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Sindecuse Museum

Danovich Mural

Three exhibit panels containing the Danovich Mural.

Three mural panels on exhibit in the Sindecuse Atrium.

With an attempt to minimize pure, pictorial, graphic scenes of the tale, I have tried to convey simply an amusing and light fantasy, using the elements found in real lumber camps. I have tried to avoid incredulity to the degree of normal conception, mainly because the mural is originally planned for children. But since adults too will see it, I have attempted to make it acceptable to a varied audience. 

Francis E. Danovich, mural artist, about 1940

The Exhibit

The three panels on exhibit in the Atrium were originally part of a larger mural painted by Francis E. Danovich, a 19 year-old artist from the Michigan Institute of Arts and Crafts (Cranbrook) commissioned by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Starting in 1939, when the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Institute Building was under construction, Danovich designed the mural and completed the painting in 1941. The original mural told the "Legend of Paul Bunyan," with a gigantic sized Paul Bunyan at the center of an interesting lumberjack camp scene. Mr. Danovich painted the scenes with an ink medium directly onto two of the plaster walls in the Children's Waiting Room on the first floor of the Kellogg Building.

By the 1960s, the mural had been covered by wallpaper and was forgotten. During the Kellogg Building renovation in 1998, the mural was rediscovered when it was set for demolition to make room for the new Orthodontics wing. Unfortunately, only portions of the mural could be salvaged, stabilized and framed by the Sindecuse Museum.

 

The Original Mural

These photos dating from the 1950s show the original mural as it existed in the dental building. The first image highlights the three surviving mural sections that are on display in the Sindecuse Museum Atrium. From the collection of the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry. 

Black and white image of the mural as it originally appeared in the Kellogg Dental Building. SMD 561.165

SMD 561.165. Click to view larger. 

Black and white image of the mural as it originally appeared in the Kellogg Dental Building

SMD 561.154. Click to view larger.

Black and white image of the mural as it originally appeared in the Kellogg Dental Building

SMD 561.166. Click to view larger. 

Graphic Restoration

These images of two walls within the waiting room recreate the original mural colors and design. Many gaps had to be analyzed and filled in based on available photographs. This artwork was completed by graphic designer, Chris Jung.

Artist's recreation of Danovich Mural as it would have originally appeared in the Kellogg Dental Building
Artist's recreation of Danovich Mural as it would have originally appeared in the Kellogg Dental Building