Morrow, GA—A 64-year-old piece of Atlanta’s art history has found a new home at Clayton State University.
On Thursday, an unveiling ceremony for a mural painted by acclaimed artist Athos Menaboni was held at the school’s James M. Baker University Center where it will be displayed for the next two years. Antonin Aeck, a local architect who personally knew the artist growing up, says Clayton State is the perfect place for this mural.
“To find a new life and a new home for Athos’ work is really a touching experience for me. I think it’s found a great home,” says Aeck.
Menaboni, an Italian-born artist, moved to Atlanta in 1927, and for over 30 years, he put his stamp on the city through elaborate murals in numerous homes and businesses such as The Swan House, the Capital City Club, and The Temple. His art is known for capturing his passion for the great outdoors, and according to Aeck, the artist’s love for birds extended beyond just painting them.
“I remember going to his studio at his home when I was a little boy. He had cages with injured birds that he would nurse back to health and then release them back into the wild.”
Menaboni’s mural on display at Clayton State comes to the University from an anonymous donor and depicts the Georgia countryside. It was originally painted for the Citizens and Southern National Bank in 1951, and measurers about 648 square feet—taking ten weeks to complete. At the time, it was among the largest murals in Atlanta, second only to the Atlanta Cyclorama. In 2011, the mural was discovered in good condition inside the former C&S Bank Building, which was in a state of disrepair.
“The unveiling of this piece of art is extraordinary. It has deep roots in Georgia, and I hope that it will have deep roots at Clayton State,” said Dr. Thomas J. Hynes, Jr., President of the University.