doors for good, the owners ran a huge liquidation sale—the entire contents of the hotel went up for grabs. The hotel changed hands over the years, originally the Statler—then Statler-Hilton, then Omni, and finally the Wilshire Grand— remained one of the “see and be-seen” hotspots of the midcentury atomic age.

During the clearance sale, a puzzling discovery was made: a fifteen-foot mosaic mural commissioned by The Los Angeles Petroleum Club was found behind some old wood paneling. The Club had at one time maintained a posh member’s suite at the hotel. This is where the intrigue and mosaic sleuthing begins.

Black Gold: Thar’s Oil In Them Thar Walls (Thanks, Mister Jalopy!)

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