Former UW-Madison art history professor James Watrous, ’31, MA’33, PhD’39 designed the mural on the side of Vilas Hall facing University Avenue.
The piece is titled “Freedom of Communication.” Since Vilas Hall houses the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the mural fittingly frames one of the entrances into the building.
Watrous is perhaps best remembered for his Paul Bunyan murals at Memorial Union, which he painted from 1933-36. He also designed a glass mosaic in Memorial Library and other pieces displayed inside Ingraham Hall and the Social Sciences Building.
Watrous, who died in 1999 at the age of 90, was a campus arts advocate who helped raise funds to build what is now the Chazen Museum of Art.