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Interior Murals

Anthony Heinsbergen (1895-1981), nationally acclaimed Dutch-born muralist, began his craft as an apprentice in Holland. He migrated to Los Angeles in 1906, where he continued his art studies as an apprentice, and received his first major Theatre commission from Alexander Pantages in 1924. During his career, he decorated over 750 theatres nationwide, of which approximately 200 still survive.


Heinsbergen was most proud of his classically inspired murals for the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia, but he is largely remembered for his "delightful mish-mash of byzantine sumptuousness, Art Deco cubism and pure kitsch, perfect for the timeless and vulgar opulence of movie-going." Major commissions included murals for the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C., the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, Los Angeles City Hall and the Wiltern Theatre.

Heinsbergen completed a number of commissions in Fresno, including murals or architectural ornamentation for the Tower Theatre, Fresno Memorial Auditorium, Pacific Southwest Building, and the 1933 Fresno State College Library (now Fresno City College Library).

During the latter years of his career, Heinsbergen participated in the restoration of a number of fine theatres, including the Oakland Paramount in the early 1970s. Anthony Heinsbergen died on June 14, 1981, at age 86. His son still runs the firm, A. T. Heinsbergen & Company. The junior Heinsbergen coordinated the restoration of his father's Fresnos Tower Theatre murals in 1989-1990. The firm also completed restoration of the Orinda Theatre in 1989.

For further information on Heinsbergen, click the following link: http://historicfresno.org/bio/heinsber.htm

Biography prepared by John Edward Powell.
1996 John Edward Powell. All rights reserved

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