In Celebration of César Chávez, the murals of Boris Deutsch

It appears odd to celebrate the Latino Chávez’s birth with the work of a Teuton, but such is the logic of Babylon.

Having recently visited  for the first time the Terminal Annex Post Office quite close to my home, I was struck by the WPA murals by the painter Boris Deutsch. His panels set into architectural lunettes are painted in the  odd Colonial-Latino-Indiginous-Deco sensibilities of the architecture; it is strange, not exactly beautiful, and thoroughly LA.

I thought they were a fitting tribute to man loved by so many here in the City of Angels.

Please pardon the quality, they were taken with my phone.

I really love the mask motif.



This is perhaps my favorite, the horned Kachina-like figure of particular interest .

This panel was barricaded off from the public, there might be other panels that are  also restricted from viewing.


César Chávez

b. 31st of March 1927

d. 23rd of April 1993


Happy Birthday Mr. Chávez.

Wishing all a pleasant day,

Babylon Baroque

4 Responses to “In Celebration of César Chávez, the murals of Boris Deutsch”

  1. Why were the panels blocked off from view–just a closed to the public area, or subject matter?

    And I know I can go Google the man, but I don’t really know his history. What should I know?

  2. babylonbaroque Says:

    I don’t really know anything about Deutsch aside from the link I provided. He was Latvian, settled in LA, seems to have found success here, taught at Otis; now his murals stand as a memorial.
    I enjoy them I think.
    As they are in the post office I use most often, I may come to appreciate them more.
    As per why some murals are cordoned off, the neighborhood is only beginning to be gentrified, I think it may have something to do with the massive homeless population camping outside.

  3. Thank you so much for your appreciation of my great uncles works.

    My name is Steven Shaps and my mother Harriet Shaps (Deutsch) spent many hours with him at his former home on Gramercy place in los Angles,

    I could tell you many stories.

    My mother a well know fashion jeweler though now 91 years of age has still many works of art that he created, ceramics, prints and paintings.

    As for myself, i used to bring my girl friends to see him in the 7os of course he asked he to leave and my girl friends to stay

    I am also a writer and a licensed marriage and family therapist here in los angeles.

    when i saw your blog I could not help but write to tell you how much i appreciate it

    if you would like to contact us, My phone number is 310.666.8807
    or 818.769.2468

    thanks again

    Steven Shaps
    Harriet (Deutsch) Shaps

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      Dear Steven,
      I hope I replied to this thoughtful response of yours, I’m mortified if i hadn’t. i would indeed like to speak to you . My email is:
      Be well,
      Leonard Greco

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