“No feature of an architectural scheme can lend quite so much distinction as a rightly conceived and sympathetically executed mural.” – Denman Fink, 1931

This Mural, entitled St. Francis of Assisi, was painted by Denman Fink (1880-1956), a nationally acclaimed artist and illustrator who played a crucial role in the development of Coral Gables. It depicts St. Francis ministering to the halt, lame, and blind. The mural was located over the main entrance hall of St. Francis Hospital on Miami Beach. The hospital, which was initially called Alison Hospital, was in operation from January of 1926 until April of 1992, when the building was sold and demolished soon after.

According to a Miami News article from November of 1941, “Fink [was] generally recognized as the Dean of Florida mural artists.” Fink, who was a professor of painting at the University of Miami, was outspoken and passionate about the mural artform and it’s execution. He is qouted as saying “a mural is created from start to finish with a specific place in mind, a certian light to be considered, a color scheme governed by the general color treatment of the room, and of prime importance a design that will be in sympathy with the architecturral style or period.”

The merit of his work brought him recognition from numerous institutions, including the National Society of Mural Paintings, of which he was a member. His murals, which have a lyrical quality, varied in size and topic and were displayed in almost every corner of Miami.

  • By Malcolm Lauredo
  • Volume One; Number Two
  • September 2018