Endpieces to "The Founding of Worthington" Mural


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Endpieces to "The Founding of Worthington" Mural is an art original, with genre painting and murals. Its dimensions are 6 ft. x 20 ft..

It was created in May 1963.

Andrew B. Karoly, 1893-1978 and Louis P. Szanto, 1889-1965 are the Artists.

Shown here are two parts of a three-painting mural that was installed at the City National Bank for its grand opening in March, 1963. The bank, which eventually merged with JP Morgan Chase, stood at the corner of Broadmeadows Boulevard and High Street just south of Worthington’s city limits. These paintings, shown here hanging in the Old Worthington Library, were originally the endpieces on the forty foot mural. When the bank was torn down, the mural became the property of the Worthington Historical Society and was placed on permanent loan to the library, where it was displayed for more than 20 years.

The “President James Monroe in Worthington, 1817” painting, which is on the right, was originally the left-most painting of the mural. It imagines the 1817 visit to Worthington by President James Monroe and is the only known depiction of Monroe on his presidential tour of the northern states. In the painting, he is the character seated on horseback on the left. Worthington founder James Kilbourne is shown on horseback to the right, wearing the top hat.

Other early residents of Worthington are depicted in the painting. Philander Chase, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church and the first Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, is shown facing the president holding his hat. Thomas Worthington, first senator from Ohio and sixth governor of Ohio, is shown in the stylized portrait in the upper right corner. The tall building in the center of the painting, with the man holding the American flag out the window, is meant to be the Griswold Inn. The building to its right is the Worthington Academy, and to the right of that is St. John’s Church.

The “Worthington in 1842” painting, on the left, was originally the right-most part of the mural. It also features several notable residents and buildings of Worthington at the time. The stylized portrait in the upper left corner depicts General George Griswold, son of Ezra Griswold and proprietor of the Griswold Inn, which was operated by descendants of the family for 150 years. The two men at the front left are Orange Johnson (left, seated) a prominent early businessman in Worthington, and John Snow (right, standing), a merchant from Rhode Island. The woman on the right, holding the shoulder of the girl, is Sarepta Marsh, first principal of the Worthington Female Seminary. The school is shown directly behind them, and operated from 1842 to 1853. To the left of the Female Seminary is the steeple to the first Methodist Church, built in 1823. And to the left of that is the Masonic Temple, which was constructed in 1820.

The mural’s artists, Louis P. Szanto and Andrew B. Karoly, were natives of Hungary based in New York City. During the 1950s and early ‘60s they worked extensively in Cleveland, painting more than 30 murals for area businesses. They painted murals for at least a dozen bank branches for their biggest Cleveland client, the Society for Savings.

The mural represents a romanticized view of Worthington history meant to appeal to traditional values at a time of rapid societal change. In that respect, the work is more a reflection of the time it was created—the turbulent 1960s—than life in the early 1800s.

The mural was removed from the Old Worthington Library in late 2020 and returned to the historical society. In the years prior to that, a growing number of library patrons had voiced their discomfort with the mural being prominently displayed in a public library, as it depicts not only a romanticized view of colonial America, but also celebrates a time period when Native Americans were being forcibly removed from their land and Black people were held in slavery. As part of the library’s Anti-Racist Resolution, passed in September 2020 after a summer of increased understanding and awareness of issues related to racial justice and systemic racism, it was decided that the mural would be returned and that space would feature art highlighting the library’s role as a community center for all.

You can find the original at Old Worthington Library.

This file was reformatted digital in the format video/jpeg.

The Worthington Memory identification code is wpl0296.

This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on April 24, 2018. It was last updated January 7, 2021.