Timothy Drescher: Community Murals

Timothy W. Drescher has collaborated with Artstor to digitize and contribute nearly 6,000 images to the Digital Library from his photographic archive of American community murals.

Compiled over the course of several decades, Drescher’s slides and photographs have been shared with artists and scholars in the field, and many have been reproduced in publications, providing documentation of vital and ephemeral community art movements.

Drescher has also collected materials from the archives of other scholars and muralists. Most notable is the archive of the late Eva Sperling Cockcroft, co-author (with John Pitman Weber and James Cockcroft) of Towards a People's Art: The Contemporary Mural Movement (1977), as well as (with Holly Barnet-Sanchez) Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals (1990).

Drescher’s curated collection for Artstor emphasizes the documentation of entire murals, as well as details, contextual photographs, and depictions of mural processes. He has also provided cataloging information. Since these outdoor paintings are situated within living communities, exposed to the elements, many of them have suffered damage or destruction post-photography. In some cases, Drescher's images provide unique visual documentation of deteriorating or effaced art works.

Dr. Timothy W. Drescher is an Independent Scholar and former co-chair, Rescue Public Murals, as well as a former co-editor of Community Murals magazine, Berkeley, California. Drescher has been studying and documenting murals since 1972 and he is the author of San Francisco Bay Area Murals: Communities Create Their Muses, 1904-1997. He wrote the Afterword to the revised edition of Toward A People’s Art, and consults and lectures widely on murals. Dr. Drescher has a Ph.D. in English Literature and Art History from the University of Wisconsin.

For another mural collection in Artstor, also associated with Drescher’s work, see Rescue Public Murals: FAIC. See also San Anto Cultural Arts (SACA), Community Murals, San Antonio.