Logo: University of Southern California

The Family Room

A colorful swirl of blue sky and ocean green bring heaven and earth together in Sandro Chia’s joyous mural of young Andrew and Erna Viterbi on the ceiling of the Viterbi Museum’s family room.
The museum houses many Viterbi family pictures.
The Family Room

 
The family room traces the journeys of the Viterbi and Finci families in Italy and Sarajevo prior to World War II, depicting each family’s struggles to reach the United States.  Back-lit displays describe Erna (Finci) Viterbi’s harrowing childhood of persecution in Sarajevo and Montenegro, Italy, where she and her Sephardic Jewish family, found refuge and before eventually immigrating to Los Angeles.  The Viterbi family fled from Bergamo, Italy, to New York Harbor in 1938, and then to Boston where young Andrew Viterbi grew up. 
 
Looking up from the center of the room, visitors see an elliptically shaped Impressionist ceiling mural, painted with bold brush strokes by the noted Italian artist Sandro Chia.  The domical painting is a celebration of Andrew and Erna’s union, bringing together the swirl of blue sky and sea-green ocean waves as the two reach out for their futures.
 
The mural is lit with white lights to bring out the colorful hues of blue and sea green and the walls supporting the mural are made of Venetian plaster.