Vignette > Historic Painting

High up on the rear wall of the Mill Valley City Council Chambers is a 5 ft. by 20 ft. painting of Mount Tamalpais. The breathtaking landscape was originally one of six large masterpieces completed by Ettore Serbaroli for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. After the exposition it was mounted on a wall of the San Francisco Ferry Building. In 1928, Mrs. Nicholas Yost, widow of the former owner of Mill Valley Lumber Co., purchased it for display in the Mill Valley Bank on Miller Ave. In 1947 the painting was moved to the Mill Valley City Council chambers. In 1974 it was removed to temporarily storage in the basement of the Mill Valley Public Library while the council chambers underwent refurbishing. In March 1977, the Mill Valley Record reported that the painting in the basement of the library was damaged and all but forgotten.  This prompted the formation of the “Serbaroli Restoration Committee”.  About 100 members raised $4,000 for James Pennuto to undertake the painstaking, laborious work to repair the canvas and remove grease, grime and tobacco residue. In 1978, the restored painting without its damaged frame was returned to the City Council chambers.