Whaling Wall at Pier 39, San Francisco



Pictured is one of Wyland's California murals at Pier 39 in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area.  Robert Wyland best known simply as "Wyland", has managed to do what few artists have.  He has turned a passion into a viable commercial artistic endeavor that has garnered billions of dollars of permanent, public advertising space for an ecological cause. Something so simple as paintings on buildings-who could imagine that it would bring an ecologist commercial and financial success unlike others who have created similar art. 


Wyland was born in Detroit in 1956, living a modest lifestyle with a mother supporting the family on her income in the Chrysler factory. When Wyland visited California, he saw or felt something as he gazed out to the Pacific waters, that would forever change him.  Since 1971, he has completed more than 84 whaling wall murals on buildings throughout the world.  Japan, Canada, Australia, Mexico, France, New Zealand and United States all have experienced a "whaling wall" event in which Wyland single-handedly paints an oceanic scene which always includes whales as the focal point. The average mural takes more than 1,000 gallons of paint though his largest mural in Long Beach, California, required 7,000 gallons.  It was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992. 




With a goal of painting 100 whaling walls, Wyland broke from tradition in 2000 whenn  created two new paintings as a single whaling wall, even though they were painted on sailing vessels which competed in the America's Cup in Australia. Several of his murals have been destroyed in San Diego as the buildings they were on were torn down for new construction, and Wyland is returning to at least one of his projects to freshen fading paint.  While most proposals for a whaling wall are accepted as donations from a nonprofit society created by Wyland, Maui has actually refused one of his designs. 


Wyland is represented in galleries throughout the world but has his own studios in Laguna Beach, California and Hawaii. He has a beautiful web site at


Among the Wyland murals we've visited in California, the Long Beach mural is Wyland's largest. We've also seen the mural on the power generating facility in Redondo Beach and



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