March Field Air Museum Proudly Showcases Mural “Man’s Supremacy in the Air”
March Field Air Museum Proudly Showcases Eye-Catching Mural “Man’s Supremacy in the Air,” A Prized Re-creation from the World War II Era
RIVERSIDE, Ca. – March Field Air Museum is proud to showcase a prized and historically significant mural re-creation titled “Man’s Supremacy in the Air,” now on display in the museum’s extensive exhibit galleries. Originally displayed on a wall in the March Field Servicemen’s Club, the magnificent mural was covered over during a modernization effort then lost completely when the wall itself was demolished as part of a building renovation. Reminiscent of the Works Progress Administration projects of the Great Depression, the uplifting artwork symbolized then, and again symbolizes now, the nation’s commitment to a better future. Originally created in 1943 by artists Richard Pafferie and Lawrence Colwell, the highly visual and richly detailed piece depicts a P-38 fighter aircraft along with a human figure and a California condor with wings and arms outstretched, soaring through a bright blue sky framed by billowing white clouds.
Occupying more than 400 square feet of painting surface, the painstaking re-creation was completed by local artist, art instructor and UCLA graduate Haidee Moncera Slack, and took more than one year to complete. The unique arts project was made possible due to generous support from the Riverside Arts Council, via multiple Community Arts Partnership (CAP) grants, as well as through the artist’s generous donation of her time
“Surrounded by impressive aircraft and historic artifacts, this beautiful mural re-creation is an inspiring new focal point inside the museum that highlights March Field’s artistic and cultural heritage,” said Paul Hammond, Museum Director, March Field Air Museum. “It also provides a wonderful opportunity for the public to appreciate the importance of preserving significant public works of art. Although the original mural was lost in this case, this re-creation helps us to showcase the incredible heritage of Riverside’s own March Field. Today known as March Air Reserve Base, this architectural gem of a military installation in 2018 is commemorating its presence in our community for 100 years.”
The majestic mural was finished just in time to help illuminate the history of March Field, the West Coast’s oldest continuously operated military airfield and a birthplace of the modern Air Force that our nation relies upon today.
The mural re-creation “Man’s Supremacy in the Air” is now on public view inside the Museum and is included with regular Museum admission: $10 for guests ages 12 years and older; $5 for children ages 5 to 11 years; and free for children ages 4 and younger. March Field Air Museum is a top-rated TripAdvisor attraction that is located alongside Interstate Highway 215 at Van Buren Boulevard, just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base. For more information about the Museum, please call 951-902-5949 or visit www.MarchField.org
About March Field’s Centennial
March Field (today’s March Air Reserve Base, located immediately adjacent to the March Field Air Museum) is the West Coast’s oldest continuously operating military airfield. Established in 1918 as the U.S. was embroiled in World War I, it began life as part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Following several sleepy years in the 1920s, March Field was expanded in the 1930s as the world again prepared for war. As March Field passed the quarter-century mark, it was busily protecting West Coast skies and training U.S. Army Air Forces personnel for deployment to all Combat Theaters during WWII. Following the war—as the Cold War began—and then continuing for nearly 50 years, March Air Force Base became the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command 15th Air Force headquarters and home to a massive nuclear deterrent force.
In 1993, as March Field celebrated its 75th anniversary, it was selected for realignment and subsequently re-designated March Air Reserve Base. Today March Field is home to the Air Force Reserve Command’s 4th Air Force Headquarters and the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, the largest air mobility wing of the 4th Air Force. In addition to multiple units of the Air Force Reserve Command, March ARB is also home to units from the U.S. Air Force, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, California Air National Guard, California Army National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. As it begins its second century as a military airfield, March Air Reserve Base is expanding to encompass new missions in service to, and in protection of, our great nation.
About March Field Air Museum
The March Field Air Museum is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to promoting an understanding of humanity’s reach for the skies and March Field’s pivotal role in the development of flight. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and rated the #1 Attraction in Riverside by TripAdvisor, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and located alongside Interstate Highway 215 at Van Buren Boulevard, just south of downtown Riverside and adjacent to March Air Reserve Base. Over 80 aircraft are on display, ranging from a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer (which launched powered flight worldwide), to the world’s fastest manned air-breathing aircraft (the SR-71 Blackbird) and a modern-day MQ-1 Predator (remotely piloted aircraft), to early examples of military aircraft, to some of America’s most iconic military planes including World War II bombers. For more information about the museum, visit www.marchfield.org or call (951) 902-5949.