California African American Museum Exhibition; 'The Legacy of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business'
Poundstone’s interest in GSM’s art sensibilities extends beyond the items in the exhibition to GSM’s architectural contributions as well. For the lobby of its 1949 building, located at the corner of Western and Adams boulevards in Los Angeles and designed by Paul Williams, GSM commissioned murals by artists Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff. The fate of those murals is in limbo following the sale of most of the GSM art collection in 2007. In 2011, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History offered $750,000 for the two murals, and offer they later withdrew after outcry from local activists. “There’s a case for keeping the GSM murals where they are, in Williams’ landmark moderne building,” says Poundstone, “But the building’s future is equally uncertain. No one knows who will own it and with what intention.” Although community groups are trying to raise funds to buy the murals, both the murals and the building are expected to fetch hefty price tags.