Apr 17, 2007

Fratelli's Cow Mural: enjoy it while you can!

For about 20 years we've all been enjoying the cow mural that's painted on the old Fratelli's ice cream factory at 19th & Madison. The site will probably be developed soon (details), so I suggest you all go and admire the cows while you may.

In 1992 the owner of Fratelli's, Mr. Peter Morse, shared with me some details of the mural, which was painted by his brother, and I'd like to share them with you now, so that you can better enjoy the mural.
Here's a Seattle Times art critic's column from 1987 about the mural and its creation and here are some notes from the artist about his work, and here's a link to a Seattle Times article about the Fratelli's ice cream company.

The Quicktime VR files I made of the whole wall doesn't seem to work well anymore.

Here's a link to a folder containing all the photos I took of the cows (in April 2007)

Below is my amateur attempt to preserve the mural: a Quicktime VR panorama of most of it. It no longer works in Quicktime on the Mac but does work with the (old) RealPlayer on my Mac. (seemed more high-tech in 2007!)

Here's the Quicktime VR file: cows.qt

I recall cycling to work to the Hutch on First Hill, back in 1987, and watching the mural evolve a little every day. It's been a wonderful addition to our neighborhood, and I'll be very sad to see it go. Let's hope the developer manages to incorporate the image into the new building.


Update: July 2017

Occasional interest in the Cows continues. The Fratelli's building was demolished and replaced (in ~ 2011) with an apartment building (the Lawrence Lofts). Architect Val Thomas honored the cows both on the construction crane (and apartment website) but also in a little mural on the Madison side of the building.




Streetview version of the new cows: https://goo.gl/maps/4jgPbZgFdzk

Orignal cows on Streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/BeTj48vjCi12
Better Streetview version: https://goo.gl/maps/xESLym3u2y92

New cows are pleasant but no substitute for the originals.

Construction pictures:



11 comments:

catherine said...

Thank you for putting up these pics of the cows. I really love that mural - and it's gone - i panicked cause i never took a picture of it. I was glad to find these. Thanks!

musely said...

I got a couple of shots and made a panorama of the whole back wall some time back - pic here

sexy said...
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yelahneb said...

the artist link isn't working - do you have another? i'm interested in learning more about the mural...

Andrew Taylor said...

Hello yelahneb

The links work OK for me: suggest you try again and click the link on the (rather sparse and cryptic) linked page.

Or send your E-mail address to tayles@jps.net and I'll send you the linked files. Couldn't find any way to contact you......

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering what happened to Fratelli's - by most accounts they were immensely successful, yet they seem to have disappeared into the netherworld after the Morse brothers sold the business.

Andrew Taylor said...

Agreed, the company just seemed to vanish!

Anonymous said...

The one who painted it (the brother) is Griffin Morse who is know a retired painter working as a school administrator. These original cows are a product of multiple classical artist inspirations such as the picasso cow or the mondrian one

SeattleAlan said...

I've wondered what happened to Fratellis. They sold their biz to Nevil Herner and he is listed as CEO for only one year. His current position as partner of XAP says he "purchased Fratelli Corporation, a frozen products distribution company. He sold Fratelli’s in a successful transaction that guaranteed employment for every employee." And one of Fratelli's storage containers is now listed as "free" on Craig's list. Where did they go??

SeattleAlan said...

I've wondered what happened to Fratellis. They sold their biz to Nevil Herner and he is listed as CEO for only one year. His current position as partner of XAP says he "purchased Fratelli Corporation, a frozen products distribution company. He sold Fratelli’s in a successful transaction that guaranteed employment for every employee." And one of Fratelli's storage containers is now listed as "free" on Craig's list. Where did they go??