The Perehudoff Mural Controversy – ie the little grassroots campaign that could

The snow has chased me out of Saskatchewan (actually, I was leaving anyway) but a trip to my hometown of Saskatoon would not be complete without mentioning the mural controversy.

Save the Mural!

Save Me!

In the 50’s, my father, artist William Perehudoff, painted some frescoes in the executive suite of the old Intercontinental Packers building. (As an aside, my mother, artist Dorothy Knowles, who was extremely pregnant with my oldest sister, Rebecca, at the time, was there handing him the paints while he was up on a ladder working on the top part of the murals.) But all good things come to an end – the building is going to be torn down for a freeway and the murals were going to be demolished.

Let's get outta this building before it blows

We'd better get outta here fast!

 

The murals are one of the last remaining examples of purist art in Canada (my dad studied with Amedee Ozenfant in New York, co-founder, along with Le Corbusier, of the Purist School), so it was goodbye to a small piece of history – until a group of devoted save-the-muralists campaigned to stop the destruction and the crazy thing is … it looks as if worked.

The murals will be saved!

Hooray for the little people.

So, from the Perehudoff family to the campaigners … thanks. And thanks to the City of Saskatoon and Maple Leaf Foods who kicked in big bucks.

I came here 50 years ago and never left

I've been here 50 years!

(To read more about the murals, the Mendel Art Gallery has a blog about it.)

A hip and groovy office

A hip and groovy office

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3 Responses

  1. That’s great news! It’s almost enough to make a person buy Maple Leaf products again! I hope they can find a place to display the murals together so they stay in a group.

  2. I have good news about the murals. All except for one have now been removed. The last one will come off tomorrow. They are in excellent condition. Myself and Lynn Earle initiated the project, and we are quite excited to see it come to completion.

    Its been amazing to see how much heartfelt support we’ve received for this project from so many people from all walks of life. I think people consider your father and Fred Mendel as two of Saskatoon’s ‘great ones’ and they like having a chance to honour them.

    Our blog is http://www.mendelsmurals.blogspot.com for anyone who might wish to see some photos etc.

    Dave Denny

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