“The Promise” is a 70’ mural by Los Angeles-based artist George Yepes illustrating California’s transformation into the 31st state in the United States. Created for the Museum’s opening in 1998, the mural took Yepes more than seven months to paint. It is installed on a vaulted ceiling on the Museum’s first floor.
The mural depicting California and its history incorporates many Aztec, Greco-Roman, and modern symbols. For example, Minerva, the legendary Roman goddess who was born an adult, represents California becoming a state without ever being a U.S. territory. Also depicted is Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon and stars. The official state animal, the California grizzly bear, represents the state’s strength and determination, while stars acknowledge California’s place as the thirty-first star on the U.S. flag.
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Yepes is a celebrated Mexican American artist who has designed more than 30 public murals. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at numerous venues around the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Sitges-Barcelona Olympics Exhibit.