Hugo Ballin

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Ballin in 1922

Hugo Ballin NA (March 7, 1879 – November 27, 1956)[1] was an American film director and muralist.


Ballin was born in New York City and studied at the Art Students League of New York. When the Wisconsin State Capital was built in the early 20th Century, Ballin created 26 murals for its interior.[2] In 1917 he began working for Goldwyn Pictures in New Jersey as an art director and production designer, and in 1921 he moved to Los Angeles at the request of Samuel Goldwyn. He was soon also directing, writing, and producing silent films for his own production company. He was married to the actress Mabel Croft Ballin.

When Hollywood began making talking pictures, Ballin left the film industry to return to his first career as a classically trained artist. He became one of the foremost muralists in the Los Angeles area, producing murals which still stand at landmark locations such as Griffith Observatory, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, LA County General Hospital (now known as Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center), and Burbank City Hall.[3]

Ballin was made a National Academician in 1940. He is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica.

Selected murals[edit]

A detail from the staircase, Burbank City Hall
  • Burbank Industry Mural (Burbank City Hall)
  • Medical Science Fresco (LAC-USC Medical Center)
  • Mural at the Los Angeles Times Building
  • Mural at the Title Insurance and Trust Co. Building (now the Los Angeles Design Center)
  • Rudimentary Education mural (El Rodeo Elementary School)
  • The Apotheosis of Power (Southern California Edison Company)
  • The Four Freedoms Mural (Burbank City Hall)
  • The March of Science Through the Ages (Griffith Park Observatory)
  • History of Los Angeles Mural Series (Title Guarantee Building)
  • Warner Memorial Murals (Wilshire Boulevard Temple)
  • Water, Power, and Light mural (Burbank Water and Power Administration Building)[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Burbank, CA : Home". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  2. ^ - - Capitol Tour
  3. ^ "LA County Arts Commission - Civic Art Active Projects". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  4. ^

External links[edit]