The Ft. Wayne Paramount Theatre opened in October 1930 and had two very large Louis Grell murals located in the grand lobby. Allegory Rising, as we have come to call it due to Grell’s imaginative creations of Allegorical Figures Rising up through a spirling swirl of beautifully colored celestial patterns, was located on the left lobby wall. The second large mural was architecturally installed to the stairway wall leading up to the mezzanine level of the auditorium.
A black & white reproduction of the finished mural and sketch can be found in Grell’s artist file at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson and Burham Library, folder for the Toledo Paramount Theatre-which is mislabeled. This drawing is featured on the Illinois HIstorical Art Project website (www.illinoisart.org) and is very similar to Grell’s award winning Destiny large painting from 1930. The sketch was approximately 30 plus feet tall as can be estimated by Grell’s assistant standing next to it. Grell had as many as 8 art assistants helping him on his large mural projects.
Thanks to the Theatre Historical Society of America, Elmhurst, IL, we now know that a version of this mural hung in the lobby of the Paramount Theatre, Ft. Wayne, IN. Since the Ft. Wayne Paramount Theatre opened in 1930, Grell must have done versions of this piece for other locations since this watercolor is signed 1932.
Gouache, watercolor and tempura signed & dated 1932, 36.5″ x 19.75″
Above is a link to the IHAP featured artists page