- 10 1/2 H X 28 W
McMenamins artist Lyle Hehn mural depicts a gathering in celebration of the Hillsdale Pub & Brewery, past and present are appropriately intertwined, and appearances and tributes are made by several icons (created at different times over the years by the artist's hand and imagination) hailing from other Mc realms and/or dimensions. It's worth a special trip to the Hillsdale to take it all in!
Because no one else is capable of adequately explaining Lyle's work, we're going to let him tell you in his own words about this piece:
My job was to do a painting that commemorates the history of McMenamins Hillsdale Pub in Portland, Oregon, and the rather ritualistic and musical tasting parties that regularly take place there.
Imagine you are dreaming of walking into the scene of Da Vinci's famous mural "The Last Supper." People are lined up along one side of a long table, and this reminds you of how people sit at tables during press conferences and panel discussions. This thought causes your unstable dream reality to supply microphones to the center of the table, and soon the whole scene transforms itself until it reminds you of Lewis Carroll's "Mad Tea Party."
The party has just begun. The music has started, but the glasses are still empty. The champagne has just been opened and wine is being served out of a water pump on the table. There's an empty chair at the center and you are the Guest of Honor. The drinking can't start until you take your place and give a short speech to the assembled panel.
The twelve members of the Panel are, from left to right: "Alice" (otherwise known as the girl in the bas-relief sculptures at the Kennedy School). She's only having tea; Hammerhead; Seamus McDuff; Dad Watson; the Crystal Ballroom Jester; Twin Wind Goddess Bagpipers from Edgefield; Ruby; John Barleycorn; Satan the Cat as the Cheshire Cat; Fred Eckhardt as the Mad Hatter (only without a hat); The Black Rabbit from Edgefield as the White Rabbit.
Various ghosts of the Slavin Family, who lived on the site of the Pub in the 19th Century, observe in the background.
Another spectral witness, on the left, is Max Zimmerman, local master-brewer from the 20th Century, who supplied us with the mystical ingredient-1945 Lanson Champagne (see note below for additional info about Max).
The rest of the painting is crowded with graphic symbols from McMenamins company history and a number of its locations in Oregon and Washington.Twin Fish Gods (from the Spar Tavern in Olympia) guard the central Crystal Ball that lights up the scene. They are holding hydrometers from Max Zimmerman's estate.
The mushrooms are from the Rock Creek Tavern. The Barley Mill sits behind "Alice", while the Hillsdale copper kettle (another item from the Zimmerman estate) can be seen behind John Barleycorn. Smiling down on the whole scene is the Thundercone Ale clown, on either side at the top, providing rumbling percussion to the music.