If you’re one who likes to go hog wild, you may find the mural surrounding the Farmer John Brand Clougherty Meat Packing Company in Vernon, CA, just your thing. It certainly got my attention – so much so that I whipped out my camera and took photos from one end of the mural to the other.
The mural basically depicts farm landscapes where you can see fields, trees, corn, barns, etc and of course, lots of pigs, big and small. Some of the pigs are happy and carefree, either laying in the grass, playing in the mud or with each other, flying airplanes, sleeping in hammocks and interacting with everyone from a buxom hill billy gal to keeping a boy company while he’s fishing to pulling a wagon for a Gladiator wanna-be.
Other pigs are trotting happily following a road and “Farmer John” signs to what they think is probably OZ, but is actually a smokehouse or a greased pig contest. A variety of other animals also grace this mural like dogs, chicks, quails, hawks, crows and probably even more that I may have missed this time around.
If you’d like to know the history of this mural, it basically goes like this. In 1957, Barney Clougherty, then owner of Farmer John, was approached by Les Grimes, a talented painter of scenic backgrounds for Hollywood movie sets, to decorate the outside of his building. With Barney’s blessing, Grimes spent the next eleven years working on his “masterpiece.” Unfortunately, Grimes died in a fall from a fifty- foot scaffolding he was using to paint a portion of the sky on the mural.
After Grimes’ death, Clougherty hired Arno Jordan to finish the murals. Arno Jordan continued the legacy by painting new murals and restoring Grimes’ originals. To noted art dealer Ivan C. Karp, the murals are “a fundamental tract for West Coast vernacular painting.” What’s great about this mural is that it includes several gatefold plates of entire walls. Now that’s some great detail. The plant was purchased by Hormel who intends to maintain the murals.
To see the the photos I took of the mural, go to:
To check out the mural for yourself, here’s the address below:
3049 E. Vernon Avenue
Vernon, CA 90058