Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 30, 2002

Cal Poly Kennedy Library Acquires Collection of Hearst Castle Sketches

An extensive collection of sketches by renowned California muralist Camille Solon, an artisan whose work appears throughout Hearst Castle at San Simeon, can be seen as part of the Cal Poly Kennedy Library's Special Collections.

The recent addition of 225 sketches includes images of Hearst Castle and the surrounding area. Sketches of the area around Stoke-on-Trent, England, Solon's birthplace, and of Marin County are also part of the new collection.

Solon became well acquainted with Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, California's first female architect, after Morgan commissioned him in 1924 to create paintings and murals for the Chapel of the Chimes, a Gothic-style addition she was designing for an Oakland church.

Soon after the project's completion, Solon was hired as an artisan at Hearst's San Simeon estate. He is known for the mosaic tile work in the Roman pool and the murals in the Gothic study, in the center room of the castle's new wing, and in the doorway to the dining hall.

The new sketches make up the Morgan-Solon Collection and add to the Kennedy Library's already vast compilation of materials related to the design and building of Hearst Castle. The Julia Morgan Collection, donated to the library in 1980, contains personal and professional papers, including correspondence between Morgan and William Randolph Hearst.

The Special Collections and University Archives Department is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

"Due to the fragile nature of the Julia Morgan Collection and the Solon sketches, appointments are recommended for consultation with a member of the Special Collections staff," said Catherine Trujillo of the Kennedy Library.

For more information, contact Trujillo or Mike Line in the library's Special Collections department at 756-2305 or visit the Web at

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