Barbara Carrasco’s Censored Mural

California has the reputation of a progressive blue state, but that hasn’t always been the case.  As recently as 1981, the Los Angeles Community Rehabilitation Agency commissioned mural artist Barbara Carrasco to create a work to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city. When the mural, “LA History: A Mexican Perspective,” was finished, the agency refused to hang it unless she removed 14 segments from the 51 depicted.  Among the scenes the agency wanted censored were the lynching of Chinese American workers, the Zoot Suit riots of 1941, and the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War Two. 

Japanese American internment, a section slatted for removal. KCET

When Carassco refused to make changes, the mural went into storage for decades.  It made a brief reappearance for an art exhibit in 2017, but only found a permanent home at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History in 2021.  Placed in the museum’s welcome center, anyone can now see it for free.

The mural today, KCET

Watch this brief video of Carassco celebrating the permanent placement of her work, forty years after its creation.  Her somber look in the video–dark clothes, dark hair, dark eye makeup–are emblematic of her style.

This entry was posted in 1980s, 2020s and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.