University of Florida Archives Moving Image Colleaction

Production number 53

Production title:  Holbrook Does a Mural

Production date: 1953

Color / no sound

Total running time:  00:29:00

Derived from 16 mm film.

Available in VHS, DVD, DVCAM and mini-DV.

There is no production information concerning this film.  However, it was probably produced by the University of Florida.  This film might be the draft version and outtakes of the final version of the film.  A script for the final version exists indicating that there was to be sound with the film as well as a list of credits.

The film documents the creation of the mural "A history of learning in Florida" by artist Hollis Holbrook.  The mural appears in the Research Room of the Dept. of Special Collections at the George A. Smathers Libraries. Preliminary drawings and sketches are shown as well as the medium of paint (egg tempera) used.  The scaffolding and actual painting of the mural on the north wall in what was then the Humanities Room in Library East are shown.


0:00    Blank at first with test pattern numbers appearing

0:21    A hand is shown tilting a jar and pouring a small amount out onto what is a glass surface viewed from below.  A brush then moves dry powder paint into the liquid medium and mixes the colors.

0:47    The main UF campus and the large parking lot is shown

0:59    Interior of Library East

1:11    Hollis Holbrook is shown in his studio seated before an easel and then smoking a cigarette

1:27    Holbrook is shown seated at a round table with bookcases behind him.  Stanley West comes in carrying some books and he sits at the table.  West opens one of the books and shows it to Holbrook.

1:58    View of trees and Spanish moss.  The camera pans down the trees and focuses on the lake.  A man (probably Holbrook) walks away from the lake shore where he had been standing.

2:21    Holbrook shown at the table again looking at the books.  A view from above shows him sketching on a drawing pad.  He marks sections in each book with slips of paper and then closes them.  The pictures in the books include flowers, people, and biblical scenes.

3:00    Holbrook is shown sketching again and then he looks up toward the ceiling

3:45    One of the large fluorescent ceiling lights is shown, the tall windows in the Humanities Room, and the scaffolding erected on the north wall above the glass entry doors.

4:07    Holbrook is seen by the lake and then an anhinga and the lake.

4:51    Holbrook walks up to his studio and enters. 

5:19    He draws on some paper and then smokes

5:41    Different sketches are shown

6:31    Holbrook shown smoking again and then he begins to draw

6:44    Holbrook paints on a small canvas

7:00    The method of egg tempera preparation is shown from the breaking and separating of the egg white and the egg yolk to the mixing of the yolk and then the addition of dry pigment.  He is shown painting using this medium.  He scrapes away the mixture, adds more liquid yolk and dry pigment and continues painting.

9:43    Different small draft paintings are shown including one which resembles the final version of the mural.

10:09    Holbrook draws a figure using charcoal.

10:55    He gradually turns the pages of his sketchbook over to show various drawings and sketches of Indians, a ship, and men in Spanish armor.

11:23    A large drawing on a wall with many scenes is shown.  The words "vote here" are printed to one side.

12:38    Holbrook finishes a sketch and pins it to the large drawing on the wall.

13:00    Holbrook stands on a ladder and darkens the lines around one of the figures.

13:38    In his studio he paints and then places the small painting on an easel.

13:58    Holbrook gets into a station wagon and drives off.  The car stops by the 13th Street underpass and a train can be seen going by on the trestle above.  Graffiti can be seen on the wall.

14:49    The station wagon pulls in near the south end of Library East and the Murphree Memorial Statue can be seen to the right.

15:09    Holbrook and another man (Edward Anderson) go up the stairs inside Library East.

15:20    The entrance with the sign above the room "Humanities Room" is shown and then the scaffolding covering the top of the north wall.

15:43    Holbrook and Anderson are on the scaffolding and "line" the wall.  This involves coating a long string with colored chalk.  The line is stretched and snapped and a line is created similar to that on a sketch or cartoon.

16:14    The mural scenes have been sketched onto the white gessoed wall and Holbrook uses a metal tool to engrave the charcoal lines.  He then uses sand paper to erase the charcoal lines.

18:04    Holbrook mixes the paints using the egg yolk and dry pigment and obtains an orange color.

18:34    On the top level of the scaffold Holbrook paints and the middle area is still white.

19:38    The film darkens

19:56    The film lightens again and Holbrook can be seen painting the middle area a brownish color.

20:35    Holbrook continues painting the middle section which is now red in color.  A figure has taken shape and the figure and drapery can be seen.  Holbrook draws in the right arm and hand of the figure in outline form.

24:06    The entire painting, now finished, is shown.  Details of the left side and then the right side are shown.

28:37    An overview of the mural is again shown.

28:56    End of film   


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