Over the course of its 120 year history, the Beasley Building at 1125 Walnut Street has served as an Episcopal church, Jefferson Medical College building, uniform factory, illegal night club, and now – after meticulous restoration efforts – the offices of the Beasley law firm. In conjunction with its efforts to restore the building’s original architectural character, the Beasley firm commissioned Michael Webb in 1997 to create a mural on the five story rear wall of the building. Webb, one of Philadelphia’s premier mural artists who is known for including architectural elements in his work, created a mural that depicts foundry workers casting iconic Philadelphian sculptures amidst classical archways and decorative elements.
Webb will give an on-site presentation of the 20 year-old mural and its current restoration, and discuss the personal guidelines that he has developed over his career to ensure that murals are formally harmonious with their architectural homes. Webb will describe the process of creating murals from start to finish, and share stories of painting this mural in particular.
The group will then be granted access to the building interior and visit the impressive second floor library, once used as a chapel and the offices of the bishop of Pennsylvania.
Michael Webb is a respected mural artist and averaged two mural commissions a year during the height of his career. Formally trained at Pratt Graduate School of Fine Art in New York, Webb taught as a Professor in the Foundation Department of the College of Media and Design Arts at Drexel University from 1974-2001. Following his retirement from teaching in 2002, he has alternated between producing and exhibiting studio work and accepting a wide variety of mural commissions including: The Tree of Knowledge (1301 Market Street), Julian Abele (Julian Abele Park). A native Texan, Webb has lived in Philadelphia since 1973.