47-year-old East mural has been painted white


Eastside Photo Archive

The East mural on display before it was painted over.

Though the East community has passed through hallways for decades, they may not have always questioned or even noticed the presence of murals, or even some truly unique artworks that have been painted by some of East’s own students. One such mural, painted by Eric Goldberg (‘73), which had been up for 47 years outside of FO83, was painted over on March 23, 2021. East staff and students did not receive any notice on what many perceived as a monumental change, and concern has been expressed on the racial significance of the mural, specifically, towards people of Asian American heritage.

A host of questions now follow on the origin and purpose of this painted mural. For one, the mural may have shown communications through a radio between the Eastern and Western world as shown by the painting of an Asian man at the far right of the mural and a group of American radio hosts on the far left. The mural was significant to people because it was in the East hallways for almost 47 years and the fact that Goldberg drew it is an important part of East history.

The mural after it was painted white. (Eastside Photo Archive)

Goldberg has had a successful career with Disney, and his animations can be seen in many pieces of work such as Pocahontas, Hercules, Fantasia 2000, Pink Panther, The Princess and the Frog, and Winnie and the Pooh. He was the lead animator of the character Genie for the movie Aladdin.

“One of the high points of my life was to be able to watch Robin Williams laugh at my animations,” Goldberg told Eastside in February 2012.

One of the most controversial aspects of the mural being painted over is how there was no discussion about the main reason it was being painted over.

Currently, the origin, purpose and destiny of the now white wall are all questions to consider, and the way that it impacts the East community to come.