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Anthony Heinsbergen

Anthony Heinsbergen

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Anthony Heinsbergen was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 muralist considered the foremost designer of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n movie theatre interiors.

Born Antoon Heinsbergen in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, he emigrated with his family to the United States in 1906 where they settled in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. Heinsbergen began painting while still a boy; and, as a young man he worked as an apprentice painter and was one of the first students to take formal training from Mrs. Nelbert Chouinard at her Chouinard Art Institute
California Institute of the Arts
The California Institute of the Arts, commonly referred to as CalArts, is located in Valencia, in Los Angeles County, California. It was incorporated in 1961 as the first degree-granting institution of higher learning in the United States created specifically for students of both the visual and the...

 in Los Angeles. His area of interest in which he developed a renowned expertise was the painting of murals and in 1922 he established went into business for himself. He was successful in obtaining a few commissions out of which he earned considerable recognition that led to a number of major contracts in and around Los Angeles most notably with the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is a historic Spanish-style hotel located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Named after Theodore Roosevelt and financed by a group including Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B. Mayer, it first opened its doors on May 15, 1927...

, the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel and in 1928 a municipal government contract for the new Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall, completed 1928, is the center of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California, and houses the mayor's office and the meeting chambers and offices of the Los Angeles City Council...

. During this time, his work came to the attention of theatre mogul Alexander Pantages
Alexander Pantages
Alexander Pantages was an American vaudeville and early motion picture producer and impresario who created a large and powerful circuit of theatres across the western United States and Canada.-Early life:...

 who hired him to work on one of his buildings. The praise he received for this work opened the doors to jobs at more than twenty Pantages theatres and helped Heinsbergen become a major national contractor for theatre murals.

Heinsbergen's company grew to employ more than one hundred and eighty decorative painters involved with a wide variety of wall and ceiling murals for corporate offices, churches, synagogues, civic auditoriums, libraries and other ornate structures of the era. However, the Heinsbergen name is mainly linked to his theatre murals as a result of the more than seven hundred and fifty he created throughout North America during the theatre industry's period of rapid growth. High profile work of this type includes murals for the Wiltern Theatre
Wiltern Theatre
The Wiltern Theatre and adjacent 12-story Pellissier Building are Art Deco architectural landmarks located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles, California. The entire complex is commonly referred to as the Wiltern Center...

, the Oakland Paramount Theater
Paramount Theater (Oakland, California)
The Paramount Theatre is a massive Art Deco movie theater located in downtown Oakland, California, USA. When it was built in 1931, it was the largest multi-purpose theater on the West Coast, seating 3476 Today, the Paramount is the home of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Oakland Ballet, it...

, the Warner Grand Theatre
Warner Grand Theatre
The Warner Grand Theatre is an historic movie palace which was opened on January 20, 1931. It is located in San Pedro, California, at 478 West 6th Street in the United States of America....

 in San Pedro, California, and the United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 flagship theatre in downtown Los Angeles, plus the vaulted ceiling of the city's Park Plaza Hotel which can be seen in the opening sequences of the 1990 David Lynch
David Lynch
David Keith Lynch is an American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Known for his surrealist films, he has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed "Lynchian", and which is characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound...

 film Wild at Heart
Wild at Heart (film)
Wild at Heart is a 1990 American film written and directed by David Lynch, and based on Barry Gifford's 1989 novel Wild at Heart: The Story of Sailor and Lula. Both the book and the film revolve around Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune , a young couple from Cape Fear, North Carolina who go on...


Anthony Heinsbergen built a home in the Los Angeles district of Pacific Palisades
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California
Pacific Palisades is an affluent neighborhood and district within the U.S. city of Los Angeles, California, located among Brentwood to the east, Malibu and Topanga to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The...

 on the south slope in the Santa Monica Mountains
Santa Monica Mountains
The Santa Monica Mountains are a Transverse Range in Southern California, along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in the United States.-Geography:...

. Semi-retired by the 1970s when his son Anthony, Jr. (1929–2004), took over the day-to-day management of the company, the elderly Anthony Heinsbergen nonetheless remained active as a frequent consultant for theatre restoration projects until his death in 1981 at the age of eighty-six.

See also

  • Heinsbergen Decorating Company Building
    Heinsbergen Decorating Company Building
    The Heinsbergen Decorating Company Building, also known as the A.T. Heinsbergen & Company Building, is a historic building on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, California...