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Washington Mutual to Keep Home Savings Art

May 13, 1999|Liz Pulliam

Washington Mutual Inc. will keep sculptures, paintings and other movable artwork from the 53 Home Savings branches that are closing May 28.

The fate of the Home Savings art collection had been in doubt since Seattle-based Washington Mutual announced its $6.9-billion takeover of Home Savings parent H.F. Ahmanson & Co. last year.

All artwork not attached to the branch buildings will be moved into Washington Mutual branches, said spokesman Tim McGarry.

Movable artwork at the former Home Savings corporate headquarters in Irwindale will not be retained, however. McGarry said the thrift is working on plans for the artwork's disposition, but declined to give details. Previously, Scripps College in Claremont had expressed interest in the artwork and building mosaics, much of which was designed and created by artist Millard Sheets, a former Scripps professor, and his colleagues.

The fate of the buildings themselves, including eight "signature" branches that feature the elaborate mosaics, is also unclear. Washington Mutual said it hopes to sell the one signature branch it owns in Chula Vista and sublet the other seven it leases to tenants that would keep the artwork intact, but no agreements or contracts have been announced.

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