Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Guardian's grand tribute to Michigan

In the Guardian Building, everything looks like a work of art. Even the drinking fountains look cool. But the most memorable piece in the building is the enormous, six-story mural depicting Michigan and its many areas of commerce. It's a must-see if you ever have a little time to spare downtown.

It was painted by a Traverse City-born guy named Ezra Augustus Winter, whose other notable works include the Fountain of Youth mural at Radio City Music Hall in Rockefeller Center in New York, and Canterbury Tales mural at the Library of Congress Building in Washington, D.C. The guy had skills.

Unfortunately, Winter was injured while working on one of his enormo-projects when he stepped back to examine his work but forgot he was painting from an apparently lofty scaffold. He fell, busted up his tailbone pretty good, and was never able to paint again. So rattled was Winter that he committed suicide in 1949, but he left behind some awesome work, and one his most famous creations is right here in our backyard.